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Fractional CFOs In Demand for Startups

Fractional CFOs In Demand for Startups

As venture-capital firms pour more money into early-stage startups, the demand for fractional CFOs is increasing. Many startups have basic accounting needs and are not yet ready to have a full time CFO managing their finance, but they can still benefit tremendously from the experience and strategy that a part-time CFO can bring to the table – especially as they start to receive funding. “[Startups] increasingly need someone to fill the gap when more complex financial questions arise,” according to the Wall Street Journal Article, “Demand for Part Time CFOs Heats Up As Startups Raise More Money.”

When to Hire a Fractional CFO

According to the article, the sooner you bring in a fractional CFO the better. They can help establish processes, make operational decisions, and help the company stay focused on building sustainable value. But, once startups start getting investor funding, it is essential that they recruit a fractional CFO. Jeff Epstein, an operating partner at investment firm Bessemer Venture Partners said he always advises founders of early-stage firms to hire a part-time CFO so they can focus on building and selling their products instead of managing the finances. 

“When I find a good fractional CFO, I hold onto them. It’s like gold,” said Hope Cochran. Learn more about the benefits that fractional CFOs bring to startups here.

 

 

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Client Experience and Value

Does the Client Experience Create Real Financial Value for a Business?

Peter Geise on the Client Experience Group Podcast

FocusCFO’s Peter Geise sits down with Judy Bodenhamer of the Client Experience Group for the latest episode of their podcast, Shed a Little Light. Judy taps into Peter’s strong financial background to journey into the financial realities of investing in Client Experience (CX) initiatives, and if CX can create tangible value for a business.

Together, we explore how businesses can:

  • Learn how a financial professional sees the Client Experience (CX)
  • Get smart about how a focus on CX can improve the enterprise value of a business
  • Understand the tangible benefits of investing the time and effort to enhance CX
  • Better appreciate the importance of how CX can impact the ultimate transition of a business

Judy Bodenhamer is the Managing Director and Founder of the Client Experience Group™. She has committed her career to inspiring businesses, organizations, and individuals to achieve accelerated levels of success.

Peter Geise is FocusCFO Area President representing the Akron area. Peter is an accomplished business executive with over 30 years of experience and a passion for sharing his knowledge with small and mid-sized businesses.

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Authority Magazine: 5 Things You Need to Know to Successfully Scale Your Business

5 Things You Need To Know To Successfully Scale Your Business

Founder Brad Martyn on Authority Magazine

FocusCFO’s founder Brad Martyn sat down with Ken Babcock and Authority Magazine for an interview and is sharing his insights and experiences on 5 Things You Need to Know to Successfully Scale Your Business.

Know your ceiling. I learned this one the hard way when I hit mine. There are a series of attributes that entrepreneurs have that allow them to be successful. People that have only worked in a business as a W-2 employee may think they know what it takes to be successful as an entrepreneur, but until you live it, you truly have no idea what it takes to be successful. I was guilty of this when I left the corporate world; I thought I knew it all and quickly realized I had no idea. But I sure do know now!

Ken Babcock  is the CEO and Co-Founder of Tango. Prior to his mission of celebrating how work is executed, Ken spent over 4 years at Uber riding the rollercoaster of a generational company. After gaining hands-on experience with entrepreneurship at Atomic VC, Ken went on to HBS. It was at HBS that Ken met his Co-Founders, Dan Giovacchini and Brian Shultz and they founded Tango.

 

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Business Innovators with Mark Imperial

Business Innovators Magazine – Spotlight on Exit Planning Advisors

Spotlight on FocusCFO with Michael Stier

As part of their series on Exit Planning, Business Innovators Magazine invited Michael Stier to sit down with Mark Imperial and share his insights on why exit strategy is good business strategy. 

Mark Imperial is a Best Selling Author, Syndicated Business Columnist, and Host of numerous business shows spotlighting leading experts, entrepreneurs, and business celebrities. Mark is also the media and marketing strategist and voice for some of the world’s most famous brands. www.markimperial.com

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In the Loop: A Conversation with Michael Stier

In the Loop

A Conversation with Michael Stier on the Charlotte Area Chamber’s Podcast

FocusCFO’s Michael Stier sat down with Dianne Chase and Michael Orzech for In the Loop, the Charlotte Chamber’s Podcast to chat about taking your business to the next level of growth.

In this 20 minute episode the trio covers a range of great questions like:

  • What are the key indicators that your business is ready for a CFO?
  • Can you afford a CFO?
  • What exactly does a CFO do?
  • How does a fractional CFO work with your COO and existing company culture?
  • How a fractional CFO can help your business reach the next level of growth and achieve sustainable, transferrable value.

Michael Stier is a FocusCFO Area President for the Carolinas and Director of Market Development. He has hands-on C-level executive and entrepreneur with a 35+ year track record of growing companies to scalable and profitable stages, with an industry focus at the intersection of technology and financial services (banking, wealth & asset management). He brings a broad base of expertise across functional areas to guide partners in strategy, entrepreneurship, financial management, M&A, operations / processes / KPIs, data-intensive services, and business development.

Dianne Chase is President and CEO of Chase Media. She is An award winning media, journalism and strategic communications professional with profound expertise in various communication disciplines, most notably crisis communication. Ms. Chase is also an experienced issues and reputation management consultant, media trainer, presenter, and writer.

Michael Orzech is the co-founder and COO of Charlotte Area Chamber of Commerce. The Charlotte Area Chamber of Commerce believes a strong, vital community goes hand-in-hand with a strong, vital business environment. By offering a variety of outstanding business programs, the Charlotte Area Chamber is dedicated to providing something for everyone. Learn More

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Metrics that Matter

Metrics That Matter

How to Identify, Track and Use Data Points

In a volatile couple of years that have seen a global pandemic, supply chain challenges, talent shortages and record inflation, the data we use to benchmark performance and guide our businesses is as vital as ever. But which metrics we use – and how we use them – has changed dramatically.

FocusCFO contributed to a recent Brainyard article, which explores how to identify, track, and use key metrics effectively in this new (and ever-changing) landscape.

As fractional CFOs, our associates often take a strategic bird’s-eye view when identifying and using key metrics. Here are four key areas that we have seen an increasing emphasis on in the past few years:

1. Inflation: Measures of inflation, particularly raw material inflation and how it compares to the selling price of finished goods, have become critical to track in today’s environment.

2. Inventory: Because of ongoing and potential supply chain issues, the days-of-inventory-on-hand metric has become more prominent. Because a just-in-time inventory strategy will likely not work well, metrics around the costs to maintain higher inventory levels, like space, insurance and shrinkage, have also increased in priority.

3. Personnel: A tight labor market means that personnel-related KPIs, like turnover, referral sources and average hourly wage versus budget, are receiving more attention.

4. Profitability: Many businesses, like restaurant groups, are now tracking profit by day of week as well as hours of operation. This allows management to make informed decisions about closing or reducing open hours on certain days.

Additionally, our brain trust of CFOs and Area Presidents noted that EBITDA has taken on a more important role due to the treatment of forgivable PPP loans, which causes distortions in net income. Cash flow from operations is also being prioritized above total cash flow.

To learn more about best practices for developing metrics that drive performance, read the full Brainyard article.

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