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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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All Hands 2021 Award Winners

2021 Award Winners

Congratulations to these Associates for their recent award at the FocusCFO All Hands meeting.

Client for Life Award

Gold Level

Don Cain

CFO, Central Ohio

Tom Flynn

Area President, Central Ohio

Dan Bloom

CFO, Central Ohio

Client for Life Award

Silver Level

Pat Lang

CFO, Central Ohio

Jeff Lacy

Area President, Central Ohio

Jim McKinney

CFO, Central Ohio

Client for Life Award

Bronze Level

Ric Butler

CFO, Central Ohio

Don Cain

CFO, Central Ohio

Darren Cherry

Area President, Central Ohio

Jim Collins

Area President, Southwest Ohio

Scott Davis

CFO, Southwest Ohio

Mike Derringer

Area President, Central Ohio

Jon Doerer

CFO, Michigan

Jeff Farrington

Area President, Michigan

Tom Flynn

Area President, Central Ohio

Peter Geise

CFO, Central Ohio

Greg Gens

Area President, Northern Ohio

Jim Gilbride

Area President, Northern Ohio

Jeff Lacy

Area President, Central Ohio

Pat Lang

CFO, Central Ohio

Jim McKinney

CFO, Central Ohio

Bob Palmerton

CFO, Michigan

Todd Peter

CFO, Northern Ohio

Kyle Rhodebeck

CFO, Central Ohio

Jeff Semple

Area President, Northern Ohio

Skip Vermilya

CFO, Northern Ohio

Mark Vernallis

Area President, Pennsylvania

Todd Whetstone

CFO, Northern Ohio

Lynette Zody

CFO, Central Ohio

CFO Hall of Fame

Gold Level

CURRENT MEMBERS

David Bourke

Director, CFO Services

Bruce Collen

CFO, Central Ohio

Pat Lang

CFO, Central Ohio

Lynnette Zody

CFO, Central Ohio

CFO Hall of Fame

Silver Level

NEW MEMBERS

Sherif Matar

CFO, Central Ohio

CURRENT MEMBERS

Dan Bloom

CFO, Central Ohio

Don Cain

CFO, Central Ohio

Jim McKinney

CFO, Central Ohio

Jim Zins

CFO, Central Ohio

Joe Dougherty

CFO, Central Ohio

CFO Hall of Fame

Bronze Level

NEW MEMBERS

Ed Chong

CFO, Central Ohio

Bob Palmerton

CFO, Michigan

CURRENT MEMBERS

Wendy Brugmann

CFO, Northern Ohio

Will Cooper

CFO, Central Ohio

Dean Cole

CFO, Central Ohio

Kathleen Ferry

CFO, Northern Ohio

David Gouttiere

CFO, Northern Ohio

David Green

CFO, Central Ohio

Todd Peter

CFO, Northern Ohio

Jim Rowlands

CFO, Northern Ohio

Bob Stecki

CFO, Central Ohio

Skip Vermilya

CFO, Northern Ohio

Scott Lee

CFO, Central Ohio

Walter Himmelman

CFO, Northern Ohio

Scott Davis

CFO, Southwest Ohio

Richard Murch

CFO, Central Ohio

Ric Butler

CFO, Central Ohio

Area President Awards

Rookie of the Year

Michael Stier

Area President, Carolinas

Area President Awards

Rising Star

Lesli Matukaitis

Area President, Michigan 

Mitch Willis

Area President, Pennsylvania

Area President Hall of Fame

Gold Level

NEW MEMBERS

Forest Bookman

Area President, Northern Ohio

CURRENT MEMBERS

Mike Derringer

Area President,
Central Ohio

Tom Flynn

Area President,
Central Ohio

Jeff Lacy

Area President,
Central Ohio

Jeff Semple

Area President,
Northern Ohio

Jim Gilbride

Area President, Central Ohio

Area President Hall of Fame

Silver Level

NEW MEMBERS

Jim Collins

Area President, Southwest Ohio

Bob McAdams

Area President, Central Ohio

CURRENT MEMBERS

Darren Cherry

Area President,
Central Ohio

Fred Dannhauser

Area President,
Northern Ohio

Peter Geise

Area President,
Northern Ohio

Bob Miller

Area President,
Central Ohio

Area President Hall of Fame

Bronze Level

NEW MEMBERS

Mark Vernallis

Area President, Pennsylvania

David Tramontana

Area President, Pennsylvania

CURRENT MEMBERS

Jeff Farrington

Area President,
Michigan

Bob Miller

Area President,
Central Ohio

Greg Gens

Area President,
Northern Ohio

2020 Continuous Learning Award

Exit Planning Institute – CEPA

NEW MEMBERS

Kim Cooper

CFO, Carolinas

Mark Clower

Area President, Southwest Ohio

Michael Stier

Area President, Carolinas

Randy Feger

CFO, Pennsylvania

Mike Derringer

Area President, Central Ohio

Greg Gens

Area President, Northern Ohio

David Green

CFO, Central Ohio

Lesli Matukaitis

Area President, Michigan

Jeff Farrington

Area President, Michigan

Tom Bartos

Area President, Pennsylvania

Forest Bookman

Area President, Northern Ohio

Bob Palmerton

CFO, Michigan

Mark Rust

CFO, Pennsylvania

Peter Geise

Area President, Northern Ohio

Rex Bevis

CFO, Southwest Ohio

Lynette Zody

CFO, Central Ohio

VETERANS

David Bourke

Director,
CFO Services

Darren Cherry

Area President,
Central Ohio

Mark Clower

Area President,
Southwest Ohio

Kathleen Ferry

Area President,
Northern Ohio

Tom Flynn

Area President,
Central Ohio

Jim Gilbride

Area President,
Northern Ohio

Brad Martyn

Visionary and Founder
FocusCFO

Jeff Semple

Area President,
Northern Ohio

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Building a Positive Banking Relationship

Building a Positive Banking Relationship

By Bob Palmerton

After listening to a plethora of quarterly earnings reports from public companies, I began to consider how the discipline and transparency of effective communications practiced by a public company can be replicated for a privately-held firm. Besides keeping owners and investors in the loop, an effective communications strategy with your company’s bank is just as critical.

The loan a company obtains from its bank will likely be accompanied by a variety of covenants. Delivering timely covenant reporting, however, should be merely a piece of your company’s communication strategy with its bank. Managing a bank’s expectations and staying ahead of the curve as the business grows and/or changes are similarly important to build trust and a positive, growing banking relationship.

Here are a few “good deeds” to help build rapport with your bank:

Quarterly Reviews

Bankers like to be informed (and not surprised) by their clients. Inviting the bank for quarterly reviews (just as public companies deliver quarterly reports) is key to building trust and keeping the bank educated about the nuances and shifting priorities of your business. These sessions are valuable not only to provide color on the quarter’s financial results, but to communicate business strategy (i.e. new markets, new products) and to share financial projections. Demonstrate to the bank your company’s ability to support its debt service as well as communicate your company’s growth plans.

Contingency Planning

Should risk suddenly appear on the horizon, resulting in a miss to projections or a weak quarter, your company should persuasively communicate contingency plans to mitigate that risk. “What If” scenarios should be analyzed and action plans defined and presented to get back on track both from a top and bottom line perspective. Share with the bank the degree of flexible, controllable costs in your business that can be reduced or eliminated to sustain adequate debt service coverage and to conform to the bank’s covenants. Calculate and communicate your fixed charge coverage (costs such as debt service, rent, equipment leases, and insurance that need to be paid regardless of your company’s revenue). Know your numbers! Again, this helps to build your company’s trust with its banker, and it demonstrates that you are taking care of your business as well as taking care of the bank’s senior credit position.

Timely Submission of Financials and Covenant Reports

Never let a bank chase you for something. And should the financial reports raise a red flag or two, jump in ahead of time to explain it. Stay ahead of the bank’s questions. A company should understand the key expectations of its banker and provide timely updates to manage the relationship. Be proactive! Remember, your banker will retain greater trust and confidence in you if you are forthcoming with information, however unpleasant that information might be.

Sharing of Financial Projections

These give insight as to where you are taking the business as well as the opportunities and obstacles your company faces in achieving its goals. Try to stick with quarterly financial projections rather than monthly (this can give you time to manage to a bad month). Focus your projections on cashflow, and don’t forget to support those revenue projections with realistic assumptions and contingencies should the projections not pan out.

Now that you have been on your best behavior with your banker, ask for more from your bank! You have provided a lot of information, spending time and energy on strategy, financial reporting and maintaining a solid banking relationship. So maybe it’s time for you to ask for free services, reduced fees, or even a relaxed covenant or a short-term credit line bump to handle a timing issue. If you are renegotiating a line of credit (or asking for an increase), a positive relationship can help close the deal, and the additional business will be appreciated by your bank

Bob Palmerton is a CFO for FocusCFO, based in Detroit, MI.

 

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