When I was scaling businesses in my corporate role, my first hire was always an FD who knew their way around a profit and loss and a balance sheet. Even though I knew the basics, I had a lot to concentrate on – sales, purchasing, product development, supply chain, manufacturing and large company politics (oops, I mean internal relationship development, reporting and communication). The FD spent their time along side me developing the financial strategy and reviewing, reporting and making recommendations on the finances. This allowed me to get on with my role knowing that the finance part (arguably one of the most important) was covered.
This is why I struggle to get my head around why small business owners who don’t know their numbers, don’t invest in the correct financial support. It’s true that you don’t know what you don’t know but there are enough blogs, articles, webinars, advisors and business clubs etc on the matter that you really shouldn’t be unaware of what is needed.For smaller businesses, I get the fact that money can be an obstacle but as a business starts to grow, there really is no excuse.I was accused recently about always being “negative and outspoken about Accountants”. I corrected them by saying that I am negative about the poor ones and that I just don’t come across many clients using good ones.
When I walk into a new client who:
- Doesn’t understand what their P&L and balance sheet is saying
- Don’t have a cash flow forecast
- Don’t understand what numbers they should be tracking and how often
- Don’t have any visibility of what is and isn’t profitable
- Is behind on invoicing & cash collection
- Is still doing everything manually
…I tell them to have a conversation with their Accountant and invest in a better service (if they can/ want to) or change finance partner.I walked into a new client recently and was very impressed with their understanding of their numbers. I then find out they have a part time CFO/ FD, Dani, who is doing the exact role I had when in corporate. Wow, finally a small business owner with their finance support in hand!We got on so well and I was so impressed with the great finance strategy, systems and reports that were in place that I had to chat to her in greater detail and share the benefits with you so you can understand why you should stop flying blind.
So here you go! Watch our discussion, Stop flying blind – knowing your numbers to reach your goals faster.