As a small business owner finance topics can often feel hard and scary. You’d much rather focus on doing what you’re good at than looking at spreadsheets. Delivering to your clients and getting creative in your business sounds a lot more appealing than getting stuck into cashflows and budgets.
You likely have a system of sorts in place for maintaining your accounting obligations, such as keeping your bookkeeping up to date and keeping HMRC happy. But there are likely times when you find yourself:
- Fretting over whether you will have enough cash in the bank next month to cover the bills?
- Toiling away working all the hours but not making ‘enough’ profits?
- Frustrated because you want to grow and evolve your business but there seem to be endless problems and obstructions?
If you ever ponder these kinds of issues in your business you would likely gain peace of mind and a greater sense of purposeful direction from collaborating with an outsourced Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
What is an Outsourced CFO?
An outsourced CFO is an accountant/business strategist that specialises in supporting small business owners with finance business planning activities. To help you shape, grow and evolve your business – sustainably, profitably and with healthy cashflows – in a direction that aligns with your unique aspirations and values.
How is an Outsourced CFO Different from an Accountant?
An outsourced CFO typically works alongside your accountant, so you keep continuity. The distinction is that your regular accountant will assist you with the day-to-day finance activities and obligations, filing accounts and keeping compliant.
Whereas an outsourced CFO helps you with the financial aspects of ‘where you are going’. Weaving together strategic and commercial elements of finance to give you the best chance of having a long-term thriving business tailored to your personal goals as a business owner. Given an outsourced CFO’s breadth of experience and small business interests, you also benefit from relevant and applicable insights and ideas to positively influence your business.
What Services Do They Help With?
More specifically the types of things an outsourced CFO can help your small business succeed with includes:
- Profitable pricing strategies – so that you are fairly rewarded for your time and efforts and are able to invest in yourself and your business.
- Cashflow forecasting – to remove the fear and guesswork of managing your costs, essentials and aspirations without nasty surprises.
- Tracking, reviewing and maximising your commercial performance – so that rather than reacting to what you ‘think’ is happening, you can plan and respond based on what is actually happening.
- Business planning, budgeting and goal-setting – to help you develop business finances to align with your unique aspirations and get to the destination quicker.
- Raising funds through grants, loans and raising investment – support with putting together rigorous and compelling applications and plans to secure capital for your next phase of growth.
- Decision-making on key milestones – such as when to hire certain staff, rent a new office or make a big investment.
- Setting up scalable finance systems and processes – so more customers doesn’t result in overloaded capabilities – reduce delays, over-work and stress.
- Act as a sounding board – you have someone with relevant expertise to talk to about business finance implications of new ideas or problem-solving in a positive and proactive manner.
- Support you with hard conversations – helping you deal with those annoying customer who always pays late, or how to word a price increase letter that feels a bit scary to send out.
Can They Help Me Save Money?
Small business owners that engage with an outsourced CFO will often find they save money too – through effective tax planning, opportunities to find cost savings, eliminate wastage and get value for money.
How Much Does an Outsourced CFO Cost?
What is the investment? Price and commitment wise you gain access to the strategic and commercial finance expertise that a big company would receive from having a full-time CFO. But you pay for a fraction of their time based on what you need support with – so it’s efficient and affordable.
Pricing is therefore bespoke to your business needs and the level of input you require, but starting from as little as £250 plus VAT for a one-off business finance planning session.
Tribe members are eligible for a 25% discount on a Business Finance Planning session with Harriet – CFO and Founder of Below The Line Finance. If you’re interested in exploring this further why not book a 30-minute complimentary intro call?
Harriet Formby is a Small Business CFO and Finance Educator who works with creative founders and freelancers to help them feel good about their business numbers! Through bespoke consultancy and training, she provides insightful finance know-how to empower small businesses to grow their vision with profit, purpose and peace of mind.