The thought of needing to hire a CFO (chief financial officer) may have never crossed your mind as a small business owner. A part-time CFO can help even the smallest companies strategize on capital requirements to fund an acquisition or some other form of growth initiative or to help a fast-growing company decide whether it might be advantageous to go public. The key is that you don’t need to bring on a CFO full time to reap the benefits of their expertise. (Seriously, why would you pay someone a six-figure salary when you only need them for a few hours each month?)
When do I need a part-time CFO?
Your small business in Phoenix or Denver should consider a part-time CFO when you are:
- Bogged down with interpreting the numbers and need strategic guidance
- Thinking about fundraising
- Looking to go public
- Looking to expand or acquire another business
- Developing a long-term plan to sell the business
- Facing cash flow issues and need to come up with a cash flow management plan
- Looking to scale and want to make sure the operational side of finance is ready for scaling
A good example of a time to consider adding on a part-time CFO would be a grocery store that has expanded to open its fifth location and the owner/CEO is bogged down by managing the financial aspect of the business. If the business owner is too busy dealing with financing issues, it can take away from his/her ability to pursue and execute on the strategic vision of the company. Outsourcing a part-time CFO can help take some of the pressure of the CEO and allow them to focus on growth opportunities.
- Immediacy: Since time is valuable, the immediacy of hiring a part-time CFO is another cost-saver. In situations where a company realizes the need for a CFO and does not begin the search process immediately, bringing in a part-time CFO offers immediate help while a more exhaustive search for a permanent CFO can run its course. Similarly, when the existing controller, VP of Finance, or CFO leaves suddenly, a part-time CFO, Controller or VP Finance can be brought in to keep a business’s finances running smoothly.
- Flexibility: Some companies choose to use a part-time CFO to provide greater flexibility within the role. Unlike an in-house CFO, that will handle all the financial operations and oversight of the business, a part-time CFO can be hired to do a variety of different financial functions. Hiring just for what you need, when you need it, creates an a la carte finance solution that many companies appreciate. The result is a cost-effective catered solution that makes sense for a small business.
- Experience: Financial services and executive recruitment firm will inherently be more proficient at attracting and screening top-notch candidates than the average company looking to hire its own CFO. The result is the ability to bring in a well-seasoned financial professional that has experience with relevant industries or business types. This is a crucial distinction because you will be putting the future of your business in their hands.
- Cost-Savings: Paying for a part-time CFO eases the cost burden associated with a full-time CFO because the company can skip the recruitment and hiring costs, as well as the associated salary. Furthermore, as a third-party employee, the business does not need to pay for benefits or be concerned with offering costly perks to incentivize retention when utilizing a part-time CFO.
What To Look For In a CFO
If you think that adding a financial officer to your ranks would be beneficial, it may be time to start shopping around for the newest member of your team. Your CFO is at the helm of your business’s finances, so you need to be sure that you are ready to ask the proper questions when you interview potential candidates for the job. Things to inquire about include the following:
- How has the candidate helped other small businesses take control of their finances?
- Has the candidate worked in your particular industry before?
- What can the candidate provide your company that other candidates cannot?
- What does the candidate feel is his or her biggest mistake in the business?
- Most importantly: Does the candidate have any references? Don’t be afraid to dig deeply into the candidate’s work history.
If bookkeeping has you baffled or tracking your numbers is becoming too time-consuming, hiring a part-time contract CFO should be next on your to-do list. Part-time CFOs who provide the same benefits as full-time CFOs without the expenses of a daunting annual salary and benefits are out there waiting to be hired.
Limitless Investment & Capital
An entrepreneur managing a growing business needs a strategic partner to lead and manage the financial aspects of the business. At Limitless Investment & Capital, our part-time CFO’s will help your company grow sales, cash flow, and profit. Our part-time CFOs can drive growth and profitability for your company anywhere from 5 to 36 hours per week, based on your needs. Depending on the size and the growth stage of your company, we provide a flexible engagement model, enabling you to increase/decrease engagement levels, thereby giving you the opportunity of having the best CFO talent assisting you, based on your needs. Contact us TODAY to schedule a FREE Financial Analysis