However, if you’re finding you’re growing fast, or are seeking more detailed advice to grow your biz, and need further, as well as more strategic support when it comes to getting the most out of your numbers, a Virtual CFO could be for you.
Virtual CFOs vs. traditional ones: key differences to know
The rise of remote working has seen the role of the Virtual CFO become much more prominent in recent years, which is super beneficial to small business owners in particular, and that’s for three key reasons.
They are a cost-effective alternative to traditional Chief Financial Officers, because they are able to step in and support you with your goals on a remote, part-time basis. This means there’s no need to hire a full-time employee, and you can bring them on as and when you require their support.
They also have the same level of experience and expertise, which means you’ll receive tailored advice to help you grow and succeed.
Key ways a Virtual CFO can add value to your biz
While a Virtual CFO’s services will vary depending on their offering and their company, they provide a wealth of important, high-level strategic services to small business owners.
These include planning, budgeting and cash flow forecasting, where they will first define their importance and function, ensuring you have a deep understanding of the role these documents play in your business.
They are then able to analyse your historical data (or develop projections based on your goals if you’re just starting out), and work in close partnership with you to create these materials, ensuring they reflect your long and short-term objectives, and overall vision for the business.
This process is super valuable, as it allows you to consider what your goals are, and ensures you have the right processes and procedures in place to achieve them.
They also offer ongoing strategic advice and support when it comes to analysing and managing the data within your budget and cash flow forecast, by assessing things like your profitability and margins, and seeing if you’re underspending or overspending. Based on this, they provide advice around the steps you should take to enhance your growth or remedy any issues of this nature, to ensure the business is on track to achieving, or exceeding its goals.
They also provide what is known as scenario modelling, which involves developing a range of informed, data-driven scenarios that allow you to get a clear picture of how the business might fare if you choose to invest in a new piece of inventory or an employee, or what may happen if sales increase or decrease, so that you can plan accordingly.
Essentially, they are your go-to source of strategic information and advice when it comes to ensuring the financial health of your business is in good standing, all throughout the year!
Hiring a Virtual CFO: key signs it might be time
I tend to find that with our small business clients, they have a passion and an amazing talent – whether that’s creating beautiful pieces of jewellery, crafting compelling copy, or building their clients’ social media presence up with great success – yet they don’t necessarily have the numbers acumen.
Which is fine, we can’t be good at everything, right?!
However, having things like a budget and cash flow forecast in place, being able to identify if you’re actually making money, and knowing what you should do when it comes to cutting costs, increasing pricing, and investing in the business, is a must if you’re going to keep your lights on.
So, every small business owner should look to a Virtual CFO or numbers expert at least when it comes to gaining some initial strategic advice, to ensure they set off on the right foot.
Overall, though, some of the key signs it might be time to outsource services to a Virtual CFO on an ongoing basis include:
- That you’re not reaching your financial goals or are struggling to achieve a profit
- You’re finding managing the numbers aspect of your business a challenge
- The business is growing really fast and simply can’t keep up
- You plan on eventually selling your business, or are seeking investment from external sources (being able to demonstrate good financial standing is essential here).
So, where to next?
We offer a Virtual CFO service here at MicroChilli, and would love to chat with you about your goals, your pain points and your struggles, so that we can provide some tailored solutions to help you stay on track.
Your first consultation is free, so it’s a no brainer, really! Book a call in here, and we can start planning your business’s future together!