09 Aug Why an On-Demand CFO Can Make the Difference
Why an On-Demand CFO Can Make the Difference
The difference between surviving in business and really succeeding is usually composed from a thousand details. The world-changing breakthroughs get our attention – technology shifts, paradigm changes, industry transformation – yet more often, for far more businesses, success is “a game of inches.” In particular, it takes a lot more than just common sense to manage the financial life of a business, although that is certainly one critical element. The details of real financial management can quickly become complex enough to pull the chief’s focus away from the thrust of the business itself.
It doesn’t take a big enterprise to demand more attention to good financial management than the key operational players alone can provide. No matter what your industry or business model, running it is a full-time job –if you’re doing it right – and so being your own finance expert too is not the same as managing it to your best advantage. We’ve been there. We know.
Why shouldn’t any business, no matter the size, have the same advantages as those companies who can call on a whole skyscraper floor of financial specialists? That’s why we began to offer our On-Demand CFO services, and why we nicknamed this suite of services, “The 21st Floor.”
You see, the stalwarts of today’s economy – businesses employing fewer than 500 people – are often working without one key advantage of a Fortune 500 company – a full-fledged finance department and a CFO. After 40+ years of experience as a Fortune 500 executive in finance, purchasing, and management; a contractor; and a commercial real estate operator, the founders of REI Commercial Capital came to grips a thousand times with this ongoing dilemma: Where do you put your time? In making money, or managing it?
By putting together extensive contacts among capital sources, formal education, first-hand experience with the challenges of finance, and a real talent for structuring a balance sheet, REI has become a remarkable source of the money people need to operate a going concern. Since money moves at different speeds, especially if you are growing your business, it is not a shortcoming to require the money that you know is coming later, sooner. That’s where the many answers offered by REI Commercial Capital begin to go to work.
More Than Money
We saw pretty quickly that capital financing is only one part of the palette a business needs to complete the picture of ongoing success and growth. There are things to know about finance. Enough to make it a specialty in the corporations you hear of every day. The complexities of business finance make it a world of its own, and no entrepreneur or enterprise can be expected to master it simply as a sideline. That’s where REI comes in. Our contacts and influence and expertise among sources of the money your business needs to grow are just the beginning of the dimensions we add.
More than that, we help you take an active, dynamic hand in managing your “capital stack,” the assets on your balance sheet, so that you keep more of the money your business earns. Understanding overhead from a professional point-of-view, evaluating your options for acquiring the facilities and equipment you need, helping you keep money in motion – where it works for you – these are a few of the skill-sets we can add to your team, without bringing on a single staff member.
What You Get from Your On-Demand CFO
One of the under-rated mysteries of life lies in knowing what to ask for. Entrepreneurs and executives, who haven’t yet had the advantages, sometimes can’t imagine what a CFO could add to their company’s ability. Here are some of the advantages that companies with a CFO have grown to expect:
Strategy gives meaning and focus – and productivity – to action. Without an appreciation of “the big picture,” everything is tactics. When that’s the case there’s no way of knowing which tactics are getting you closer to your goal and which are not.
“A good CFO is forward-thinking and handles debt and equity with long-term strategies in mind. The difference between a good CFO and a great one is the ability to analyze data and use that to project the future financial picture of the company.” So said a leading corporate recruiter in the field. That’s a good beginning for describing the difference that the 21st Floor from REI could make for your business. Being able to see tomorrow’s impact of today’s decisions, and using that perspective to plan and project a future that you choose – and not one that just happens – this is a key payoff of getting the services of an On-Demand CFO.
It’s been said that a key difference between a CPA and a CFO is ROI. Your company’s productivity and return-on-investment can be strengthened dramatically through services like these:
- Capital Structure
- Risk Management
- Auditing and Reporting
- Investor Communication
- Business Planning
- Capital Expenditure
- R&D Investment
- Working Capital Management
- Company Budgeting
Imagine adding these skills at your own pace, within the scope of your own company, and without adding to payroll.
Another difference between Finance and Accounting is that the CFO’s view includes past, present, and future. Reporting and analyzing results might be called the past. Treasury duties like weighing risk, liquidity, and capital structure to help you make decisions might be called the present. Using all this information to forecast the future and build the value of your business, over and above its assets alone, this is the sector of CFO talents and duties we might think of as the future.
The advantages of having a dependable CFO, when and where you need one, may be the catalyst that transforms your ROI from good to great. Now that REI offers the 21st Floor, our suite of On-Demand CFO services, there’s no reason to just imagine or to wait. Let’s get acquainted.
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