Tag Archives | entrepreneur

Don’t Be A CFnO!

I once had a client who called his CFO a CFnO. He had had five CFOs in a seven-year period. He felt frustrated as they were always telling him why he couldn’t achieve the sales growth he wanted rather than helping him get there. As a result, he saw them more as an obstacle and less as a team player.

To their credit, some of their comments were probably accurate with respect to aggressive growth; however, their approach made them ineffective as leaders.

Don’t Be A CFnO: Guide to Your Entrepreneur

When working with entrepreneurs, tell them, “We can do anything you want, but we can’t do everything at this time.” Ask them what they want to do first. And remember, you should be leading them to succeed, not serving as a roadblock to their success.

To learn more financial leadership skills, download the free 7 Habits of Highly Effective CFOs. Find out how you can become a more valuable financial leader.

CFnO

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CFnO

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Recapitalizing Your Company Using Mezzanine Financing

Recapitalizing Your Company Using Mezzanine Financing

“There comes a time in every company’s life cycle when the company and/or the entrepreneur need some more cash. Perhaps the company needs more working capital or some additional money to help fund an expansion. Or, maybe the entrepreneur feels that it’s time to reap the benefit of all those years of hard work. Whichever the case may be, the entrepreneur will be faced with many different financing options. An interesting and often over-looked option is that of bringing in a private equity partner in the form of mezzanine funding. Furthermore, the only option may be recapitalizing your company using mezzanine financing.

Why can’t I just go to a bank?

Let us consider a common business dilemma: 1) lack of working capital or 2) lack of funds for capital expansion. Entrepreneurs by nature are optimists and passionate people, especially when it comes to their companies. They want and need a financial partner that can grow with them. Typically, your first option of choice is your friendly, neighborhood commercial bank. There are several issues that one often encounters here…”

More at WikiCFO.com

If you want to further develop your financial leadership skills, then click below.

Recapitalizing Your Company Using Mezzanine Financing

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Forming Advisory Boards for Entrepreneurs

Dave Steitz with Steitz Partners discusses forming advisory boards for entrepreneurs. He also discusses the compensation of advisory boards and management of the advisory board meeting. An advisory board is one of the most powerful tools an entrepreneur can implement to spur growth and profitability!

Forming Advisory Boards for Entrepreneurs

The advisory board is meant to be a support or advocate for the company’s leadership. They are also meant to be a resource for the President or CFO. Some of the advantages include providing diversity of perspective that would not be present inside the organization. When forming advisory boards, understand your expectations of the advisory board.

forming advisory boards for entrepreneurs

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Declining Sales: How low is low?

If you are like most companies I am talking to these days your sales are off from there high for last year. Nobody is immune and there is no place to hide! You have had declining sales for the past six to 12 months with no end in site. So what sales volume should you anticipate going forward?

Declining Sales

In speaking with several entrepreneurs over the past few weeks I have come to the unscientific conclusion that most companies severely impacted by the recession are experiencing sales declines of 25% to 33% from there highs for last year. Of course there are exceptions, but, for the most part, this percentage hold true.

As to why this is taking place, I have my theories. Though there obviously is a recession going on, more importantly, there is a complete lack of confidence in the future. Most companies are still making money though all are hoarding cash.

So if you anticipate sales dropping 25% what do you do? We are recommending our clients prepare a “worst case” scenario using a break even template. You should identify what cuts will be required to survive a sales drop of this magnitude. If and when a sales drop occurs you will then be in a position to take action quickly.

Just tell me where the bottom is and I can make money!

It’s hard to project sales when they are declining. If you need to project your sales accurately, then download our free Goldilocks Sales Method whitepaper.

declining sales

Strategic CFO Lab Member Extra

Access your Flash Report Execution Plan in SCFO Lab. The step-by-step plan will help you manage your company before you prepare your financial statements.

Click here to access your Execution Plan. Not a Lab Member?

Click here to learn more about SCFO Labs

declining sales

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Does Your Company Have an Advisory Board?

Does your company have an advisory board that meets with senior management on a periodic basis? If you don’t, then why not? This past week I spent 5 hours in a advisory board meeting that we scheduled to last 2.5 hours. We spent that time not because the management asked us to, but because we were accomplishing so much as a group that everyone didn’t want to quit. How did this company get so much out of a talented group of people for so little? Wouldn’t you like advice in taking your company through difficult or challenging times?

Does Your Company Have an Advisory Board?

About 3 years ago a client of mine approached me to be on an advisory board they were forming. It was to consist of six advisers in addition to senior management. We meet every quarter to discuss issues facing the president of the company and a recap of the accomplishments for the previous quarter.

After a year of getting as much out of the meetings to help our company as I was giving the client, I decided to form an advisory board for our company. We have been meeting for about two years. During this time, the advice given to me has paid dividends many times over.

I am surprised many companies and entrepreneurs don’t have their own advisory boards. There is a certain amount of vulnerability that comes with strangers looking at your financial results and criticizing you. However, the value that comes with the honesty is worth the pain. In 2009, you should consider forming an advisory board for your company. You will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!

Does Your Company Have an Advisory Board

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Don’t Let Tax Strategies Drive Financial Performance

With most young companies cash is king. As a company grows managing the cash available to finance that grow is crucial to sustaining the growth rate. Minimizing the cash expenses of the company is an entrepreneurs and CFO’s primary job. One of the main cash expenses is federal income taxes.

Don’t Let Tax Strategies Drive Financial Performance

During this start up and growth phase (which can last 10 years or more) the entrepreneur is focused on minimizing the cash payments for federal income taxes. He will work closely with his tax CPA to aggressively take financial positions that minimize taxes.

Somewhere along the line this strategy begins to lose its effectiveness. It generally happens when outside bank financing is obtained to fuel the growth of the company. As larger and larger amounts of outside debt is obtained the financial reporting needs of the company changes. The financial statements must now be presented to new users (i.e. the bank). The banks are seeking a clearing picture of the financial position of the company on an accrual basis. Often they want to know the true equity available from the company so they can establish the leverage of the company.

But maximizing the equity value of the company often is at odds with minimizing federal income taxes. To minimize taxes you typically end up either taking deductions sooner, deferring the recognition of income or valuing assets more conservatively. Taking these positions is fine until you want to borrow money.

Most entrepreneurs want to borrow as much as they can to fuel growth. However, by presenting there financial statements on a tax basis they minimize the amount that lenders will advance.

Conclusion on Tax Strategies Driving Financial Performance

The answer is that just as no strategy works in every situation, neither does one strategy work forever. The goal of the CFO should be to educate the owner to the needs of the other users of the financial statements. Often the benefits of paying higher income taxes is offset by the increased growth rate of the company.

Tax Strategies

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What an Entrepreneur Wants From a CFO/Controller!

Most accountants are trained to identify problems. In fact, as a professional, they excel at identifying problems and minimizing risks. Two excellent examples of this skill is the audit and tax compliance areas of public accounting.

What an Entrepreneur Wants From a CFO/Controller

Entrepreneurs are looking for something more from their CFO/Controllers. They take risks and solve problems everyday. As a result, they often get tired carrying all of the company’s problems on their shoulders. Thus, they want team members to help them navigate the challenges of the day!

So, the next time you identify a problem in the company, develop a solution at the same time! Over time, the entrepreneur will rely on you more and more to shoulder the responsibility of managing the company.

Since we don’t have all of the answers, use outside resources for problem solving. WikiCFO is an excellent repository for CFO/Controllers of entrepreneurial companies. Use this tool to bring the solution not just the problem!

More than anything, what an entrepreneur wants from a CFO/Controller is for them to be their trusted advisor or wingman. Download our free How to be a Wingman guide by clicking the link below. Take your career to the next level and step up into the trusted advisor role.

What an Entrepreneur Wants From a CFO

Strategic CFO Lab Member Extra

Access your Projections Execution Plan in SCFO Lab. The step-by-step plan to get ahead of your cash flow.

Click here to access your Execution Plan. Not a Lab Member?

Click here to learn more about SCFO Labs

What an Entrepreneur Wants From a CFO/controller

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LEARN THE ART OF THE CFO