At a recent Business Impact Group (BIG) networking event, the facilitator, Jim Ferme, asked an interesting question for the group to consider: What mistakes do your clients make that you can use to help market yourself to your prospects?
Now most of the time we talk about how to help our prospects, rather than using a negative statement (I prevent client from losing millions of dollars) as a way to connect with clients and referral sources.
Yet, this type of statement raises the level of conversation. Generally, as people process the statement, they ask for clarification and more discussion ensues.
As we think about this question in the field of finance, I’d like to share the following:
Common Finance “Lacks” of Entrepreneurs
- Lack of Financial Expertise: Many entrepreneurs, especially if it’s their first business, may be champing (yes, champing) at the bit to meet with potential investors—often sooner than they really should. By reading about the hottest and latest Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) and how companies are making money at very high multiples, some entrepreneurs may feel ready to meet with investors before they really should. These conversations are not easy and need to be meticulously and thoroughly prepared for. You risk looking amateurish if you have never modeled a three year plan or discussed how to build out operations on a global scale.
- Lack of Creative Financial Solutions: Scott and I are always befuddled as to how many people in the small and medium size business community are not aware of what a fractional CFO does. As hard as we try to market this service, it seems like we will often find at least one or two people in a public setting who are unfamiliar with what we do. Fractional CFOs provide the insight and partnership that entrepreneurs need from a CFO without the exorbitant cost of a C-suite executive.
- Lack of Trust: A common pain-point among entrepreneurs is his or her inability to delegate work that is not directly related to adding value to customers. Finance is one of those areas that most entrepreneurs are not particularly well-versed in—especially compared to what a Fractional CFO can offer. Money is usually a sensitive area for entrepreneurs and difficult to relinquish control of; but, with the right finance partner, you can have procedures in place to ensure protection over your assets while your monthly reporting is done in an efficient manner.
Take-away: It is always better to learn from other’s mistakes than to learn from your own. If you want to turn your finance function from a weakness into a strength, call us for a free diagnostic on your accounting and finance functions.
Contact us with your questions.
Co-founders & Managing Partners