Be Prepared, Yesterday by Brian CalifanoThere is a wise, old Chinese proverb: The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.  

What does planting a tree have to do with good finance structure? Well for one, the time is now to get your books in order, i.e. books that hold up to both internal and external scrutiny. Entrepreneurs should not wait until they need to raise funds or are approached to sell their business to organize financial records and have a strategist on hand. Your books and records should always be ready for review no matter what is happening in your business’s lifecycle.

Whatever path the business takes will require a good set of books and financial stewardship.

Entrepreneurs will ultimately be faced with potentially risky steps and challenging financial issues while operating their businesses. Here are questions that have come up recently for AcceleratingCFO clients:

      • Do I take this line of credit or continue to finance my business from operating cash flow?
      • Do I sell my business to a company that is highly leveraged and may not be able to pay its operating expenses post-acquisition? 
      • Am I ready to hand off the daily reins of my business to a family member who may not be ready for challenges ahead?

These are examples of some of the decisions that an entrepreneur may face during his or her time as president or CEO of a company. The sooner you, as the business owner, have strong financial leadership in the organization, the more prepared you’ll be when faced when challenges come your way — and those challenges will come whether you’re ready or not. Remember, the best defense is a good offense.  

By planting and growing the financial prowess of your company, you are preparing and building a solid financial foundation. For example, a strong financial steward will be able to strategize and assist with these types of scenarios and more:

      • A competitor from another state gives you an offer for your company. Should you accept what seems to be a fair offer or do you avoid a potential rival seeking to acquire some data about your business?
      • Every month you struggle to meet payroll and sustain a salary that is commensurate with your current lifestyle. Do you hire another salesperson to increase revenue or do you seek a line of credit to address the seasonality of your business?
      • A colleague tells you how successful he has been raising funds on crowdfunding sites and public sources of financing. Are your financial books and records ready to face the scrutiny of outside investors?

When you encounter a fork in the road, it’s best to have a partner by your side BEFORE you choose a path. A Fractional CFO provides strong financial leadership without burdening your bottom line. Regardless of the stage of your company’s lifecycle, it’s always wise to have a strong financial advisor at your side to guide and counsel you through inevitable, critical junctures.

Take-away: If you are ready to have your company blossom to its fullest potential, reach out to Brian at

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