We’re Here to Guide You Through the Storm

Standard

The stormy, cloudy skies of finances are always daunting at first. They block your view of what lies ahead on the horizon, and offer an unpredictability that can be unsettling – especially when the result could be solid ground with new growth ahead or a sinking ship with all your endeavors and efforts.

As the Captain of Excursions and Opportunities (CEO), it is your duty to your mates to forge the journey ahead, leading you and your voyager to unprecedented success and unimaginable fortunes. But what good is a chest of gold at the end of the journey if your ship lies at the bottom of the ocean with it?

The aggressive current of cash flow can quickly sweep you and your crew into uncharted territory, as dollars and cents are thoughtlessly thrown against debts and finances like waves crashing against an impenetrable cliff. And when the fog sets in, your financial mission can take on new turns, twisting you in all sorts of directions and misguiding you away from your destination. It’s during these clouded moments that judgements can steer you to shore or straight into shallow, rocky territory.

But lo and behold, light pierces through this dark and confusing time, guiding you through the mysterious territory and unclear landscape. It’s this light that can steer your business barge to safety so that it may stay afloat another day. So long as you follow the navigation of the lighthouse, you’ll surely find solid ground again.

Let Advanced CFO be the lighthouse to your weathered journey of success. With our years of combined experience, there is no storm that Advanced CFO hasn’t seen. We understand that while the passage may be unknown to novice businesses, a safe arrival is always the harbor one aims for. Our beacon of knowledge sheds light on the unknown territory ahead of your journey and can guide your crew to the trove of success.


David Chase, Managing Partner at Advanced CFO, has experience in small to medium private companies and large public companies as a senior operational and financial leader.  With 17 years in finance, a CFO of multiple entities and divisional EVP experience, Dave has a breadth of experience.  Dave has led or been instrumental in raising multiple rounds of equity and debt in excess of $450 million.

http://www.advancedcfo.com

The post We’re Here to Guide You Through the Storm appeared first on Advanced CFO.

from http://advancedcfo.com/were-here-to-guide-you-through-the-storm/

What’s the Secret to Cash Management? Organize, Organize, Organize

Standard

When it comes to handling your business’ cash flow, it’s hard to know which advice to follow. So many different approaches can muddle the clear picture and vastly downplay the difficulties of gaining control of your finances. But we found some of our favorite pieces of advice on the website Investopedia that’s both easy to understand and easy to implement on your own.

So what’s this great advice? Separate and compartmentalize your finances into three separate cash flow categories: operational, investing and financing. By organizing your cash flow, you ensure that all areas of your business are being taken care of. Here’s a closer look as to what these compartments mean for your business.

Operating Cash Flow – When separating your finances, the first group you should prioritize is your day-to-day operations. Your building lease, electricity, payroll – these need to be taken care of first. They may not seem like very important necessities in the larger picture, but without functioning internet or satisfied employees, your company wouldn’t even be able to get off the ground.

Investing Cash Flow – After you’ve ensured that your lights will stay on and your employees paid, the next level of finances you should be eyeing are your investments. Building up your long-term assets will assure that your business has a future to look forward to.

Financing Cash Flow – Now that you’ve secured your day-to-day bills and finances for the future, you should now begin to split up your remaining cash flow and pay back your creditors. Most organizations are content to know you haven’t forgotten about your debts, so don’t panic if you can’t pay them back in full right away.

After all three channels have been taken care of and you still have money left over, you’ll then be in a rare but achievable state of business: liquid assets. Treat yourself and pay off a debt completely, invest in new and promising stock, or even give your company a bonus as a reward for all their hard work.


David Chase, Managing Partner at Advanced CFO, has experience in small to medium private companies and large public companies as a senior operational and financial leader.  With 17 years in finance, a CFO of multiple entities and divisional EVP experience, Dave has a breadth of experience.  Dave has led or been instrumental in raising multiple rounds of equity and debt in excess of $450 million.

http://www.advancedcfo.com

The post What’s the Secret to Cash Management? Organize, Organize, Organize appeared first on Advanced CFO.

from http://advancedcfo.com/whats-secret-cash-management-organize-organize-organize/

Access to Data Is Great, but It’s How You Communicate It That Matters

Standard

Finance gets a well-earned bad wrap sometimes for ‘eye-charts.’ In the article “Access to Data Is Great, but It’s How You Communicate It That Matters“, there is little excuse for presenting information in a way that isn’t Simple, Helpful, Direct, Relevant and New.


Dave Chase is Managing Partner at Advanced CFO.  At Advanced CFO, we provide fractional accounting and financial services. We have served more than 800 clients. They see us as their strategic, outsourced CFO.  We provide CEOs with critical information so they can make key decisions with confidence.  We do this by leveraging our experience and technology to provide actionable information and results.  For more information, click here.

The post Access to Data Is Great, but It’s How You Communicate It That Matters appeared first on Advanced CFO.

from http://advancedcfo.com/access-data-great-communicate-matters/

Lessons From Michael Scott

Standard

Think “What Would Michael Scott Do?” And Then Don’t

When it comes to running a business, no one has more terrible advice than The Office’s very own Michael Scott. All jokes aside, we decided to take a closer look at some of our favorite quotes and learning a lesson in how not to run a start-up business.

“Would I rather be feared or loved? Easy: Both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.”

Managers do need to be approachable in order to be efficient. But a manager who is too approachable and lacks the discipline to make difficult decisions that would be seen as unpopular by their employees? Now, that’s a recipe for destruction with a string of poor business decisions as the ingredients. Don’t be afraid to make the hard calls, no matter what anyone else thinks.

“I declare bankruptcy!!”

It’s true, you do need to invest in adequate and necessary equipment in order to start a business. But borrowing and spending too much too early only accomplishes a high overhead that you will then be obligated to pay – no matter what happens.

“I’m not superstitious, but I am a little stitious.”

This is one piece of advice we could actually use. While you should always seek to expect the unexpected, you wouldn’t want to do it at the cost of high overhead or unnecessary collateral. Be practical and only make decisions based on your current situation.

“I am Beyoncé, always.”

An easy but rookie mistake many make in their beginning stages is having a lack of confidence in their product or services. If you know you have a valuable service or product, then don’t let anyone trick you otherwise.

“Sometimes, I’ll start a sentence and I don’t even know where it’s going. I just hope I find it along the way.”

Now, just replace the word “sentence” with “business.” And then don’t. Not having a plan in place could single handedly be the most effective way to tumble down your barely-off-the-ground business.

There are so many ways to make or break your business, but the number one thing to keep in mind is to take it one day at a time and focus on the most impactful decisions that day.


David Chase, Managing Partner at Advanced CFO, has experience in small to medium private companies and large public companies as a senior operational and financial leader.  With 17 years in finance, a CFO of multiple entities and divisional EVP experience, Dave has a breadth of experience.  Dave has led or been instrumental in raising multiple rounds of equity and debt in excess of $450 million.

http://www.advancedcfo.com

The post Lessons From Michael Scott appeared first on Advanced CFO.

from http://advancedcfo.com/lessons-michael-scott/

Make or Break: Lessons from the Dot.com Bubble of Poor Business Planning

Standard

We all remember the dot.com bubble. A new century and endless possibilities promised a new and exciting market with tremendous economic growth, only to burst at the seams as several companies collapsed and the Federal Reserve increased rates. But from the ashes, sound examples of what not to do in your business planning emerged.

Inspired by CNN’s article “10 Big Dot.Com Flops,” we picked our favorite three bust examples with lessons that transcend time and business market.

Kozmo.com

The snack Uber of its time, Kozmo.com allowed customers to order a range of small purchases that were guaranteed to be delivered within the hour. Founded in 1998, Kozmo was available in nine cities and was once thought to eventually be a direct competitor to UPS and FedEx. But the lack of minimum charge coupled with free delivery was the Achilles heal of this promising plan, and Kozmo.com closed shop in April of 2001.

Lesson learned: Don’t sell yourself short! You have a something that people want, so don’t be afraid to ask for fair compensation in return.

Webvan.com

Remember Webvan? Yeah, neither do we. This grocery delivery service website was undoubtedly the largest of the dot.com’s busts, a victim of growing too fast too quick. At the peak of its success, Webvan.com expanded to eight cities in under 18 months and was valued at $1.2 billion in November of 1999. But the steep downfall put them out of business by July 2001. The culprit? Investors quickly discovered that the customer base and margins were not large enough to sustain projected growth.

The lesson? Only grow as large as your base allows. Make projections optimistic but real or the surprise could kill you.

Flooz.com

Before bitcoin and PayPal was Flooz.com, a site that strictly sold online currency for customers to use instead of credit cards. While the concept may have been questionable to begin with, large investors like Cisco and Delta Air Lines still contributed $35 million. The website spent a pretty penny with its cushioned pockets ($8 million to be exact) with an ad campaign that featured Whoopi Goldberg. But in under two years, the company went bankrupt. Surprised? We weren’t.

The lesson here: While good marketing is definitely worth the investment, no amount of razzle dazzle can make up for a poor business model.  


David Chase, Managing Partner at Advanced CFO, has experience in small to medium private companies and large public companies as a senior operational and financial leader.  With 17 years in finance, a CFO of multiple entities and divisional EVP experience, Dave has a breadth of experience.  Dave has led or been instrumental in raising multiple rounds of equity and debt in excess of $450 million.

http://www.advancedcfo.com

The post Make or Break: Lessons from the Dot.com Bubble of Poor Business Planning appeared first on Advanced CFO.

from http://advancedcfo.com/make-break-lessons-dot-com-bubble-poor-business-planning/

3 Tips to Grow (and Keep Growing) Your Company

Standard

While the goal of every business is to grow, it’s nearly impossible to know how fast it’ll come or how extensive. Unless your hidden talent is seeing the future, a good amount of decision-making will be based on calculated guesses. Your choices, though, should not only be based on what you need now, but also what you might potentially need down the road – without overshooting your target and spending too much.

There are a so many factors to consider when developing your business, from everyday decisions to long-term goals. But there are at least three long-term decisions that can help you advance throughout the years.

  1. Opt for expansive software and streamlined processes.

Finding a quick solution may solve an immediate technical problem, but can sometimes cause severe issues later on. While you won’t always know what the tech world will put out in even a year, try picking a platform and/or suite with more than what you need at the moment so that it can keep up with future growth. The consequences of not always looking ahead is that your entire company could build up too high on an unstable foundation, causing crashes, mishaps and unmanageable technical problems that affect your entire day-to-day work.

  1. Invest in acquiring good employees – and retaining them.

As you grow your business, it’s essential to have a team that can support the expansion. When you pursue candidates, take a close look at not just their experience and knowledge, but also how well they fit with the company culture. Otherwise, they may disengage and look for a better fit somewhere else. Once you’ve attained your dream team, take the extra steps to ensure your investment in time and training is not wasted by fostering a supportive environment. High turnover rates can cost you more in the long run, and the tribal knowledge and hands-on experience those employees take with them can never be bought back.

  1. Be objective in your leadership and decision making.

Trusting your gut is an essential skill to master when developing your company, but don’t mistake pride for intuition. Before making a big decision, listen to your middle management and their thoughts on how a change will affect their teams’ responsibilities. If you’ve hired someone for their knowledge in a specific field, then it’s in your best interest to trust their recommendations. Otherwise, what good is it to bring them in if you won’t listen to their advice? Change and the unknown can make anyone uncomfortable, so do exercise your instinct with confidence – but also look at your hunch from an outside perspective. Is it the right move, or simply the one you feel like making without any data support?

Of course, there are many other ways to prepare your company for growth. Remembering that growth is certain, regardless of size or speed, can help keep perspective on long term goals.

The post 3 Tips to Grow (and Keep Growing) Your Company appeared first on Advanced CFO.

from http://advancedcfo.com/3-tips-grow-keep-growing-company/

On a Scale of 1 to 10, How Prepared Is Your Business for Growth?

Standard

When it comes to growing your business, knowing where to even start can sometimes be the hardest step. One easily identifiable step is having a plan. So on a scale of one to ten, how does your business rank for growth preparedness?

  1.  Executive decisions are made by the hour. It’s hard to know what will pop up by the end of the day.
  2.  There are a couple of goals for each day, but a lot still comes up unplanned.
  3.  Most of the day is scheduled with the rest open to changes.
  4.  Daily targets are met with time left to prepare the following day’s objectives.
  5.  Weekly tasks are outlined in successive order. Only a handful of occurrences are unaccounted for.
  6.  Monthly missions are met with random tasks only occurring on a small daily scale.
  7.  Quarterly objectives are planned months in advance with flexibility to account for unexpected snags.
  8.  Yearly objectives are planned months in advance, with regular checks to ensure targets are on track.
  9.  Yearly action-plans are made months in advance with variables identified and back up plans created.
  10.  Ten-year goals are made with little or no unintentional occurrences.

Clearly, you’re not at 10 – and if you think you are, then you might want to take a closer look at your assessment. No matter how strategic your planning may be, there will always be variables. To successfully scale your business, you need a certain level of flexibility to take the necessary steps and get back on track when things go awry.

Holding on to a plan while the course completely changes is like holding on to a cinder block while on a sinking ship. On the other hand, changing course to ride out every single wave and losing focus of your destination is like sailing without a compass or even identifying which is the North Star (hint: it’s that big bright one ahead).

No matter where you’re at in your planning stage, be sure to keep your long-term plans, with regular re-assessments and a healthy attitude toward change so you can survive the daily challenges of growing your company.

The post On a Scale of 1 to 10, How Prepared Is Your Business for Growth? appeared first on Advanced CFO.

from http://advancedcfo.com/scale-1-10-prepared-business-growth/