Employing a Part Time Director Will Grow Your Business, Reveals The FD Centre

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Research by the FD Centre shows how employing a part time director not only significantly helps business success, but is also a flexible and cost effective solution to business owners' financial problems.

Research by the FD Centre shows how employing a part time director not only significantly helps business success, but is also a flexible and cost effective solution to business owners' financial problems.

Owners of growing businesses face multiple problems, not least is the myriad of financial concerns associated with running and developing a business - concerns that are usually common, whatever the industry. Doubtless, many business owners and entrepreneurs will be familiar with the following statements.

You run a successful business. You have managed the trials and tribulations of start-up and taken your business to its current position. You've experienced the worries of poor cash flow. Now you see tremendous opportunities to grow your business, however, like many business owners you are struggling through lack of time to exploit those opportunities. In short you are suffering considerable business pain.

Business owners are often 'time poor'. This lack of time is usually because they are tied up with numbers and administration, trying to understand the profit and loss account, balance sheet and cash flow, equipment leasing, financing options, finding business funding and managing internal accounting staff. Often an external accountant does not offer that much needed pro-active support. Business owners are rarely well versed in critical financial requirements, so more time is sucked into an energy draining process, leaving less time to do what they are really good at - developing and growing the business.

Financial solutions that only deliver part of the answer

Most businesses recruit an in-house accountant or a bookkeeper to take some of the financial burden away from the owner and access 'professional' skills to deliver usable financial information. The problem is that many businessmen find only frustration, disappointment and exasperation.

Frustration caused by the length of time it takes to finalise monthly figures. This regularly leaves owners to make business-critical decisions without up to date business information. Disappointment generated by in-house accountants or bookkeepers that produce the numbers but do little to pro-actively help the business owner plan, manage and control the business. When turning externally to their accountants for pro-active support that disappointment is often increased, as they never seem to get off the fence on anything, one wonders precisely who they are working for. They produce year-end accounts and sign off the audit, but although many they say they offer pro-active business advice, they never seem to understand the business issues - the advice is usually generic rarely specific.

Finally, business owners suffer from that most draining of emotions, exasperation. They see tremendous opportunities to develop the business that cannot be turned into reality because they remain bogged down in the administration demands of finance and accounting.

Get off the treadmill and focus on growth, control and profitability

The answer to business owners' problems, even in a small business, is to recruit a finance director. Someone who (to use the vernacular) has been there, seen it and done it. An experienced individual who knows how to finance a business, deal with growth, present meaningful monthly numbers and get the best deals from banks. Unfortunately, individuals with the necessary experience do not come cheap.

The solution is to consider the http:// part time FD option. Owners of SMEs (small medium enterprises), typically those with a turnover between £1 million and £15 million, are prime candidates for a part time finance director solution. Taking the part time option means that business owners can access a finance director with experience of the problems and opportunities, who can organise both the in-house and external accounts functions, and provide some of the answers. An part time solution does not impact payroll or headcount and the business is only charged for the days worked - which may only be a few days per month.

Advantages of the part time finance director solution

A part time solution can provide financial directors with the experience and knowledge to help you plan, manage and control business growth. Often these are individuals with track records of financial success in larger multinational organisations.

So how do you go about finding the best part time FD solution? Before you decide to outsource it is important to establish what you want from the relationship. When you review the market maintain a focus on what you want against what each outsourcer can provide. Most dissatisfaction stems from a fundamental disconnect between these two.

Unfortunately, many SMEs do not carry out sufficient research before they begin outsourcing. For the appointment to be successful, look behind the sales pitch. Does the outsourcer really understand your business? Look for part time finance directors with a successful track record.
Ask to see biographies or career paths, case studies from satisfied customers or reference sites that you can contact.

You don't need extra cost, but you do need real world advice. The benefits of a part time FD could be enormous - to you and your business. You could find it releases exhilarating amounts of personal energy and the potential locked within your business can finally be realised. And the outsource cost will give you a return on investment through better financing costs, improved cash flow, and more effective financial planning, management and control.

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Colin Mills
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