Sunday, April 10, 2011

CFO Services - Reducing Business Risk

What would you dare to dream if you knew you wouldn’t fail?

By asking this question I am attempting to put you in the mindset of my clients. I am attempting to put you in the mindset of a business owner, of an entrepreneur. Many of you are probably already in this mindset, but for those who are not, I believe by understanding this mindset it will help you understand this post, because my clients are of this mindset. My clients are entrepreneurs. They will do what others might only dare to dream. They are risk takers because running a business and doing what others might only dare to dream involves great risk. As a part time Chief Financial Officer it is my job to reduce that risk. This is my primary purpose and the primary purpose of a CFO. All of the things that I do is done to achieve the ultimate goal of reducing the risk of business ownership for my clients. Reducing risk gives the business owner more time and more freedom to find and create opportunity.

I see a lot of business owners and the one thing the most successful business owners have in common is the most successful business owners “Know Their Numbers”. They understand their costs, they understand their cash flow, and they have a basic understanding of their balance sheet. By knowing your numbers you are able to make better business decisions and when you make better business decisions you reduce risk.

Knowing your numbers starts with having accurate financial statements and if you don’t have a bookkeeper to accurately maintaining your books and records I guarantee at some point you will be in a lot of trouble. Strong sales can cover a lot of mistakes, but when the sales slow down the strategies you employ during that difficult time depend on financial analysis and if you have bad numbers, forget it.

Simply put, whether times are good or bad, with accurate financial statements you make good business decisions, with inaccurate financial statements you make bad business decisions. Some people say, Why do I need accurate financial statements, I don’t make any decisions based on my financial statements anyway, and I say, that’s called managing by the seat of your pants and guess what, your competition is managing by knowing their numbers. And that’s why people who manage by the seat of their pants and don’t know their numbers, get crushed when sales slow down or in an economic downturn.

By knowing your numbers you will be in control of your decisions, you will be in control of your business and most importantly you will reduce your risk. I wrote a lot about risk today and that ultimately the main reason people hire me is to reduce risk. The Free spirit of the entrepreneur is inherently prone to risk because remember, it all started with the question “What would you dare to dream!!”