Every business, no matter the size, can benefit from expert financial planning. However, it is uncommon for small business owners to also be financial planners. You might be very good at running your business, but unless you also have education and experience in finances, you need someone to perform your financial planning functions for you.
Perhaps you do have the experience and know-how to analyze your finances. However, where is your time best spent: crunching numbers or running your business? As a small business owner, your focus should be on running the business. Unless you have the ability to hire a full-time Chief Financial Officer (CFO), you might consider outsourcing your financial planning duties to a professional financial management company.
The best CFOs have spent years in school and the business world cultivating experience and knowledge in financial matters. They focus on examining numbers and searching for potential problems or opportunities so they can make recommendations to management to mitigate risks and achieve sustainable growth.
Searching for a Professional Financial Planning Company
When looking for a company to outsource your financial management duties to, hire one whose staff is knowledgeable and experienced in financial planning and accounting.
Each financial management company has its own procedures, but the general principles are the same. Generally, the first step when you outsource your financial planning to an external CFO is to provide all of your financial records so the company can get to know your business. By getting a feel for your company’s weaknesses, strengths and goals, your outsourced CFO can counsel you on your next steps to reach those goals.
You will probably need to provide financial documents that date back as far as five years. This will give your outsourced CFO a comprehensive view of the financial history of your company, including how your historical trends compare to other, similar companies in your industry.
The outsourced CFO can then perform hypothetical scenarios and forecasts to provide some control over your financial future. While no one knows exactly what will happen in the marketplace at any given time, if you plan for every foreseeable change, you will be in a much better position than if you just stumble blindly on.
Hypothetical scenarios are not just for risk management. They are also used to plan and maintain sustainable growth. By conducting these scenarios, your outsourced CFO can counsel you on when to take out a loan, change your pricing structure, expand your business or any of dozens of other actions that can help your company grow.
No matter what kind of business you run, your finances need careful attention to help you survive. For many small businesses, outsourcing their financial planning duties to an external CFO or professional financial management firm is a wise and practical way to achieve and maintain financial health.
Author: Jennifer Walker