Should You Hire a Full-Time or Fractional CFO?

In times of economic stress, all companies must contend with financial challenges. A qualified Chief Financial Officer can help business leaders navigate the chaos and make wiser decisions. However, some companies may find a permanent, full-time CFO to be a strain on their books.

The gig economy has given rise to an alternative option: the fractional CFO. This part-time, contracted occupation can be a good solution for organizations that need financial clarity but are reluctant to commit to a full-time position.

Could a fractional CFO be the answer for your company?

What Is a Fractional CFO?

A fractional CFO is a business consultant who offers financial guidance to businesses of all sizes. Rather than working full-time, a fractional CFO is hired on a part-time, project or contract basis. Many fractional CFOs work with multiple companies at once.

Fractional CFOs perform the same duties as dedicated, full-time CFOs. They guide businesses through threatening economic times, empowering leaders to make better decisions and steering their efforts in raising capital, driving financial growth, facilitating audits, and negotiating with vendors and partners.

A fractional CFO can provide the knowledge and resources needed to help a company weather the storm, especially in times of uncertainty. Startups or struggling businesses can realize all the benefits of a full-time CFO without committing to a full-time salary or benefits package.

Facing Economic Reality

During times of economic hardship, major corporations are forced to lay off workers, and small-to-medium-sized companies must deal with tighter budgets and organizational structures. Here are some key points:

  • Startups and small businesses often can’t afford to retain a full-time CFO 
  • The average salary for a full-time CFO in a small, private company topped $194,000 in 2023, according to Driven Insights
  • Larger businesses hired CFOs for an average base salary of more than $306,000, not including benefits, stock options, or bonuses

Location also plays a role. Companies in large metropolitan areas like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago pay more for full-time CFOs than those in smaller cities.

Retaining fractional CFOs can make a lot of sense for companies. These professionals have the requisite knowledge to keep businesses moving in slow economies and are skilled at finding opportunities for savings and investments that can shore up their finances.

Benefits of Hiring a Fractional CFO

A fractional CFO can offer a company several distinct advantages, including the following.

Cost-Effectiveness

Fractional CFOs typically charge by the hour, meaning companies don’t have to commit to a full-time salary that might include downtime. Fractional CFOs are paid only for the time they actively work on business matters, making them more cost-effective for smaller businesses.

Flexibility

Fractional CFOs are also easier to work with from an operational standpoint. Company leaders can hire them on a part-time or project basis, so they can work with multiple businesses at once. They also give hiring managers a great deal of freedom when it comes to staffing.

Expertise

Since many fractional CFOs work with more than one company at any given time, they often have a wide range of business knowledge that spans numerous sectors. This makes it easier for them to develop “outside the box” strategies that a full-time CFO might not come up with.

Networking

Fractional CFOs frequently partner with other finance professionals, including accountants, bankers, business attorneys, tax consultants, and insurance brokers. They can rely on their networks to serve the businesses they work for and help them fill other roles.

Hiring a Fractional CFO

Fractional CFO rates are contingent on several factors, including:

  • The amount of time they work
  • Their depth of knowledge and experience
  • The sectors they’re familiar with
  • Their specialized skills

The cost of hiring a fractional CFO might be a flat fee or a monthly retainer, and some charge more than others. This means that hiring managers have some leeway when it comes to compensation.

Make the Right Choice for Your Business

Ultimately, there’s no right or wrong answer to what kind of CFO your business hires. 

There may be good reasons to take on a full-time worker. In this era of economic instability, however, it may make more sense to consider working with a fractional CFO.

The knowledgeable professionals at Zabel & Co. can tell you more about the responsibilities and advantages of fractional CFOs. Contact us using our convenient online form, call us at 651-605-2301, or email us at info@zabelco.com today.

Scaling Profitability vs. Revenue: What’s the Difference?

Startups and small businesses often face great pressure to quickly generate income. That said, is making consistent revenue the key to enduring business success? Or is it better to create sustainable growth for the future, even if it means making sacrifices in the present?

The answers aren’t quite as cut and dry as you may expect, and they largely depend on the current stage and ambition of the business. Generally, though, after a business has established its model for revenue growth, it’s better served by scaling to create a durable, broadened business model.

Revenue vs. Profitability

While the two words may appear to define the same thing, “revenue” and “profitability” imply different money-earning approaches. 

“Revenue” (or “gross revenue”) refers to the income that your business generates through its normal operations. Sales, fees, charges, donations, and other transactions represent revenue streams. However, earning more revenue doesn’t necessarily mean a company is maximizing its potential.

“Profitability,” on the other hand, measures how much income your business makes after deducting its typical expenses and business costs. In addition to setting a price for the goods or services it offers, a business needs to control and limit the expenses it incurs in making or providing its product. That reflects its potential for sustained growth: its scalability.

Four Business Stages

The lifespan of an independent business can be laid out in four general stages:

  • Launch: The official start of business operations
  • Growth: Establishing a system for revenue and income
  • Sustainability: Achieving stability through efficiency and risk management
  • Scalability: Increasing expansion and volume of activity or transactions

Most businesses follow this general flow of development. Some are content to stop when they’ve reached a level of sustainability, while others seek to expand their potential and explore scalability.

Comparing Growth and Scalability Mindsets

Business owners all want to achieve a level of success, but where they go after they’ve reached that point depends on their ambition and risk tolerance.

Choosing Growth

Every business owner wants to grow, and some hit a point of comfort and profitability that makes them happy. They’ve hit a work-life balance they’re satisfied with, filled an in-demand niche, or provided services to a client base that keeps coming back.

In any case, for the owners of these types of businesses, staying profitable is enough. There may be trade-offs, like working longer hours and limiting expenses, but it’s certainly possible to maintain a satisfactory life.

Choosing Scalability

Other business owners want to increase their business value. They seek to produce more growth by capping expenses, increasing efficiency, and adding more features or capabilities. They also build internal processes to streamline production and customer service, hiring more employees and attracting more investors to facilitate expansion.

The scalability mindset is a framework for keeping a business relevant long after its founders have moved on. It’s a method to track customers through the entire cycle of using their products, year after year, one that involves significant reinvestments of work and capital for extended periods.

Which Mindset Is Better?

Neither mindset is inherently better or worse than the other. Millions of small businesses in America have served their local communities without scaling upward and enjoy staying within those parameters.

That said, the American model of entrepreneurial success is driven by economies of scale. Business dynamics focus on competition, innovation, reinvestment, and collaboration. Growing in scale has an impact on job creation, technological progress, access to capital, and global presence.

Strategies for Scaling Profitability

How do you start thinking in terms of scalability for your small business? Here are a few steps to take in the transition:

Set Realistic Goals

Document your ability to increase workloads, budgets, and staff to meet scalability needs, then set reachable benchmarks for your products and your customer base.

Adjust Your Work Standards

Take a look at your processes to evaluate your production efficiency. Wherever possible, set prescribed routines and streamline operations to save money, time, and energy.

Build a Collaborative Network

The small business community has specialists, colleagues, resources, and potential collaborators who regularly help each other meet their needs. Start with local contacts and grow your business network organically.

Re-Establish Your Priorities

You started your company because you wanted to do what you’re best at. And now that you’ve reached a modicum of success, you need to start thinking about your product or service as something the world needs. Build your aims around that global reach.

Revenue Is for Now — Profit Is Forever

Generating more revenue is important, but it’s not necessarily the smarter way to keep your business relevant or operational. By learning how to retain and grow income across different revenue streams, you can build a business that’s profitable, influential, and sustainable. Connect with Zabel & Co. today to get started.

How a Business Advisor Can Help You Grow in 2024

Running a business is a daunting task, but not as daunting as navigating it through a rapidly changing business landscape. With the emergence of new technologies, fierce competition, and economic ups and downs, it is crucial for businesses to have a clear strategy to stay ahead of the game. That’s where a business advisor comes in – they are a partner who helps companies make informed decisions that will drive growth and profitability in the long run.

In this article, we discuss how a business advisor can help you achieve greater success in 2024. From improving cash flow management to identifying strategic growth opportunities and creating stronger efficiencies and productivity in your business, we’ll show you how partnering with a business advisor can make a meaningful impact on your organization.

Improving Cash Flow Management

Profitability doesn’t equal a strong cash flow. A business advisor will help you manage your cash flow by analyzing your financial statements to identify areas where expenses can be reduced and revenue increased. They will teach you how to prioritize payments, keep your books up to date, and identify opportunities to improve collections and payments from customers. This is a critical skill for businesses to master – especially in a climate where being cash-positive is vital for survival.

Identifying Strategic Growth Opportunities

Stagnation is the enemy of business growth. A business advisor can identify new growth opportunities that you might not have considered on your own. They will evaluate your existing business model, market, and competition to identify untapped markets or new products/services that can drive revenue and increase the possibility for scale. A business advisor can provide you with objective, data-driven insights, including profitability analysis, investment opportunities, and more, which can help you make informed decisions and pivot, if necessary.

Stronger Efficiencies and Productivity in Your Business

Efficiency and productivity go hand in hand in business – they’re the keys to making your business run smoothly and profitably. A business advisor can help streamline your business, eliminate bottlenecks, and reduce waste. They can also show you how to leverage technology to automate processes, increase efficiency, and reduce the chance of errors. Implementing time-saving technologies like AI and Machine Learning can help you achieve better productivity and save time that can be reinvested in growing your business.

Making Moves for Long-Term Success

It’s easy to get caught thinking about quick wins and short-term strategies for immediate success. A business advisor can help guide you toward making moves that set you up for long-term success. Whether it’s sustainable expansion or making decisions that keep your business competitive, a seasoned business advisor can provide you with the knowledge to guide your business while avoiding common pitfalls.

How Zabel & Co. Can Help

A business advisor is a partner who will help you overcome the challenges your business is facing and unlock your full growth potential. With a proven track record of success, our business advisory services provide you with the expertise you need to make informed decisions that drive results. Our weekly value builder series can help you increase the value of your business for your eventual exit. Contact our Principal, Todd Zabel, to get started on your path to achieving exponential growth in 2024. Whether you’re a start-up or an established business looking to expand, partnering with a business advisor is the best way to achieve your goals and create long-term growth.

3 Essential Steps to Drive Business Growth in 2024

The business world is constantly evolving, and businesses need to evolve with it to thrive. Business growth is crucial for success, but achieving growth requires a strategic approach to operations, marketing, and sales. If you want to drive business growth in 2024, Zabel & Co. is here to help.

With years of experience helping clients achieve sustained growth, we recommend three key strategies to help your business thrive in the competitive market. Our three-step plan involves investing in digital transformation, prioritizing sustainability, and cultivating a strong company culture. We’ll delve into each of these strategies in detail so you can be sure to implement them effectively.

Invest in Digital Transformation

In today’s increasingly digital world, businesses that fail to keep up with the rapid pace of technological progress risk falling behind their competitors. Companies must embrace modern technology to enhance their efficiency and drive innovation. By undergoing a digital transformation, businesses can consolidate and streamline their digital processes, leading to improved productivity and cost-effectiveness.

At Zabel & Co., we specialize in assisting businesses in identifying and implementing the right tools to optimize their operations. Our team of experts is dedicated to helping companies improve customer relationships, streamline their workflows, and ultimately gain a competitive edge in the market. With our tailored solutions and strategic guidance, businesses can confidently navigate the digital landscape, staying ahead of the curve and maximizing their potential for success.

Prioritize Sustainability

Creating consistent and sustainable growth in a business requires a strong focus on strategic planning, customer satisfaction, and continual innovation. A business should have clear, measurable goals and a strategic plan to reach them. This includes identifying a unique selling proposition, understanding market trends, and positioning the business accordingly. Ensuring customer satisfaction is key to sustained growth, as happy customers are likely to return and refer others. Finally, businesses should foster a culture of innovation. By continually seeking to improve products, services, and processes, a business can stay competitive, adapt to changing consumer demands, and achieve long-term sustainability.

Through our consultancy services, we can help foster a culture of continual improvement in your organization, enabling you to adapt to changing consumer demands and maintain a competitive edge. By partnering with Zabel & Co., you can effectively drive business growth and achieve long-term sustainability.

Cultivate a Strong Company Culture

Establishing a robust company culture is crucial for business growth as it shapes the way employees engage with their work and each other. A strong culture instills a sense of identity among employees and fosters an environment conducive to innovation, collaboration, and problem-solving. More than just a set of rules, company culture is the heartbeat of an organization, influencing productivity, employee retention, and overall morale. It acts as a guiding principle, aligning the team’s efforts and paving the way towards achieving the company’s strategic goals. Thus, creating a positive, nurturing culture should be a top priority for businesses seeking ongoing growth.

Our team is dedicated to working closely with you to develop and nurture a company culture that aligns with your values, empowers your employees, and drives long-term success. A strong company culture is vital to unlocking the full potential of your organization, and we are committed to helping you achieve it. 

Let Us Help You Unlock Business Growth in 2024

At Zabel & Co., we love to help our clients achieve sustained business growth. Successful businesses must adapt to the evolving technological landscape, prioritize innovation and strategic planning, and foster a positive company culture to inspire innovation, creativity, and employee collaboration. We hope this blog post has provided valuable insights into these three essential business growth strategies.

Reach out to a Business Advisor at Zabel & Co. to collaborate with an expert and learn how to unlock your business’s growth potential in 2024. Let’s chat!

Unleashing Your Business’s Potential to Create a Fulfilling Life

As a business owner, you set the rules for your company, your work schedule, and your income. You are the captain of the ship, and your business is the vehicle that takes you to your desired destination. Have you ever thought about how your business can help create the life you desire? 

Creating a fulfilling life through your business does not mean all work and no play. Instead, it means finding ways to make the most of your opportunities while taking care of yourself in the process. In this blog post, we will discuss why and how your business is the vehicle for you to have a great life. We will share how your business can help you achieve the life you dream about.

Enjoy a Flexible Schedule

One of the biggest advantages of running your own business is the flexibility it provides. You can create a schedule that works best for you. You can decide when and where you work. This means you have the freedom to prioritize what matters most to you. You can schedule work around important events and personal commitments, such as spending time with family, traveling, or pursuing your hobbies. 

With complete control over your time and location, the possibilities are endless. You have the ability to embrace the freedom that comes with being your own boss and seize the opportunity to create a work-life balance that brings fulfillment and joy to every aspect of your life.

High-Income Potential

As a business owner, you have the potential to earn more than you would in a traditional job. Your income is based on the success of your business. You can increase your profits and income by working hard, improving your operations, and expanding your customer base.

In creating a successful business, you also have the opportunity to sell it for a premium price, which can set you up for life. Here are some ways to increase your income through your business:

  • Manage Your Cash Flow: Good cash flow management is essential for business success. Tracking your cash inflows and outflows ensures you always have enough money to cover your expenses. Managing your cash flow correctly can help you plan your business growth, save for the future, and invest in assets that will help your company prosper.
  • Optimize Profitability: Every business has the potential to be profitable, but only if it’s run effectively. By optimizing profitability, you can ensure your business is sustainable over the long term. You can improve your profitability by reducing costs, increasing revenue, and streamlining your operations. The key is staying disciplined and continuously monitoring your business metrics.
  • Put Scaling Mechanisms in Place through Strong Sales and Marketing: Growth is a critical component of a successful business. An essential way to scale your business is through strong sales and marketing. Developing a robust sales and marketing strategy can attract new customers, encourage repeat business, and expand your business reach. By putting scaling mechanisms in place, you can continue to grow your business and reduce your workload over time.

Establish Self-Sufficient Operations

An aspect often overlooked but crucial to business success is the ability to operate efficiently without the owner’s constant presence. Establishing thorough systems and processes is vital to achieve this. Things you can start doing now to create self-sufficient operations:

  • Document every operation in your business, from administrative tasks to customer management. 
  • Train employees to follow these processes, ensuring consistency and efficiency.
  • Identify potential leaders within your team and provide them with opportunities for growth and development. 
  • Implement technologies that automate tasks to aid in making your business self-sufficient. 

Having a business that can run independently gives you peace of mind and adds significant value should you ever decide to sell it.

Let Us Help You Create a Life of Freedom

Running your business well can provide an opportunity to have the life you desire. We can help you set up your business to run without you, giving you the freedom to enjoy your life. By working with a Business Advisor at Zabel & Co., you can collaborate with an expert to unleash your business’s potential and create a life you love. Let’s chat!

Risk Mitigation Techniques Every Business Owner Should Know

Owning a business comes with many risks, and it is the responsibility of the business owner to mitigate these risks effectively. Running a business presents a myriad of challenges, spanning from financial and legal risks to the ever-present threat of cybersecurity. To maintain the vitality and success of your organization, it is essential to have proven risk mitigation strategies in place. No one wants to find themselves in a situation where their entire livelihood is at risk. Every business owner should be familiar with these risk mitigation techniques:

Policies and Procedures

Setting up accurately defined policies and procedures is of utmost importance when it comes to risk mitigation. These guidelines serve as a roadmap for employees, providing them with a clear path to follow and ultimately reducing the occurrence of errors. It is crucial for companies to have a comprehensive handbook that outlines not only the day-to-day operations and safety practices but also the technological aspects and other relevant practices of the business. Employees should have a thorough understanding of the risks associated with their roles and the necessary steps to mitigate them.

In order to ensure the effectiveness of these guidelines, it is essential to periodically update the handbook to reflect any recent changes in operations, legal requirements, and industry trends. This ensures that employees are equipped with the most up-to-date information and practices, enabling them to mitigate risks more effectively and maintain a safe and compliant work environment.

Documentation

Effective documentation processes are crucial for mitigating risks and ensuring accountability. By maintaining proper records, businesses can provide concrete evidence in the event of disputes or legal matters. It is imperative for these records to be well-organized and securely stored, encompassing all relevant documents such as contracts, receipts, and agreements.

For instance, in human resources management, businesses should maintain a comprehensive record of their employees’ performance evaluations, disciplinary procedures, and details related to promotions or transfers. This level of detail helps maintain transparency, facilitates informed decision-making, and fosters a fair and productive work environment.

Change Management

To effectively mitigate risk, every change made to the business must be deliberate and thoroughly analyzed. This entails considering every aspect of any proposed change and carefully evaluating its potential impact on the company’s operations. This evaluation process may involve conducting extensive meetings and consultations with various stakeholders, including employees, business advisors, legal advisors, finance experts, and industry consultants with relevant expertise. 

By fostering a culture of collaboration and inclusivity, businesses minimize the likelihood of costly mistakes and maintain a distinct competitive edge in the ever-evolving market landscape.

Managing Cash Flow

Every business owner understands the critical importance of cash flow management. It is the lifeblood that keeps a business running smoothly and ensures its long-term success. Business owners must diligently monitor all revenue and expenses to optimize cash flow, leaving no stone unturned. A healthy cash flow can be cultivated by creating realistic financial goals and implementing effective strategies, paving the way for sustainable growth.

In cases where a business is struggling with cash flow, it is essential for the owner to take a step back and re-evaluate the financial and operational processes. Identifying areas that require improvement and making necessary changes is crucial for turning the tide.

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a vital and rapidly evolving aspect of risk mitigation strategies in today’s digital landscape. As cyber-attacks continue to grow in sophistication and frequency, it has become more imperative than ever for businesses to prioritize and invest in robust cybersecurity measures. 

To protect against threats, businesses should implement a multi-layered security approach. This includes encrypting sensitive data, deploying comprehensive firewalls, and regularly updating software to address vulnerabilities. Cybersecurity is not just IT’s responsibility; every employee plays a crucial role. Businesses can create a culture of awareness by providing comprehensive training and teaching employees to identify and report risks like phishing emails. These proactive measures mitigate risks and safeguard assets, data, and reputation in our complex digital world.

Get Expert Help with Your Risk Mitigation

Every business owner should be aware of the risks their company may face and prepare to mitigate them effectively. By working with a Business Advisor at Zabel & Co., you can collaborate with an expert to implement these risk mitigation strategies and create a robust framework to set up your organization for ongoing success and growth. Let’s chat!

How a Business Advisor Can Help You Maximize Your Company’s Growth and Create a Fulfilling Life

As a business owner, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations of running a company. You may find yourself struggling to keep up with the demands of your business while also trying to maintain a fulfilling personal life. The truth is that your business should be the vehicle for you to live a great life. And sometimes, it takes an outsider to help you see things you may have otherwise missed. That’s where a business advisor comes in.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss how leveraging the expertise of a business advisor can help you maximize your company’s growth and create a more fulfilling life for yourself. From resources and connections to valuable insight and guidance, there are many ways a business advisor can assist you in achieving long-term success:

Benefit from Outsider Insight

When you’re in the thick of running a business, it can be challenging to see the forest for the trees. You may be so involved in the day-to-day operations that you miss valuable opportunities to grow and improve. That’s where a business advisor can come in. By providing an outside perspective, they can offer valuable insights and guidance you might not have considered. This unbiased approach can help you identify blind spots in your business and discover new ways to improve.

Leverage Experience and Resources

Business advisors bring a wealth of experience and resources to the table. They have worked with countless businesses and have seen first-hand what works and what doesn’t. This experience can help you avoid common pitfalls, streamline processes, and ultimately achieve your business goals faster. Additionally, business advisors often have access to valuable resources and connections you might not otherwise have. This can include access to financing, industry experts, and other key players in your industry.

Build a Business That Supports Your Life

At the end of the day, your business should support the life you want to live—not the other way around. A business advisor can help you identify your priorities and create a roadmap that aligns with your personal and professional goals. By focusing on building a business that supports the life you want to live, you can enjoy a more fulfilling personal life while also achieving long-term business success.

Work to Live, Not Live to Work

As a business owner, it’s easy to get sucked into the idea that your work should be your life. But the reality is your business is just one aspect of your life. By working with a business advisor, you can create a more balanced approach that allows you to prioritize your personal life without sacrificing your business goals. This includes delegating tasks, building a solid team, and creating systems to streamline operations.

Achieve Long-Term Success

Ultimately, the goal of working with a business advisor is to achieve long-term success. This means building a profitable, sustainable business that aligns with your personal and professional goals. By leveraging outsider insight, experience, resources, and a focus on building a business that supports your life, you can maximize your company’s growth and create a more fulfilling life for yourself.

Get Expert Help with Your Business Planning

A business advisor can be a valuable asset for any business owner seeking long-term success. From valuable insight and guidance, to accessing resources and connections, there are many ways that a business advisor can help you maximize your company’s growth and create a more fulfilling life for yourself.

So why not take advantage of this valuable resource? By working with a business advisor at Zabel & Co., you can create a roadmap that aligns with your personal and professional goals and ultimately achieve the success you’ve been striving for. Let’s chat!

Why is Cash Flow Management So Important for Business Owners?

Cash flow is critical to the success of any business. As a business owner, it’s essential for you to understand why cash flow management is so important. Poor cash flow management can lead to bankruptcy or loss of business. 

One way to improve cash flow management is to regularly review your business’s financial statements and identify areas where you can cut costs or increase revenue. Having a plan in place for managing unexpected expenses or dips in revenue is also essential. By staying vigilant and proactive, you can help ensure the long-term success of your business.

In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of cash flow management and why business owners need to be proactive in managing the flow of cash in and out of their business:

Helps to Maintain Stability

Cash flow management helps to maintain stability in your business. You need to know how much cash is coming in and going out of your business at any given time. You need to be able to forecast future cash inflows and outflows to ensure that you have enough cash to cover your expenses. This is particularly important during slow sales periods or when you are expanding your business.

Without proper cash flow management, your business can quickly become unstable, making it difficult to stay afloat. By tracking your cash inflows and outflows, you can create a budget to ensure you’re putting your money to the best use. This can help you identify areas where you can cut back on expenses and opportunities for investment or growth. By staying on top of your cash flow, you’ll be better prepared to weather any financial downturns that may come your way.

Facilitates Strategic Decision Making

Cash flow management helps you to make informed decisions about your business. You can use your cash flow data to determine how much cash you need to invest in new products or services, how much you can afford in terms of marketing and advertising, and how much you should set aside for emergency funds. By using cash flow data, you can better plan for long-term growth and profitability.

Cash flow management allows you to identify areas where you may be overspending or wasting money. By tracking your cash flow, you can adjust your business strategy and reduce unnecessary expenses, ultimately leading to increased profitability and success.

Enables Better Credit Management

Cash flow management helps you to manage your credit better. You can use cash flow reports to determine if you need to apply for credit lines or if you need to pay down debt. You can also use cash flow data to negotiate better payment terms with your suppliers. You can avoid late payment fees and improve your credit score by paying your bills on time.

Helps to Avoid Cash Shortages

Cash flow management helps you to avoid cash shortages. If you don’t have enough cash to pay your bills, you risk late payment fees, damaging your credit score, and even going out of business. By proactively managing your cash flow, you can ensure you always have enough cash to meet your needs.

This is why it’s important to review your cash flow and regularly adjust as needed. You may need to cut back on expenses or explore new revenue streams to maintain a healthy cash balance. With careful planning and monitoring, you can avoid the stress and financial strain of cash shortages.

Enables Business Growth

Cash flow management enables business growth. If you want to expand your business, you must ensure you have enough cash to cover startup and ongoing expenses. You can use cash flow reports to identify areas of your business that generate the most cash and areas where you need to make cuts. You can use this information to invest in new technology, products, or services to drive growth and profitability.

Crucial for the Success of Any Business

Effective cash flow management is critical for the success of any business. As a business owner, you must be proactive in managing your cash flow. By maintaining stable cash flow, facilitating strategic decision-making, managing your credit better, avoiding cash shortages, and enabling business growth, you can ensure your business is successful today and in the future. Implementing a cash flow management system is an excellent investment in your business’s success. Here are three steps you can take now to improve your cash flow. 

Get Expert Help with Your Cash Flow

If you’re having trouble managing your company’s cash flow, getting expert help is important. Our team of professionals at Zabel & Co. can help you understand your cash flow situation and develop a plan to improve it. Let’s chat!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Do You Need a Quarterly Financial Check-In?

Once tax season is over, you might think you can breathe easy until next year, but — despite sounding like a pain — it will be better for you to conduct a quarterly financial check-in to keep your finger on the pulse of your business.

Here are some reasons why you should consider a financial check-in every three months:

Keeping Tabs on Your Financial Data

Ask yourself whether you know how your business is functioning right now. While you may have a general idea of where you stand, a quarterly check-in can ensure that you know exactly where you stand financially, giving you an update on things like profit margins, working capital, and other important data. With the right software, all of that information can be available at your fingertips.

Making Informed Business Decisions

Throughout the fiscal year, you’ll need to make decisions about what’s best for your company. These can range from things like purchasing new inventory, launching a new marketing campaign, or even hiring new staff.

If you don’t have access to your current business data, you’re left to make these decisions in the dark. Having access to your company’s financial records empowers you to make choices that make sense for the bigger picture of your business and give you greater confidence in your future.

Tracking KPIs

Many entrepreneurs set goals for themselves, the best of which are measurable. For instance, you might measure the success of your marketing campaigns by seeing an increase in revenue. 

Instead of waiting for the end of the year to evaluate your performance toward your goals, you can tap into your current data to provide yourself with a progress update. In other words, a quarterly check-in will allow you to establish regular benchmarks so you can more closely monitor your strategic business decisions. 

Keeping Your Business Plan Up-to-Date

Your business plan should be kept up-to-date and accurate. Not only will it keep you and your leadership accountable to your company goals, but lenders and stakeholders are also likely to ask to see your plan before approving any funding. Having quarterly financial data ensures that you keep your governing documents up-to-date, which will make it easier to obtain funding whenever you may need it.

Adapting to New Challenges

Many business owners are feeling the strain caused by rising interest rates and inflationary pressures. To counter these hurdles, you’ll need to adjust your finances to keep up with rising challenges.

A quarterly check-in might reveal that your overhead costs are negatively impacting your profit margin, for instance, and knowing that will allow you to adjust your business model to minimize its operating expenses or find ways to increase revenue.

Seizing New Opportunities

During the year, you may encounter new opportunities to expand your product line or purchase a new piece of equipment for your company, but you can’t capitalize on these kinds of opportunities unless you know whether your business can handle them.

Having access to regular, up-to-date financial data will not only guide your business decisions but can also help you seize new opportunities as they come your way. The best way to stay flexible is to stay informed and on top of your business’s performance.

Maximizing Future Tax Deductions

You can deduct many common business expenses from your annual taxes, but in order to do so properly, you’ll need to keep track of your receipts and documentation to validate these deductions. Quarterly check-ins ensure that you keep track of your records and that no deductible expense is missed.

A regular check-in can, likewise, enable you to plan your deductions more effectively, and by planning them in advance, you can reduce your tax liability in a way that aligns with your broader business strategy.

Preventing Financial Missteps

No business owner wants to make a purchasing decision only to realize that they lack the cash flow to execute it. If you don’t keep track of your business data, you could quickly run out of the working capital you need to cover your expenses and pay your employees. Quarterly check-ins will keep you informed about your company’s finances and prevent the kinds of errors that can land you in jeopardy.

Get the Help You Need

Managing your finances is hard work, but thankfully, there’s Zabel and Co. We offer fractional CFO services that give you access to industry-leading expertise at a fraction of the cost of a full-time worker. Reach out for help today.

If You Wanted to Sell Your Business, Could You Also Maximize Its Value?

You’ve put countless hours into building a successful business. But when the time comes to leave it, what will you do?

Recent studies indicate that even founders of highly successful businesses find themselves facing a similar problem: they regret the way they handled leaving their businesses.

A successful exit takes planning and coordination. And when you plan ahead, you can also maximize your company’s value before you sell. Here’s how to do just that.

Recruit (and Keep) Top Talent

Employees are at the heart of every business. In order to make your business as attractive as possible to potential buyers, you should make every effort to make sure your most qualified employees stay on after a sale.

But how do you do that? The key is to incentivize staying on with your business. You might consider offering employees equity ownership in your company. Alternatively, you could offer bonuses tied to company profits. With these incentives in place, your employees will be as invested in your company’s success as you are.

Organize Your Books

If your business’s books have gotten jumbled and disorganized over the years, you aren’t alone. But cleaning up your books and making them easy to follow is essential if you want to make top dollar on your business sale. 

One of the best ways to do this is to hire a professional bookkeeping team — professionals can not only fix issues with your books but also optimize them so your business makes a great impression on potential buyers.

Find a Niche

Certain sectors are saturated with businesses; if your company doesn’t have anything distinguishing it from its competitors, you’ll have trouble selling it for a high price. In some cases, you might have trouble selling it at all!

The easiest way to stand out to buyers is to find a niche to dominate. For example, maybe you specialize in computer repair but you’re the only company that will go to a customer’s home to do the repair. Once you find a way to stand out, emphasize that facet of your business to potential buyers.

Make Sure You Have a Clear Sales and Marketing Process

When a would-be buyer evaluates your business, they’ll want to see that sales and marketing will continue just fine without you. For instance, if lead generation is an important part of your business and how it works, you should be able to document the lead-generation process for a potential buyer.

It’s also wise to make sure that you don’t depend on a few customers for the majority of your sales. This type of situation is a risky one for buyers. After all, if one of your customers starts buying elsewhere, a significant portion of your sales will disappear. Before you sell, analyze your customer base to make sure it’s significantly diverse.

Clean Up Your Website

Having a nicer website might sound trivial, but it’s an important part of the impression you make on buyers. In many cases, your website is a buyer’s (or customer’s) introduction to your company. If your site is jumbled, hard to navigate, or rife with grammatical errors, you’ll come off as unprofessional.

On the other hand, if you have an aesthetically appealing, navigable website, you’ve already made your business look trustworthy. Your site also allows you to point out key business attributes — something potential buyers are certainly looking for. 

Here are a few things to make sure you include on your website:

  • How long you’ve been in business
  • Why you do what you do
  • What sets you apart from competitors
  • How to contact you

If you don’t have existing web design skills, hiring a web designer is worth it. The one-time fee you pay will likely end up getting you a higher price when you do finally sell your business.

Handle Leaving Your Company the Right Way

Don’t be like the countless founders who came to regret the way they left their companies. Long before you’re ready to leave, it’s a good idea to start formulating a plan — and part of that plan is maximizing your business’s value. 

It’s never too early to start looking to the future! Use this checklist to start developing your long-term plan.