Why should you have a virtual CFO in your business

What even is a CFO? A CFO is a Chief Financial Officer or Finance Director (FD).

 

Every big business has a finance director or CFO and they are needed to keep the financial affairs of the business in line and to provide valuable financial management information to the business. They are your trusted adviser and translator of the numbers!

 

In small businesses you don’t need a full-time FD/CFO but you do still want to know what your numbers look like on a monthly basis and have someone checking on a regular basis.  People often think that they can’t afford to have finance support in a business.  This is very different from a year end accountant where they are producing the statutory returns for your business.  They are not there to analyse your business and understand your business in detail but merely to submit the tax and legal requirements.

 

If you just have a year end accountant, this can mean that you only look at your accounts once a...

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What is a power hour and why should you have one?

I think all service businesses (and some product ones too!) should have a power hour as part of their portfolio. It's a chance for people to work with you at relatively low cost, and you can get a result in an hour for the client.

It also deters time wasters who just want something for free.

What is a power hour?

A power hour is an hour of your time where you solve a specific problem for that client. So for me, it is pricing a specific thing, or increasing your profit in a certain area. I can't solve all of your pricing problems in an hour, so it's best to pick a topic and be really clear about what you can (and can't) cover in an hour.

Why do I need a power hour?

Do you often get people "tyre kicking" or saying "can I pick your brains about....."? It can be hard to say no, but you can end up spending a lot of time for free and giving away lots of your hard won experience by doing this. And people will push your boundaries all over the place if you let them!

Is it difficult to set...

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5 ways to stop discounting your services

So today I want to talk to you about five ways to avoid discounting when talking to a client. 

Picture the scenario, you send a proposal to a client and the client says they can't afford that. And the And you immediately offer to discount with no reason to do so.  Instead, take a deep breath and do one of the following 5 things:

  1. Ask the client what the most critical thing that they need doing is.  If they are a new client, it might be that they haven't seen what you can do yet, they might be worried that they're spending money they won't get back. And so ask them what their most critical items are, and which ones you can start with. You could also start with what the budget is, and this would guide you as to what to start with and how they can get a result with a smaller budget.
  2. Packaging your services.  I believe this gives people more options, plus makes it clearer.  It avoids awkward pricing conversations before they even start, so having conversations...
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Pricing for VAT registration

accounting finances tax Oct 28, 2020

It’s safe to say that most businesses want to be financially successful. I’m sure there are many who want to be earning more than £85k per year, right? Well, not necessarily. There are an awful lot of businesses that want to avoid getting near that figure - simply because it’s the threshold for VAT registration!

Don’t want to pay VAT? That’s understandable, but having that artificial ceiling in place is stopping you growing your business further.

So it’s time to stop letting that artificial ceiling stop you. It’s time to realise that paying more tax is a good thing - and here’s how you can pave the way for that transition into VAT registration.

Start increasing your prices before you hit the VAT registration threshold

Look ahead and start increasing your prices. This is especially relevant if you are a B2C (consumer) business or are a business that sells to people who are not VAT registered. Most B2B (selling to businesses)...

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Know your business numbers

business cashflow finances Oct 14, 2020

Do you know your business numbers? It’s one of those areas of business that many shy away from, but it’s a crucial element you need to understand, if you want your business to grow and be profitable. 

So why is it so important and what numbers do you need to know? 

Make informed financial decisions

Knowing your business numbers helps you make informed decisions for your business. For starters, how will you know if your business is making money or losing it? If you know your numbers you can decide if you can afford to make investments or hire a mentor.

But knowing your numbers will also help you know if you’re on track with your business and general financial goals. You can see if you need to increase your prices to cover VAT or to better reflect the value you bring to your customers. 

And if you’re at the stage where you are considering getting someone to invest in your business, you’ll have the numbers to back up why they should consider...

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What is cash flow and why do you need it?

Cash flow is one of the most important things to monitor in your business. Without cash, you don’t have a business - and a lack of cash is one of the biggest reasons why businesses fail.

If you want your business to be successful, it pays to know what is happening financially within it!

Cash flow - the flow of money in your business

Simply put, that is what cash flow is. It’s the money in and money out of your business. That flow of money is the lifeblood of your business. You want a healthy flow of money because, if you have too much money leaving your business or not enough coming in, your business is in trouble.

And if you don’t know what’s happening with your cash flow, you can’t hope to know if your business is profitable or not either.

Why cash flow is important

Knowing and tracking your cash flow is more important in uncertain times. You need to know how long your money would last if you were ill or something happened and you lost key clients...

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Why I'm still selling

This week's blog is a bit different. I feel I need to address the elephant in all our rooms and talk about coronavirus.
 
We live in weird times. My young kids are at home with me and my working schedule has been seriously interrupted as I try to homeschool. I thought it would be nice to have a break over the weekend, but actually structure is important to all of us so trying to think about ways to entertain the kids over the weekend (2 boys can't just hang around all day especially at 7 & 5) and have a break from work was tougher than I anticipated.
 
How is your business doing at this time? Are you thriving or surviving? Trying to juggle it all? Or feeling like you don't have a business left to keep going with?
 
Try not to be limited by your existing business. I have seen loads of great things that people are doing - online pilates, online dog training, vouchers for when restaurants reopen, and paying a deposit to be able to book first when your hairdresser...
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Getting the basics sorted out

finances planning support Mar 25, 2020

Last week, I had some interesting questions with two of my clients. One said that they were putting me on hold as they didn't have enough work for me due to coronavirus and another said they were so glad they were working with me as they need to plan for the lost of income due to the events side of their business.

Now is the time to know your numbers. Look at the following:-

  • Expenses - annual or monthly ones. Can you stop any of these if needed?
    Revenue - talk to your clients about what their expectations are and work with them as much as possible to find a good solution, rather than waiting for them to cancel.
  • Cash - do you know how long your cash will last for?
  • Get a breakeven number (where revenue equals costs) so you know what income you need to run your business.
  • Invoice promptly at all times, but especially at the moment, and shorten your payment terms where you can. Chase those debts soon after they are due as the financial position of companies is changing all the time.
  • ...
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Money mindset

Why do you find difficult to manage your business numbers? Is it because you were told at school you were bad at maths? Is it because you’re just terrible with money?  Have you had debt in the past?
 
These things do not have to be true in the future. However, it is also true that many, many business owners start their business without any real idea about how to manage their numbers. It is one of the most critical part of your business.  You need to manage the numbers carefully but often you set up and run your business without any experience with the numbers.  Many people never take any courses or undertake training in this as they just sort of expect to be able to manage it. 
 
I feel the same way that a lot of you feel about numbers about marketing and recording videos. It feels me with dread and I put off doing it as much as I possibly can. However, I know my business won’t grow if I don’t do my marketing and to this end I’ve...
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