Sales are up. New customers are flooding in. You can’t stop hiring. This is it, this is the dream. Everything is falling into place. But where’s all the money you were expecting to follow this level of success? And why is your time being monopolised by tasks that have little to do with growth?Sometimes the positives of a growing business (sales, customers) can mask the negatives (poor cash flow, inefficient processes). Eventually, that mask will slip. Running a business on gut instinct is fine in the beginning, but it will only get you so far. There will come a point when your business can no longer live inside your head; it needs structure, systems, and processes to thrive and survive. That’s when you need the help of a Virtual Finance Director. And in this post, we’re going to share five clear signs that the time is right to hire one.
1. You’re not getting the financial information you require
Most growing businesses will have some sort of accounting system in place. Whether it’s software or a spreadsheet, at the very least you’ll have an idea of your sales and expenses. But as your business grows beyond a startup and enters the territory of a scale up, you’ll have to deal with more transactions and a greater degree of complexity. Making sense of these numbers, and understanding what’s important and what isn’t can make all the difference to the success of your business. A VFD can dissect your financials and deliver easy-to-digest reports that help you make crucial decisions – ones that will impact the short and long-term future of your company.
2. You can’t pin down your cash flow
At best, your cash flow is unpredictable. At worst, it’s a mystery. Cash flow challenges are the number one cause of business collapse, but often, with a little careful planning, they can be avoided. Hiring a VFD gives you peace of mind that your cash is being tracked; that obstacles are identified; and that funding options are explored to help you overcome these challenges.
3. You know you need a plan
When you first launched your business, you probably had a business plan of sorts. Maybe it was written as a checkbox exercise, or maybe a local authority or bank wanted to see one before providing you with funding. Whatever its background, chances are it’s now gathering dust – but still, you know deep down you need a plan. You just don’t have the time.A VFD can shoulder that burden, creating a robust financial business plan based on real numbers and realistic projections. What’s more, they can help you execute and track your plan.
4. You have questions without answers
Friends. Family. Twitter followers. They’re all good for a quick chat when it comes to your business, but how many have the time or expertise to dig down into the details? Instead, you need someone you trust and who knows what they’re talking about to help you explore the finer details. A VFD can be on hand when you have questions about pricing, salaries, opportunities or threats. Furthermore, they won’t just tell you what you want to hear; they’ll challenge you and keep you accountable.
5. You want to work on (not in) your business
As a business owner, it’s your job to shape strategy and drive growth. You need to delegate the small stuff and focus on the big picture. Yet, more often than not, business owners are sucked back into the day-to-day, spending hours approving invoices or reconciling transactions. And that’s simply not the best use of your time. If you already recognise that fact, it’s definitely time for a Virtual Finance Director. They can step in and introduce the necessary systems and workflows that will keep you from the more trivial admin, and deliver the reports you need to stop you hunting for the numbers yourself. All of this combined will free you to work on (not in) your business and allow you to focus on important growth activities. Is the time right for a VFD? Book a discovery call today and find out how Square Mile Accounting can help you.