As businesses grow, their needs increase. The person steering the finances needs to be someone who can take on a broad commercial role. Forecasting, IT, tax issues, insurance and back office functions – all these need to run smoothly. But a fast-growth business needs someone who can anticipate both future opportunities and potential problems.
A good financial director will help owner-managers understand which aspects of the business are the most profitable, as well as forecasting ways to exploit other opportunities. (Santander)
So what key questions should you regularly ask your FD…..
- What is our cash cycle and how can we improve it – Cash Cycle Blog
- What Key Performance Indicators should we use and what are they telling us – KPI Blog
- How can we improve profitability – 15 ways to improve profitability Blog
- What is our Business Plan and is it the right plan – Business Plan Blog
- Can we reduce Overheads – 10 creative ways to reduce overheads Blog
Making a profit and generating cash is vital to all businesses and a key way to improve profit is to reduce overheads, here are a few ideas:
- Re-think your office/premises requirements – Premises are big cost for most businesses, could you operate in a smaller space and sub-let part of your offices? could you work from home?
- Telecommute – Technology effectively reduces distance, so there is no need to require administrative people or specialists to be physically located together. Use VOIP, Skype and Video Conferencing.
- Cars – Company Cars can be expensive, time consuming to manage and emotive, why not consider car allowances
- Staff – Generally the biggest overhead is people, consider outsourcing rather than having the fixed overhead of in house staff
- Shop around – Are you getting the best deals on Stationery, Printing, Insurance, Light & Heat…..
- Students – Students, apprentices and interns are eager to learn and will be less expensive then experienced employees
- Refinance Debt – Could you reduce the cost of borrowing? could you borrow from your Self Invested Pension Plan?
- Paper – Sorting, filing, and finding files requires time and space. Purchase a scanner and scan all important papers and keep them in well organised electronic files to save space and administrative costs.
- Go Green – Reducing waste and saving energy will save money too
- Buy Second Hand – Second hand office furniture is plentiful and its cheaper than buying new