Does A Part Time Fd Work?

When a business is growing one of the most essential requirements is to keep good control of the finances. Poor cashflow can kill a business very quickly and having someone who really understands the finances and how they can work can save a company from disaster.

The challenge is that when a company is in the early or mid stages of growth it generally can’t afford a full time Finance Director (FD) or CFO, even when it’s needed. A good FD or CFO is expensive because of the years of study, training and experience they have to undertake to achieve and maintain their qualification. They are also a scarce resource and the good ones can make a huge difference to a business.

So companies struggle through without anyone really looking at their financial strategy and underlying financial performance. They may bring in a bookkeeper or a firm of accountants to keep their books and put together some reports. However, more often than not, it’s the CEO who has to handle anything to do with raising finance, figuring out commercial terms, dealing with investors, developing business plans and models and handling banks. And that’s a big distraction for someone whose focus should be on building, marketing and developing the business and leading and motivating staff. And if they get it wrong, it could spell the end for the company or the CEO.

When a company is growing there’s often no need for a full-time finance professional in the business and companies that do bring in a heavyweight CFO or FD can find that much of their time is spent on low value activities, such as bookkeeping and admin. Alternatively, they start to get involved in many other areas of the business or just spend a lot of time sitting around waiting for something to happen. This can be frustrating for them, as they’re not fully using their skills, and it’s an expensive luxury for the company that it can probably ill afford. And, with salaries for a good, experienced CFO or FD easily into the six figure range, and all the employment costs on top, it often doesn’t make good business sense to take someone on full time.

More and more growing companies are recognising that using a part time Finance Director or CFO in their business provides a solution to these issues. There are a growing number of companies in the market providing finance professionals who work with companies anywhere from 1 to 4 days a month as their CFO or FD. This provides a flexible solution to the needs of the company, allowing the CEO to focus on their stronger areas and ensuring that the finances of the company are being steered in the right direction. By using just a few days each month it ensures that the focus of the CFO/FD is on the right areas rather than getting involved in anything that comes up. And the good ones will tell you very clearly if they believe the work can be done by someone for a lower cost.

Another advantage of having someone who’s also working with other businesses is that they can bring new insights into your company and are less likely to fall into the “we’ve tried that before” or “we don’t do it that way” traps that hamper many companies.

A part time CFO or FD will agree a plan of action for the business and make sure that the fundamentals of strategy, business planning, cash flow forecasting, financial management and good commercial practices are applied. For the CEO, they have a great sounding board and business partner that they can turn to for advice, guidance or just to bounce ideas off. For many CEOs the value of a having a trusted advisor to hand hugely outweighs the costs.

The cost of a part time FD or CFO varies on their experience, qualification and the level of work you need. They are usually charged on a daily rate which is equivalent to around 1% of the base salary for their level. And when you consider that you don’t have all the employment and recruitment costs associated with an employee (which can easily take the base cost up another 60%) and you only pay for the days you need, this can work well for the business. Also, when you consider the value that a good CFO can bring to a company, then you can easily get a 10 to 20 times return on your investment and considerably more peace of mind.

So, do part time FDs work for business? It will always come down to the chemistry with the team and the experience and training of the individual CFO/FD but the flexibility and focus that they offer is proving to be a very attractive proposition for many growing companies. Investors are seeing the benefits of having a strong financial presence in the company and CEOs welcome the support that they provide, so it’s certainly a field that going to grow.

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Seven Most Important Things To Consider When Planning To Open Your Own Restaurant

Whether it is the love for cooking or the challenge of running your own business, opening a restaurant is a dream of many. But starting your own restaurant is an expensive proposition. Restaurant finance is possible in many forms, so don’t worry. Here are a number of things to consider:

Tip 1: Study your competitors. Anyone planning a new restaurant should spend weeks or months studying their competition carefully (menus, recipes, locations, customers, hours, layouts) and try to figure out what to copy from them and what to do differently.

Tip 2: Understand your target audience. .Go to all the different competitive restaurants and look around and see what kind of people go there, and what they order and when. Do they take away? Do they eat in? Do they drive to the restaurant, or walk in from the neighborhood? Talk to people and get their advice. Most people will be happy to tell you what they like and don’t like.

Tip 3: Location, location, location. Location is a huge factor. It is directly linked to restaurant finance, as the cost of rent is directly influenced by the location. Of course everyone wants to have a premium loation, but can you afford it? If you don’t have the money for a premium location, can you still succeed in a lesser location? This is a critical decision that will make or break your business.

Tip 4: Accurately estimate the cost of your hardware and personnel. When considering your startup, you need to give an honest assessment of the cost of your kitchen equipment, furniture, and personnel. Good restaurant finance and planning means a realistic approach to the costs of the business. Underestimate this and your budget will be blown out, and you will run into trouble.

Tip 5: Consider commercial bank loans. Though not one of the easiest methods, a commercial bank loan is a reasonable option for new restaurant finance. If you don’t have the capital, you can get a family member or friend to guarantee your loan. The trade-off is that you will probably have to pay the guarantor some profits.

Tip 6: Get several small investors. If you are able to convince other people that your restaurant will be profitable, they might provide restaurant finance. Some restaurateurs prefer receiving restaurant finance in the form of equity instead of straight loans. This is because the restaurateur does not have to pay interest on the loan amount. When starting a new restaurant, it may be easier to find several small investors who are willing to invest in your venture than to search for one big investor.

Tip 7: Partner with a silent investor. A partnership is another method of restaurant finance. A silent partner will provide restaurant finance yet give more freedom to the restaurateur to run the daily operations of the new restaurant as they see fit.

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Starting A Business Partnership

You and your best friend are looking into starting a business together. You have done all your research on the type of business you want to start. You have talked to some financial backers and are ready to go. Or are you? There are at least three things you should know before starting a business with a friend.

Get it all in writing: You may have been friends since kindergarten but money does strange things to people. Its in the best interest to you both to sit down and get all of your business details in writing. Who is the owner and who is the co owner. How much profit from the business does each person receive? Make sure that all of these business related details are fully documented, dated and signed by each person. This is just one of the precautions you should take prior to the beginning of your business partnership.

Prepare for the worst: If in the event you and your friend have a fall out, be prepared. When partnering with anyone in business affairs you risk having to battle it out over company events and money. People can become very power hungry, selfish and greedy. Money after all is the source of all evil. If this is to happen its best that you have all of your business details documented as stated above. Also make sure you have mentally prepared yourself for such an event. It can be a heart wrenching and stressful occurrence. It is healthier for you to have at least considered that this is a possibility.

Protect yourself: Be wise in what you do with the business. Take care of your finances. Save money when possible and keep detailed track of both incoming and outgoing cash flow. If there was a falling out of sorts between you and your business partner you want to make sure you are financially secure. You protect yourself this way as well as keeping good book keeping records. Once again people do become a type of Jekyl and Hyde with money. Its not selfish to be sure that you are safe. Business affairs can become scandalous and overwhelming. You just want to make sure when its all over you come out on top.

Keep these three things in mind, documentation, preparation and protection. This information is not to make you feel paranoid. Its not meant to make you suspicious of your friend either. These are just pieces of information that are important in keeping you safe. Its a simple fact in the world of money. Business is serious and should be taken so. Think before you leap and you and your friend will both start on a safe path to a beautiful business relationship.

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Business Acumen – Buying Out a Small Business Partner

Looking for buying out a partner generally refers to businesses searching for information on how to purchase the shares of another partner. Partners may decide to leave a business if they are retiring, relocating, or otherwise can no longer take part in the business’s activities.

The first step in buying out a partner is to determine how much the partner’s shares are worth. This can be determined a number of ways. Value could be based on the market value of the company, the amount invested by the partner, or a pre-determined price detailed in a partnership agreement.

The next step when looking to buy out a partner is to find capital to finance the buy out. Though most lending institutions do not provide loans specifically for buying out a partner, they do offer loan programs that can be used towards any general business purpose. Most buyouts require large sums of money, and to apply for a large loan, lenders usually require personal and company financial documents, a business plan, and credit reports. Collateral is also required for secured loans, which can provide lower interest rates than unsecured loans.

If a business is looking to replace a partner, it may be able to obtain funding from an investor. Partner investors contribute large sums of capital in exchange for a portion of the business’s profits and a voice in the business’s decisions. In the case of buying out a partner, an investor could purchase the shares of the leaving partner and become part of the business.

Small business buying out partner usually refers to small business owners searching for information regarding buying out another business partner. Partners may wish to sell their shares of a company when they retire, relocate, or otherwise can no longer take part in the business’s activities.

The first step in buying out a partner in a small business is determining the value of the partner’s shares of the business. To resolve this problem, many businesses with two or more owners create and sign a partnership agreement that predetermines the value of every owner’s share of the business. For partnerships that do not have an agreement like this, the value can be determined by looking at how much the partner invested in the business or how much the business is currently worth on the market.

Once all partners have agreed on a selling price, the owner buying out must find financing. Most lenders don’t offer loans specifically for buyouts, but their loans can usually be used for any business purpose. Buyouts typically require large sums of money, and lenders have more extensive requirements for large loans. To get a lowered interest rate, many borrowers use personal or business assets to secure the loan.

Another source of financing for a small business buying out a partner is another investor. If a business owner can find an investor who is willing to purchase the other partner’s shares, then the owner will not have to take out another loan. The business owner simply gets a new partner to work with.

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Finding the Right Business Partner

One of the major challenges facing entrepreneurs and business leaders is finding the right business partners. Great care should be exercised when selecting associates because the right choice can bridge gaps and assist in the execution of your business plan. The wrong choice can harm the reputation and earnings of your company. One should consider the following
when forming strategic alliances:

Find Believers in Your Mission

No one will champion your cause like a true believer in your vision, products, and services. Align yourself with those who comprehend the magnitude of what you are doing and will offer wholehearted support to your endeavors. Those who align themselves with you solely for monetary gain will often carry a short-term perspective that will conflict with your long-term business strategy.

Active Partner vs. Passive Partner

Another consideration is: Are you looking for an active or passive interest holder in your business? Do you seek someone who will be involved in the day-to-day management of the company? Many entrepreneurs opt for passive partners to avoid having them encroach on the management of the business. If you elect active partners, it is important that they share
the same vision, objectives, and ethics as your associates.

Smart Money vs. Silent Money

When pursuing financial partnerships, you have several options. You can choose investors that will solely provide financing, or you can partner with funding sources that will also offer guidance and help in strategic planning. Silent monëy could be the right choice if you have a seasoned management team and desire total creative control. However, if in both cases you will surrender the same amount of equity, it makes more sense to
partner with investors who are well connected and may also offer advisory services.

Complementary Skill Set

Your ideal operations partner will have a complementary skill set. They will strengthen your areas of weakness and allow you to compete effectively. Their affiliation will most importantly shorten, or eliminate altogether, the development time necessary in particular areas. Your resources will not have to be spent acquiring expertise in areas where your partner is already adept.

Alliances

Your ideal partner should also be in a position to help you förm strategic partnerships. This person/organization ought to be able to help you align yourself with people who can assist in growing your business. Strategic partnerships can also bring about needed political affiliations.

Growth and Exit Strategy

A major point of contention for many partners is the company’s growth and exit strategy. Some parties may be content as the owners of a small business, while others seek to franchise or even go public. All parties should be in agreement on how they plan to access the equity of the company, rather it be by salary and dividends, or a substantial liquidity event.

The right partner can ease the road and multiply the profïts of your business. Whether you’re looking for investment funds, advice, a complementary skill set, or helpful associations, choose this relationship wisely.

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Find A Business Partner

Tired of going it alone? Is the burden of making all the decisions, providing all the financing and working continuously more than what you anticipated? Or perhaps you’re missing key elements for your business such as assets, skill sets, products or services that could propel your business to the next level. All these reasons and more are enough to hinder the growth of a would-be successful business; therefore, finding a business partner could be the answer to your predicament. The primary reasons, I believe, one seeks to find a business partner is to maximize profit while minimizing risk and effort. I know you’re probably thinking of the old adage which equates partnerships to marriages and we all know how a lot of marriages turn out. But unlike a marriage, a good partnership is not built on emotions and feelings but sound analytical judgment. If executed correctly, a good partnership will add value to your business.

Partnership or Strategic Alliance

Don’t worry a partnering agreement doesn’t have to be a lifetime commitment. In fact, you can and should create a strategic alliance as a way of testing the viability of the potential partnership before you sign a contractual agreement to form a partnership. A strategic alliance by definition is usually less formal and typically has a specific end date. You can develop a strategic alliance with a business or entrepreneur. It can be for a specific project, task or the obtainment of a particular product or service. Developing a strategic alliance first, will allow you to test the arrangement before determining if something more lasting can be established.

SBA Pilots Small Business Teaming Program

Another form of collaboration is “Teaming”. Teaming agreements are for the express purpose of working on a specific project or bid. It allows small businesses to pool their resources for projects or bids too large for one business to handle. The federal government believes so strongly in this, that the Jobs Act authorizes the Small Business Adminstration (SBA) to “make grants to eligible organizations to provide assistance and guidance to teams of small business concerns seeking to compete for larger procurement contracts.” The SBA Office of Government Contracting is executing this provision by asking qualified organizations (for profit and non profit) to compete for the grant funding. Recipients of awards made under this Announcement will be expected to help small business concerns “find other firms that may be interested in teaming with them, assist small business concerns with the formation and execution of teaming arrangements, aid teams of small business concerns with identifying appropriate larger contracting opportunities, and assist teams of small business concerns with the preparation and submission of bids and offers”.

Tips for Developing a Partnering Alliance

1. Develop a Plan – first, you must determine your company’s value and the value you want from the alliance partner. You can accomplish this by outlining your strengths and weaknesses. Knowing what you bring to the table and what you want from the alliance partner helps you develop a strategy.

2. Identify the Right Partner – once you’ve identified an alliance partner, perform your due diligence to determine if the alliance partner is the right fit. Determine the alliance partner’s:

• Objectives
• Financial Position
• Core Capabilities
• Company Culture
• Tangible and Intangible Assets
• Operations and Processes
• Legal Liabilities (if any)

3. Develop the Agreement – Joint Ventures and partnerships will usually require a more formal contract than a strategic alliance. Consider the following when developing an agreement:

• Legal structure
• Equity interests of each party
• Initial capital and any commitments to future financing
• Voting structure
• Decisions requiring consent of the partners
• Commitments to provide technology
• Non-compete undertakings
• Broad scope of any warranties/indemnities
• Basic exit provisions
• Condition standards
• Target timescales

4. Performance Measurements – develop accountability measures with a timetable for goals and benchmarks.

Whether developing a partnership, joint venture, strategic alliance or teaming, it’s always good to consult with your attorney before signing the agreement.

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How to Choose the Right Condo Conversion Business Partner – Two Minds Are Better Than One

Deciding whether or not to partner with someone for your condo conversions is a very personal decision. While many investors prefer to go it alone, others would never dream of starting anything so big without the security of a partner. Like many things in life, it may require a little trial and error before you either find the right fit or decide to go it on your own. Should you opt for business partner, here are some things to consider:

The Advantages:

Each partner brings a different perspective to the project. This can increase the creative flow and give a real boost to the problem solving process.
Having a partner can often help reduce the stress levels of a big undertaking. Just by having someone to share the issues with can make them seem less daunting
Oftentimes financing is made easier by having a partner since banks see more than one source of collateral.
The Disadvantages:

Different ways of doing things, different ways of approaching issues, and different ways of dealing with others can sometimes lead to confrontations.
Decision making can be difficult when different people have different expectations or goals for the project.
Partnering with someone in business who has been, or is, a friend on a personal level can sometimes damage a good friendship.
If you decide to go ahead and partner up with someone for your condo conversion projects, here are some more things to remember:

This is a business relationship, so treat it as such. Go together to your attorney and complete all the required legal aspects of the company.
Be sure the person or persons with whom you are partnering can bring value to the project. Make certain they have experience, knowledge or skills that are necessary and valuable.
Take care to find a partner who shares your enthusiasm, goals and work ethics. A partnership will not last long if one person feels they are doing all the work. A situation where one partner wants to work 16 hour days while the other wants to work 6 is not going to work out well. And having a partner who conducts business activities in a way that seems unethical or embarrassing is not going to instil confidence in the company with others.
Make certain your partner is someone you can communicate with openly and honestly. You will need to stay in touch on all matters of the business even as you are each attending to different things. Communication that is clear and concise, therefore becomes essential.
In business, it is extremely important to understand your own weaknesses and strengths. When you know these, you can look for a partner who truly compliments you. Find someone who excels in the areas where you are weak and you’ll have a partner who can truly help you and your business to grow.
And most important of all, keep a watchful eye on the relationship, and address issues as soon as they emerge. It is far better to decide to cut the ties if things aren’t going well than to let things fester until resentments form and anger builds.

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Friends As Business Partners: Three Musts

How can friends who become business partners keep their partnership alive and thriving? This is an excellent question and a crucial one. While getting my MBA at Wharton, I worked for an M&A (mergers and acquisitions) boutique that valued companies. Many of these valuations were for breakups and many of the breakups were not amicable. Often, the “partners” (I use the term loosely since most of the companies were not partnerships but were corporations and LLCs.) had been long-time friends but their working relationships drastically deteriorated over time and took the friendship with it.

This situation is not dissimilar from what can happen when best friends room together in college. I was a resident advisor (RAs) in college and I would INSIST on a room contract. The best friends usually would not want to work through one and sign it, saying they had known each other for forever. I said that best friends were most likely to take the other for granted. Best friends do things to each other that they would never do to a stranger. (This I garnered from other, more experienced RAs and the Head Resident). I never had any best friendships break apart but those RAs who did not insist on the room contract did. Boys and girls, men and women, did not and does not matter. Sometimes over-familiarity does breed contempt.

Therefore, please be aware and think things through no matter how close you are. If you are about to start or buy a business together, write it down!! It is always amazing how two or more people were in the same conversation at the same place at the same time but the interpretations and perceptions of what was said differ. If you wrote the discussion and terms down, everyone is and will remain on the same page.

Specifically, you should create or do the following:

1. Create and operate under a Buy/Sell Agreement. This is crucial. The Buy/Sell Agreement clearly delineates what happens in the event of a break-up, death, offer to purchase the company, and all the other scenarios partners who are friends typically do not consider. In the event of a disagreement in later years, this written Agreement will help resolve the conflict.

2. Clearly delineate who is the highest ranking person in the company, who is responsible for what, and what those responsibilities are. For example, one partner is in charge of sales and marketing and the other is in charge of finance and operations. One person can be the clear final decision maker overall or the final decision can be determined by who is in charge of that area of responsibility. You both cannot be the decision maker for the all the areas. That would be highly inefficient and lead to unnecessary arguments because you will disagree.

3. Place limits on when business can be discussed. Friends partnering is not dissimilar from spouses partnering. In order to continue to enjoy the companionship and foster the friendly feelings that brought the friends together, the friends/partners must take time at least 1x/month, preferably 2x/month or more to socialize without discussing business.

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Can A Franchise Finance Business Loan Be Creative? Here’s How Canadian Franchise Finance Works!

Is it actually possible to get ‘ creative ‘ when considering a franchise finance business loan for you new Canadian role as an entrepreneur in franchise financing? There are some tried and trusted rules we use in the franchise lending area, but a little creativity has never hurt anyone we believe!

If you haven’t considered how to finance your new business in the franchise industry then we feel it’s probably a little too late in some ways, as your ability to finance your business properly we think has a lot to do with the ultimate growth and success of your business. There are very focused lending sources for the franchise area of financing in Canada – the trick of course is to know what they are and more importantly how you can navigate the ‘ maze ‘ successfully.

The reality is that if you have some industry experience in your new business and a proper finance plan you have a much better chance of financing your business properly.

So, who can you turn to in terms of creativity and resources for franchise financing? Clients are amazed when we tell them the most creative partner in franchise financing in Canada is none other than the Canadian government!How could that possibly be? Simply because a program guaranteed by the government and administered by the banks could not be any more creative than this.

The program is the ‘BIL’ loan program, and it provides you with financing up to 350k for your new business. Are the terms onerous? Hardly! The essence of the program is a 5-7 year term loan, with great rates, limited personal guarantees, and some other elements of flexibility. If that isn’t creative then we don’t know what is!

Naturally all the creativity in a business loan of that type for your franchise finance scenario should not be reliant on just one lender – the other lender is someone you know very well. Yourself. That’s simply because when you look at the total financing of a franchise in Canada the two components are simply debt (the funds you have borrowed) and the equity, or money you have put in yourself. These equity funds, i.e. your commitment to the business, typical come from savings, the proverbial ‘ friends and family ‘ support, and investments or collateral that you have available.

Getting back to our key subject of creativity, our above noted BIL loan program only covers certain aspects of a franchise finance scenario. You can augment that loan with flexible equipment financing that has low down payments and extended amortization terms, as well as, in some cases, a working capital term loan.

We never forget to remind clients that the franchise financing plan is a two stage process, acquiring the business, and making sure they have some capital and funding to operate and grow their new business.

In summary, you can be creative when you are looking for info on how Canadian franchise finance works. You need knowledge on what funding sources are available that are specialized to the franchise industry, and assistance in executing a proper financial plan. Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor who can assist you in maximizing that creativity!

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Sears Promo Codes – What Can I Buy With Them?

A lot of people are looking for ways they can save money. Whether they are buying food, clothing, household items, and necessities, it is the innate nature of an individual to look for a discount. If they cannot find a discount, they will look for a cheaper option. This though, does not apply with Sears promo codes.

The beauty about having a code is that you can get to save some items on your shopping venture. Since you have gotten a promo code for Sears, you can make use of the discount only with the brand. But you should not worry on what you can use it with as Sears has a complete line of everything that you can possibly need or want. The only thing they lack is food.

You can use your promo code if you will buy appliances, automotive/tires, beauty, baby, bed, bath, home, books, clothing, electrical gadgets, gifts, fitness, sports, health, jewelry, and a lot of other products. With Sears, you can easily have choose what you want to buy as they have such an extensive array of available products that you can choose from. You can even buy gifts for your friends.

The list of items that you can buy with your Sears promo codes seems to be endless. Your needed items can simply be bought at Sears. Because of this, you do not need to go to another retail store so you can complete what’s on your list. Truly, this fact alone can already save you some money on transportation costs that you would have otherwise needed to spend.

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