It’s that time of the year when plans for rocketing the business to the next level are in place, yet most plans fail to recognize that the launchpad of Financial Operations – people, processes and technology are not in place to achieve those plans.
We recently worked with a fast-growing cloud start-up that had come to the realization that they had two major challenges [Email Readers, continue here]
First, their key people were reliant on complex spreadsheets that imported information from across their different systems.
Second, they were not able to escape the launchpad because they were blind or delayed in their understanding of their business.
The causes are obvious. As a business grows the volume and complexity of information and its management outstrips your legacy processes, tools and people skills that got you to the Launchpad. Like rocketing into a cloud the visibility of operations and finances flies by at a greater speed and lower resolution across all functions. At the same time friction increases exponentially for your poorly designed and patched operations such as – sales, service & product delivery, billing and customer service that prevent you from achieving the escape velocity to get to the next level.
If your weekly and monthly reporting is based on a complex spreadsheet drawn from basic accounting, siloed systems and teams then it’s time to accelerate your growth by adopting a frictionless and fractional approach to business operations.
Here are 3 mantras for success that your start-up can adopt today.
- Enable Growth with Frictionless Operations as your Rocket Fuel
Aggressive growth requires the foundation of a frictionless approach to financial and back-office operations (FinOps). Start by evaluating your FinOps situation and the phased milestones of capability required to support your company’s plans. For some that means improving what you have today, but most need to move their accounting and back-office processes to a SaaS solution. Moving to a SaaS solution will cut accounting costs by 50%. This is achieved by the resulting paperless automation, streamlining and replacement of FinOps processes, technology and people. At the same time, it will increase the efficiency and productivity of all staff and allow them to focus and scale without needing to hire additional operations staff.
- Focus Full-Time on your Unique Value and use Fractional Expertise for the Rest
Optimal growth requires that we minimize the resources engaged in non-core accounting and back-office processes, people and systems. Fractional outsourced expertise using SaaS-based systems and processes can provide you with access to a higher-level of expertise and support than your own team. This is made affordable by accessing a blend of expertise levels and by avoiding travel and employee costs.
Taking a fractional outsourced approach allowed one of our clients to execute a carve-out from a UK company and set up here in the US on Day One using outsourced fractional accounting, operations and IT systems and staff. Over time those functions can be moved in-house.
- Aim for a High Resolution 180 Degree View of Your Business to Avoid Flying Blind
The increased velocity and complexity of high growth means that you need an automated and detailed FinOps view, or 180 degree view into your business. For management and staff to be able to understand and manage new growth, they need to have visibility of the cause and effect of even micro changes to the business. Just like Marketing Automation, your Financial and Operations Automation needs to be analyzed and understood at the transaction level.
A “successful” privately held company we worked with was recently shocked into the realization that their business was not profitable. In fact, there was not a single aspect of their business that was operating profitably. Timely dashboards and reports presented the indisputable detailed data that helped change the belief of their sales-driven leader. That epiphany made them realize that they needed to be more data driven to sustain their growth and allowed their finance team to be a more active partner of the management team in transforming them from a sales and customer driven culture to a sales, customer and data driven one.
The hard truth is that most of us running businesses are not financial wizards and most accountants don’t understand the operations or software information flow of the business.
If you’d like to evaluate where your company stands on the FinOps maturity journey, Request a Free Evaluation –> HERE
- Book a Consultation– for a FREE assessment and personalized Roadmap for Transformation of your Financial Operations
- Read another Blog Post- "Mapping Out Your Key Milestones on the Journey to Frictionless Financial Operations"
- Register for our weekly online discussion and demo with our CFO and Founder – Jim French