By Rich Bond
Over the years, virtually all of my Small and Medium-sized Business (SMB) clients have been members of peer advisory groups that go by many names: Vistage, Renaissance, CEO Trust, or what one business owner calls her “Success Squad.”
I find it fascinating that so many business owners want to turn to fellow CEOs for advice, when they could be investing time building their own internal Success Squad; i.e., the strongest management team possible. The team members ideally would bring the talents, expertise, and experience that the owner lacks.
One of those people needs to be a finance expert. But I’m always amazed that so few finance people in an SMB are considered part of the Success Team and instead are thought to be “part of the problem.” Many are just looked at as back-office bookkeepers or worse, “nay-sayers.”
Yet, a great finance person – Director of Finance, CFO, or Controller – can make major contributions as your true strategic advisor. That person will not only be tabulating and analyzing your company’s past performance, they will be using the information to forecast the future and advise you about significant decisions. They will have a handle on key indicators, and can alert you to perils or to opportunities.
What’s your experience with finance? Who is on your Success Team?