Is this role missing in your business?

22nd March 2018

So last week we started talking about how every ambitious company owner who wants to grow their business beyond £1 or £2 million needs a trusted advisor…

Someone they can rely on to give them good, objective advice about their business, without letting emotions get in the way.

I mentioned that this is a role we often play for our own clients, because as finance directors, it’s our job to help you make better financial decisions for your business.

That means that we often help our clients with decisions which, on the face of things, aren’t purely to do with money – but in reality, have everything to do with your financial performance…

…Decisions like whether to take certain clients on board, whether to fire non-performing members of staff, or invest in or shut down a particular office or division.

Well, after I send out that email, I received a flurry of replies from people with a similar question:

“Garry, aren’t you really talking about a business coach? That’s not really what you do for businesses, is it?”

So let’s break this down.

First of all, I strongly believe that business owners do need some kind of business coach – for all the reasons I discussed last week. When you have built up your own business, you are emotionally involved, often a bit isolated and often grappling with issues that are unexpected and new to you. So having a trusted, objective mentor or sounding board is invaluable, both personally and for your business.

This isn’t necessarily someone who knows “better” than you, and they are certainly not imposing their views on you. Rather, they have experience you can draw on, are engaged with you and your business and know it well, have a strong desire for you to succeed and can make you think through the issues in a fresh and valuable way.

Every top sportsperson has had someone in this role, as have many politicians – and many, many successful businesspeople.

Now, when it comes to Insight Associates, “business coach” is not a formal part of our job description.

As an outsourced finance department, we are there to give you complete financial support – making sure you know your own numbers, instituting robust financial processes and controls, helping you avoid financial difficulties and taking care of things like payroll and compliance.

But what we find is that “business coach” is a role we assume naturally, because the other part of our role is to give you, the CEO, advice on how to improve your financial performance.

You can’t do that without thinking deeply about how to develop a business strategically.

The kinds of talks we end up having with the CEOs we work with are often mentorship / coaching types of conversations. We ask them why they’ve taken certain decisions, encourage them to think about issues that may not have occurred to them, and talk them through winning strategies we’ve seen work with similar businesses.

We don’t tell them what to do, but we certainly get them to think deeper than ever before about the direction in which they are taking their business. They love knowing that there’s someone who they can bounce ideas off, who will give them objective advice and who will actually tell them when they’re about to do something that makes no financial sense….

And the result is more revenue, more profit and better financial foundations – which is what we’re all about.

So if you are ambitious for your business and want to grow from £1-2 million to £10 million, but need help ensuring that your finances function like clockwork, let’s talk.

You’ll not only gain a team of FDs, but valuable support, mentorship and business advice as well.

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