I’ve been working in the nonprofit sector for about 23 years, employed by two cultural organizations and as a consultant to myriad others. After serving on nonprofit boards in the 1990s, I felt...Read more »
6 Areas Of Outside Expertise That Can Move Your Business Forward
One thing in plentiful supply to businesses is people who want to offer their help. Orbiting every industry are providers, consultancies and experts in the gig economy offering a wide array of support services. It is commonplace for small and middle-market businesses to deploy fractional resources in key roles. Simply put, it’s never been easier to buoy certain business functions so you can better focus on fulfilling your company’s mission and growing its bottom line. Here are six opportunities to consider:
1. Information technology. This is the most obvious and time-tested choice. Bringing in an outside firm or consultant to handle your IT systems can provide the benefits we’ve mentioned — particularly in the sense of enabling you to stay on task and not get diverted by technology’s constant changes. A competent provider will stay on top of the latest, optimal hardware and software for your business, as well as help you better access, store and protect your data.
2. Payroll. Payroll is subject to many complex regulations and laws that change frequently — as does the software needed to track and respond to the revisions. A worthy vendor will be able to not only adjust to these changes, but also give you and your staff online access to payroll data that allows employees to get immediate answers to their questions.
3. Accounting & Finance. Bringing in outside expertise to handle your day to day accounting and financial reporting needs or using a fractional CFO could be transformational to your business. Having great financial data allows you and your management team to make better decisions to move the business forward and provide confidence to investors and lenders.
4. Sales optimization. The skill sets and practices needed to build a successful sales department are not necessarily the same as those that make individual salespeople rock stars. To truly scale and drive significant organic growth, sales teams need structure, culture, and tools that provide accountability, rigor, and transparency. It is typically difficult to institute these steps forward solely from within. As a result, we recommend partnering with a consulting firm that has developed expertise in this field to help create the transformation needed to drive sales growth.
5. C-suite advisors. It can be lonely at the top. And, sometimes businesses do not have the luxury of filling the c-suite with every skillset necessary to run at the pace of growth that is desired. In today’s business climate, there are many options to engage executives that bring vast experiences to the table to help CEO’s, founders and management teams tackle some of the most pressing issues holding them back from making key decisions and reaching goals.
6. Independent Board Members. Public companies and nearly all larger private companies benefit from the insights, direction, and expertise of a formal Board of Directors. We also see this model used with great success at smaller private companies that are intentional about their long-term strategic growth. Adding independent Board members with a mix of relevant backgrounds adds a diverse set of voices to the senior management team, much to the company’s benefit.
From outsourcing payroll to utilizing a fractional CFO, there are many ways to get your business focused on the things that have the greatest impact. Naturally, there are many questions that need to be addressed as organizations examine the potential of outsourcing certain functions or engaging outside expertise. It will be critical to get an acceptable return on the investments the company is making. You’ll need to be prepared to spend time and energy to realize the return on the investment and you need to be ready to place your trust in the professionals you select to work with.
Is this the year your business resolves to focus on the core and leverage outside expertise? Our team can help you take the next steps as you consider these options. Contact us, we’re ready help!
Rich Reinecke is the the Co-Founder and Managing Co-Partner of Fahrenheit, a middle-market advisory firm that helps companies find the straightest path to grown and overcoming challenges.