How we helped ... Case Study 1
Growing Internet Retailer and Government Contractor with 15 employees
In the transition to internet retail, the Company experienced a significant increase in transactions, adding more work using weak systems to the administrative staff member. This relatively capable office administrator was hampered by the need to diagnose system issues and implement accounting solutions. Financial statements were continually incorrect making the information not trustworthy. Cash was tight, and the company leadership team was frustrated. One of the leaders knew me from LinkedIn and retained me as their Fractional CFO to help out.
I recommended the following solutions and helped the Company make the needed changes.
• Established a weekly cash flow forecast process.
• Cleaned up financial statements and established solid month-end close processes using set templates and checklists.
• Identified several key financial metrics, such as gross margin by product, average order size, average margins, and freight cost-to-revenue.
• Held regular, transparent monthly meetings with the entire staff so that financial understanding could be consistent and motivating.
• Documented all processes.
• Experienced fewer surprises in financial information
• Ability to make better decisions based on timely, accurate financial statements
• Increased the freight net contribution margin over 100% and transformed freight to an important profit center
• Saw financial results grow from net income less than 1% to 19.8%
• Increased the value of the company
• Reduced stress of administrative staff by executing solid, repeatable processes, helped by checklists.
• Reduced stress of owner and leadership for dealing with fluctuating numbers and varying results.
• Provided a way to refresh and train staff as needed now and in the future with documentation and improvement mindset.
• Converted to a more “open book” culture within the entire company increasing pride in being on the team and allowed for all to contribute solutions to problems.
Within two years, the company was operating much more effectively with improved teamwork. As of this writing, they are projected to quadruple their net income this year.
How we helped ... Case Study 2
Medium-sized IT Services firm specializing in providing hardware solutions and technical expertise throughout the country.
The Company had been struggling to maintain profitability in recent years, with revenue increasing but margins declining year over year. The management team wanted to conduct a comprehensive business assessment and receive strategic financial guidance.
I conducted a thorough analysis of the Company's financial statements, including income statements, balance sheets, and internal productivity reports. The analysis revealed several key areas where the Company was underperforming, including high delivery costs and inefficient backroom operations. Inventory and accounts receivables both exceeded industry standards. They were slow to close their monthly financials and some team members were skeptical about the numbers that were being reported.
We also conducted a Biz Equity valuation to give the leadership and accurate market value for their Company.
I interviewed key members of the management team and collected data on the Company's operations, including reviewing basic cash-to-cash processes, pricing strategies, and overall systems. We analyzed profitability by customer and identified specific areas where the Company could improve performance.
Recommendations and Implementation
Based on the findings of the business assessment, we recommended a number of changes to the Company's operations and financial management. These included:
- Closing the monthly financials by the 10th of the month, reviewing monthly results and KPI’s
- Developing strategies to improve inventory turns and accounts receivable aging
- Implementing cost-saving measures such as streamlining utilization and reducing overall waste
- Negotiating better pricing with suppliers and revising pricing strategies to better align with market conditions
- Increasing sales and marketing efforts to drive revenue growth
- Standardizing better budgeting and forecasting practices to improve financial planning and decision-making.
The Company's management team worked closely with me to implement these recommendations, and within a year, the Company had succeeded in increasing the overall gross margin and increasing monthly operating costs. We performed a subsequent valuation and were pleased with the increase in the market value of the company.
As a result of the changes implemented, the Company was able to improve its bottom line by increasing the overall gross margin by 15% and decreasing operating costs. The teams work better together and trust the numbers from the systems. The financial reporting is better and cash flow has increased. The billing process improved and the Company experienced an increase in customer satisfaction and a reduction in customer complaints. This helped to improve the company's reputation, strengthen brand recognition and increase overall business valuation.
The business assessment we conducted played a critical role in helping the Company turn around its financial performance. By identifying key areas for improvement and providing strategic guidance on how to address them, the company was able to reduce costs, increase revenue, and improve its overall financial health. This case study demonstrates the value that a fractional CFO can bring to a Company, and how a thorough business assessment can help to drive positive financial results and improve business valuation.