Wondering how to position your startup as we head towards 2023?
Look no further: the Virtual FDs at Square Mile have put together a list of a few vital tasks to put at the top of your to-do list.
With the holidays and new year approaching, now is the perfect time to reassess your business plans and build new ones that are better optimised for the new world that awaits in 2023.
What is a Virtual Finance Director?
In essence, a virtual finance director fills the role of a full-time finance director without being on your payroll. They have a wealth of experience guiding companies through change and growth while assessing the financial impacts. Square Mile Virtual finance directors can help your business grow, enhance its financial performance, and plan for the future.
How can a virtual finance director help your business?
Virtual FDs are fully qualified accountants with extensive experience in financial leadership, who offer a variety of financial functions at a lower cost and with greater simplicity. Time and services are only charged as and when you need them. Making financial decisions is an important process, and our Virtual FDs want to assist you in making the right choices. You’ll stay on track, avoid obstacles, and feel more confident with our assistance.
Whilst you’re reworking your roadmap, don’t forget to check in with us to find out how we can help your business with a Virtual Finance Director role. Or send us an online message to ask us what is included in the Virtual FD package.
VFD 2023 Flash Guide
It’s a changing world – and it’s going to keep on changing. Planning for cash flow over the next few months, scenario planning, and making the most of your customers should be at the top of any business agenda. Square Mile Accounting’s Virtual Finance Directors have prepared these tips to help you in taking decisive action and optimally positioning your company or startup. Our team summarised the tasks performed by the best run and most agile companies in this list, which is by no means comprehensive. We’ll show you how to take back control, adapt, and grow again.
Plan your finances beyond cash flow and VC funding
Plan strategically, and continually evaluate and adjust your cash flow forecasts based on all scenarios. However, cash flow planning is not the only factor to consider. When your business is in need of funding, VC funding isn’t your only option (or the speediest). Consider vendor financing from a B2B supplier, or receivables financing — from banks or invoice factoring companies — to help you get access to unpaid invoices faster.
Think long and hard about what could go wrong
Did you think forecasting was a challenge before? There is definitely more complexity now. In light of what the past few months have thrown at businesses, scenario planning has become even more important. There is no point in simply restarting; it is necessary to re-evaluate everything, starting from scratch. Identify new sales forecasts, rethink expenses, assess your burn rate – and prepare for various scenarios.
Future challenges could put your business at risk, so don’t ignore them. The more you plan, and the more scenarios you think through, the better prepared you’ll be for whatever obstacles you face. Furthermore, it’s not just about sales. Make sure you account for everything, from your best customers experiencing cash flow challenges to supply chain disruptions.
Be clever with pricing and payments
You may want to take a fresh look at your product or service bundling, pricing, and payment terms with so much disruption in the business world. Is the best option bundling more into your offering or simplifying what you offer? Are you able to offer promotion pricing or discounting to certain segments in order to stimulate demand? Be responsive but disciplined in your discounting.
Consider asking for an extended contract term in exchange for the concession. Does offering payment term flexibility or use of credit make sense? If you want to increase loyalty while protecting margins and customer lifetime value, consider bundling value-added services instead of simply cutting prices.
Work your customers – in a good way
At a time when revenues are hard to come by, landing and maintaining new customers is worth the time and resources. Knowing which segments of customers are buying and still actively engaged is crucial. Data is going to serve you well here. Analyse public and internal data to discover which industries are likely to be least impacted by the scenarios you’ve mapped out, and target them for your attention.
If it’s customer acquisition you’re after, marketing is going to be your focus. Find the low-cost marketing channels that provide the best return on investment by testing them out. Search engine optimisation or email marketing can be used to drive demand.
What are the next steps that business owners can take to tackle these – and other challenges?
Virtual Finance Directors can help you implement a range of practical measures to increase your financial success. Increased sales, improved turnover and profitability, identification of new trends and financial patterns, strategic planning and cash forecasting.
- Give your business financial direction and professional advice
- Provide financial insight and advice to help you make the right decisions
- Forecast cash flow
- Maintain a focus on cash management
- Identify potential challenges and impacts for your business
- Provide support for growth, turnaround, and exit strategies
Clients talk about the value of having a Virtual Finance Director
“During the COVID crisis Square Mile have been a shining light in the darkness. They have advised us through VAT and Furlough issues given us tremendous support in terms of modelling our cashflow through this crisis and made our applications for CBILS solid. I cannot recommend them highly enough” – James Dawson, The Humble Grape
Everyone on the same page
Once you have gone through your roadmap, the last and extremely important step is to get your business aligned and focused. Your business should have clarity about its strategy, tactics, and objectives despite ambiguity and uncertainty about the future. Provide a clear vision to both customers and partners by communicating frequently with your employees. Create helpful and tactical content, whether in written or video form, if your customers need assistance.
Now is the time to show this level of partnership wherever you can.
“Square Mile helps businesses move from one phase to the next at a sustainable and financially-sound pace”
“This is why our FD services are built to tailor cost, services and the nature of support a business needs at any given time on their upward trajectory.” – David Gormer, Square Mile Accounting