Lonely at the Top?

THE ROLE OF CEO is be a lonely one. It is too easy to be surrounded by good people but still feel there is no one with whom to share your fears and concerns, or brainstorm new ideas and strategies.

People from outside a firm can often ask seemingly simple questions that illuminate an issue or prompt change. Initiatives from other industries can help spark ideas and generate new business models. Often friends and family give all kinds of advice, byt most have very little experience that can help you. For any new and growing company, securing the right external advice and support is fundamental to success.

Too often, senior personnel keep problems close to their chest so as to avoid worrying staff. However, this approach can cause additional stress and make a small problem seem larger than it really is. It is also easy to become entrenched in a situation where it is not possible to see the wood for the trees and it becomes difficult to think of solutions or innovative ideas. Getting the right advice. There are five simple steps that can influence the quality of the advice you receive:

Find the right accountant – The mere fact that someone is completing your tax returns does not mean you are getting the best out of your accountant. A fast-growing enterprise needs a financial advisor who can plan ahead and proactively suggest ways to make strategies financially possible. Not to mention, I have plenty of contacts and can help my clients find a great bookkeer quickly.

Select the most appropriate professional for individual tasks – A common mistake is to appoint a lawyer or accountant to handle all legal or financial matters. It is wiser to pick and choose specialists for different functions. For example, payroll differs from corporate finance, while drawing up employee contracts does not require the same skills as protecting intellectual property.

Assess your banking needs – A conventional retail bank can provide an excellent business service but if your growth plans are more aggressive, then it would be beneficial to enlist the skills of a corporate banking advisor. The key to success is in finding a service that supports the company you want to become, rather than the one you are now.

Work with people you like – In business, it is often necessary to cooperate with individuals whom you may not like or respect. However, when seeking advice on the future of your firm it needs to come from someone you trust. It is worth spending time to find professionals you ‘click’ with and who complement your company. Ask yourself whether they understand and have an affinity for what you are trying to achieve.

Don’t be too proud to ask for help – Never see it as a failure to ask for guidance. No one is infallible, and having people to support you can make the journey to success so much smoother. Nowadays, there is a proliferation of mentoring schemes, where experienced specialists are on hand to offer guidance and information on a range of topics. It is important to remember though that a mentor is not the same as an advisor; their role is to question and motivate rather than to offer instant solutions. Even if suggestions are never acted upon, their value is in helping to shape an alternative strategy.

Summary – The Need For Experience – The discussion above only touches on the need for professional advice that can turn your business into a success.  We are real-world experts in managing working capital, building the infrastructure to scale your business and working with companies at the highest levels of America’s fastest growing companies.  It is what we do with hundreds of clients every day.

Marty Koenig
Your Colorado CFO

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