In the early stages of a business, it's not uncommon for the founders or owners to take full responsibility of the finance function. As the company grows, inevitably there comes a time where the finance function needs strategic vision, governance, and additional people power. Hiring a Finance Director can be a great start. In a recent blog, we explored the qualities of a good FD, and discussed the benefits that hiring a part-time Finance Director can bring. In today's post, we wanted to look at the next stage of development, building a finance team.
Invariably, the decision to build a finance team is borne out of necessity. Growing businesses typically crave financial information and funding; both of which can take up a considerable amount of time. If your company is to be successful in driving forward with growth, building a team with the necessary financial skills will become essential. With that in mind, we thought we'd offer some advice.
Now is the time to plan for growth
Growing companies are in their very nature dynamic. To facilitate growth, your company will need an equally dynamic business plan. A period of growth will have a profound effect on your business. Effective planning is the key to making the most of every opportunity, as well as mitigating any risks or negative impact.
Invariably, growth needs an engine to drive it forward, and as we know, engines need fuel … in this case, that fuel is information. Information is one of your most important resources. To make the most of it, you'll need to invest in an effective data infrastructure. Provisions for data mining and analysis should take a central role in your business plan. Get it right and your new finance team will be able to access actionable real-time information with ease. Get it wrong, and you'll have a cumbersome system that wastes time and hampers innovation.
Invest in the right skills
For growth and to achieve success, you'll need a team that can provide a varied portfolio of financial support such as sales analysis, cash flow management, budgeting, forecasting, funding provision, business planning and strategy. As well as concentrating on the nuts and bolts of finance, it's also worth considering how they'll fit into your wider team. Is your potential hire good at cross-departmental collaboration? Do they have the necessary skills to make use of new financial technology that's becoming available? Adopting a holistic approach to new hires, can make all the difference in the long run.
- Undoubtedly, taking the decision to invest in additional finance staff is a major one for any organisation. For SMEs, this decision can hold even more weight. A combination of tight budgets, close-knit teams, and the difficulty of finding the necessary skills can make the idea of hiring quite daunting.
At Capability Jane, we often hear from SMEs struggling to attract the talent they need due to a lack of buying power or brand exposure. In our experience, a wise solution can be to think a little bit outside of the box. There's a relatively untapped market out there of experienced professionals, who for one reason or another, are looking for flexible working opportunities. If you're struggling to attract talent, it is time to consider part-time hires, flexible working positions, or remote workers.
Ensure you have the right leadership in place
At the helm of highly successful teams, there's always a good leader and your finance team should be no different. Approximately 25% of our candidate pool has a finance background or qualification, and many have cut their teeth in blue chip corporates or one of the Big 4 accounting firms. This experience can be of huge benefit to a fast-growing company, especially one that needs to build a finance team from scratch.
Building flexible or remote teams
If you're looking to reap the benefits of building a flexible or remote team, be sure to get the right processes and infrastructure in place to support your employees. Video chats, call conferencing, and regular team check-ins are vital if you want your team to be engaged and all on the same page.
Capability Jane Recruitment specialise in sourcing flexible and part-time professionals for SMEs. If you’re looking to expand your Finance team, please do get in touch with Caroline Doherty, our Senior Account Manager, email@example.com, to discuss how we could support your business.