You might think that given what I do, I would say “of course”.
I recently read a great piece by Janine Popick in the Huffington Post called Small Business CFOs: Do You Need One? In this article, Janine discusses the personal story of the growth of her company, Vertical Response, the challenges they faced as they were growing, and not having the right finance resources when they needed it.
Janine’s honesty is refreshing. She mentions that there were numerous times she needed to take decisions to bring on the right finance resources, but her concerns of cost overrode her need to build value. She also admits there were things she did not know.
The fact is many entrepreneurs of growing companies face the same issues. And make the same mistakes. I highly recommend this article to any entrepreneur who is building a growing business.
So, does a small yet growing business need a CFO?
If the business is small, growing and simple, I would say no.
If the business is a complex business (where revenue is not a simple formula, where there is innovation in the product or service and where new investment is needed regularly to accomplish success) I would say yes.
My recommendation to entrepreneurs of growth companies is: If you’re not sure, there are people you can ask. You can approach an entrepreneur of a successful growth business (like Janice) for their input. You can seek advice from the people that have invested money in your business (or people you hope will invest money in your business) for input.
Or, as one entrepreneur did last week, you can ask me.