Every CFO in the business of serving small biz CEOs should be fully aware of a 2005 study performed by Gallup. Their research revealed small business owners work 52 hours a week on average across a median of 5.6 days.
I’m surprised. Those numbers look low, and I bet you have clients where the numbers are far higher. Accordingly, we have a huge opportunity in front of us not to mention our work being cut out for us.
Long Hours, Long Work Weeks
The Gallup poll is insightful on several counts. More than half of the owners surveyed work six to seven days a week.
Nearly 40% of the small business owners surveyed work 60 hours or more per week. And don’t think the 70-hour work weeks go unnoticed:
CFOs Do More Than Just Teach and Implement the Xs and Os of Business
You and I can show business owners how to cut expenses, increase cash flow, and improve the bottom line with one arm tied behind our backs, blindfolded.
But anyone can do that, even a good accounting manager. Both of us have probably taught them how to do so.
Our bigger job is to show business owners how to get their lives back. Most of the owners we start out serving are doing way too much, such as:
- All of the hiring and firing,
- Fighting fires (most all),
- Dealing with client/customer problems,
- Doing most of the selling,
- Making most if not all financing decisions, and
- Figuring out marketing tactics
Small business owners endure this excess work and chaos because 1) they will not delegate or don’t know how to, and 2) they do not know how to create repeatable, scaleable processes.
And therein lies our opportunity.
The very best part-time, fractional CFOs are the ones who know how to coach and mentor their clients to greater success where serious gaps exist. Knowing how to mastermind better and higher-quality cash flows is just fringe-like work. It’s a result of the new strategies we help our clients to implement.
The New Income Statement
It’s time to start reporting a new P&L for our clients. It’s not just a report card for our clients, but it’s an accountability tool to ensure we’re doing our jobs adequately and completely.
I’m embarrassed to say that it took me probably 10 years too long to figure I was not measuring the right things.
Today, my very best clients can now say they could take off 3 months or more and their businesses would still be in great shape when they got back to the office, maybe better. They are working less and have more free time to do the more important things in their lives.
And that is the ultimate job of the part-time CFO–to give back the lives of the CEOs we serve.