Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Outsourcing Executives – Why It’s A Smart Idea

As an outsourced executive, I’ve been asked what are some of the benefits of using someone like myself to fill an executive role compared to bringing someone on full time, in house.

Cost – A full time CFO who is worth having on board (not a startup rookie, you want a seasoned professional) will command a 6 figure salary, benefits, options, etc. Chances are you don’t have the cash flow or the need for a full time, 40 hour a week executive. On average, my startup clients need CFO services 20 hours/month. Far more affordable.

Expertise – an outsourced executive is experienced with working with several clients and gaining the knowledge of different industries. Rather than hiring the full time executive whose maybe worked at 1 or 2 other companies and has a limited scope of information & experience, hire someone who has been around the block with multiple startups and industries. The mistakes other companies made and the lessons learned from those can be invaluable in helping your company.

Commitment – While it’s not against the law to hire and fire employees in most states, lets be honest. It’s much more difficult to be flexible and adjust your staffing model with full time employees. It doesn’t look good to the other employees if you have to let a few go. Of course we’d all like to assume your startup will be as wildly successful as you are hoping, but in reality very few experience the growth boom they anticipate. It’s much easier to have a an outside consultant under contract on board, where that contract can be modified to fit your needs vs. the full time employee you have to fire because you can no longer afford them, and their benefits.

Availability – I can’t say this will apply to all outside contractors, but speaking for myself, you have a 7 day a week, 24 hour a day executive at your disposal. Fire drills happen in the startup world (urgent investor request, change in the revenue model, responding to competition, etc), and I’m on board to make your company a success, weekends, evenings and all.

The biggest hang up’s I’ve typically experienced about an outsourced team is the lack of face to face time, and how that will affect the efficiencies. Guys, it’s a technology age. Skype, email, phone, online virtual drives – there’s really no excuse. Certainly in some circumstances I can see the need for a complete in-house team, but think outside the box a little and determine if the benefits outweigh any small perceived downfalls.

If you’d like to discuss further or see some case studies of clients of mine and how I’ve helped them succeed, reach out and get in touch.

Chris Benjamin, Rogue CFO

No comments: