The CFO'S Perspective

What if Tomorrow is Not Like Today? Part II: Preparing for Disasters at Work

Most of us believe we are prepared for the everyday kind of disaster at work:  We carry extra cash, safety pins, and a cell phone.  We keep a granola bar (or five) in our desk.  In Seattle, we never, ever, let the coffee pot run out. But while all these things are good (especially the coffee pot), most of us never think about what we would do if a true disaster struck during the time we are at work -- the place/s where we spend more waking hours than anywhere else.   

Let's take the case of an earthquake, since that's our most likely Puget Sound area disaster, and the basic things to prepare for if one occurs during our workday apply to many other scenarios as well.  

Topics: Planning Financial Projections Forecasting

Predicting the Future - What if Tomorrow is Not Like Today? Part I

Recent sad news about the wildfires disaster in California which has destroyed homes, businesses and caused so many deaths is a reminder for us again to consider the future.

…up to 40% of businesses hit by natural or human-caused disasters never re-open.”

According to FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Association, up to 40% of businesses hit by natural or human-caused disasters never re-open.  They close because their normal processes are overwhelmed by loss:  loss of data, inventory, space, personnel, or all of the above.

Topics: Financial Projections Forecasting

How to Close a Business Successfully

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
- Thomas A. Edison

For whatever reason, you've determined that it's time to close the doors and walk away from your business. Shutting down your business may be the hardest thing you'll ever do, but it's not uncommon. In fact, 90 percent of start-ups and early-stage companies close each year in the U.S.

If it's any consolation, most successful entrepreneurs have failed previously at some venture - or several. Walt Disney was reportedly fired by a newspaper editor for having no imagination and lacking good ideas.

Currently the world's richest businessman, Jeff Bezos had several failed ideas before Amazon took off. Most notably, his auction business called zShops never gained any traction. It's important to realize that it's okay to stop pursuing an enterprise that isn't working and start doing something else.

Closing a business, however, involves more than just shutting the doors and walking away. If you do this, you could open yourself up to unnecessary fees, loss of personal and business reputation, and even lawsuits. When making decisions about closing a business,  visibility to see issues coming is vital. Good financial advice is a great place to start.

Topics: Planning Budgeting Forecasting

How a CFO Will Prepare Your Business for Unexpected Events

When business disruptions occur, it can be expensive. Most business owners and CEOs have a model for success in mind, but what about the other side of the coin? Failing to prepare or put contingencies in place for unexpected events can turn a potential blip into a catastrophe.

Increasingly, business owners and leaders are leaning more on their financial teams to help prepare the company for uncertainty. Specifically, the business's CFO is taking on a broader role that includes making sure that your firm will be able to weather unexpected events.

Topics: CFO Planning Financial Projections Forecasting

5 Keys to Accurate Cash Flow Forecasting

Running out of cash is not only a sign of poor planning, but it's also one of the biggest reasons that businesses fail. Forecasting your company's cash flow can be tricky because of the many variables that determine how much cash you will need for operations versus the amount available.

Topics: Cash Flow Forecasting