It’s a great pleasure in life to help other people. This is the way I approach everyone I come in contact with in business. So when someone takes the time to recognize me for helping them, it doubles the reward.
In 2010, I met the wonderful folks at Gracious Gifts, Inc., dba FunkyChunky, a manufacturer of artisan snacks. They were looking for a CFO to help “quarterback” them through the process of maximizing company value through an exit strategy. Nearly three years later, the process is complete. While it was not easy, it’s very humbling to receive the following note from my client, Sandy Feuer, former owner of Gracious Gifts.
My wife, Ronni, and I met Ken while reaching out for a well qualified B2B CFO in the Twin Cities about 3 years ago to assist us in the preparation of selling our artisan gourmet snacks business. We were truly grateful to have selected him based upon his extensive background in manufacturing, accounting expertise and experience, and excellent communication skills.
Within a few months after implementing better accounting practices and overseeing a 3rd party annual financial review, we asked Ken to become the quarterback of our subject matter experts team (M & A Executive, Attorney and CPA), as we moved forward in seeking a potential qualified buyer. It took 3 years for us to reach our goal. Ken was very instrumental in keeping the team very focused and our financials in excellent shape, which shortened the due diligence time spent by the buyer. In addition, his valued input and feedback and business leadership were instrumental throughout the entire process.
Over the past years Ken has become a valued confidant and close friend. I would recommend him to any company large or small that is looking for a CFO. He will bring a strong skill set, years of accounting experience, and a “go the extra mile” attitude to accomplish your goals while improving financial processes.
Chief Operating Officer
Gracious Gifts, Inc., dba FunkyChunky
I am very excited to announce a great new tool we offer for business owners interested in knowing and increasing the value of their companies.
How many times do I have to learn the hard way not to discuss price before establishing value? You think I’d get it after awhile.
Many times working with clients, I see company owners fluctuate their message to employees somewhat wildly in a very short period of time. This is confusing to managers and employees and can cause loss of focus in the organization. Instead of taking action based on company goals, employees frequently ask themselves, “What should I do”? When faced with these situations, I generally try to remind the owner of their strategic goals and what these means in terms of company focus. As with many aspects of life, clarity of purpose brings about focus and determination to succeed. In my humble opinion, businesses will run better with a clear, consistent purpose and focus.
Despite tough economy, B2B CFO continues record growth and takes spot in the prestigious Inc. 5000 list
Phoenix, Ariz. – August 21, 2012 – B2B CFO, the nation’s largest provider of CFO services, has been named to the prestigious Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies in America for the third consecutive year.
The annual ranking by Inc. Magazine judges US-based and privately held companies by their revenue growth. This year’s list was ranked on the percentage in revenue increase from 2008-2011. B2B CFO’s 111% growth over the three year time period earned the position on Inc’s 2012 list.
In a personalized letter congratulating B2B CFO, Eric Schurenberg, the new editor-in-chief of Inc. Magazine’s wrote “To be honored this year is a particularly notable achievement. To rank among the 2012 Inc. 5000, your company had to thrive through three of the toughest years this economy has seen in living memory. Your success in such times is eloquent testimony to your team’s creativity, resilience, and tenacity. Congratulations to you and your team. You should be proud of all B2B CFO has achieved to date.”
In addition to attending the Inc. 500/5000 conference as an honoree, B2B CFO will also once again sponsor the upcoming conference. B2B CFO will also hold a “Meet and Greet” reception for business owners and CFOs in conjunction with the Inc. 500/5000 conference on Wednesday, October 3rd. For location, time and to RSVP please visit www.b2bcfo.com/inc5000
“It’s a great honor to make Inc.’s 5000 list for the third consecutive year,” said Jerry L. Mills, founder and CEO of B2B CFO. “We look forward to participating in the conference this October as both honoree and exhibitor and celebrating all the entrepreneurs who build businesses that move America’s economy.”
B2B CFO has grown steadily and consistently despite the tough economic conditions. In August 2012, B2B CFO has grown to 213 Partners across 45 states, boasting more than 5,000 years of cumulative experience. Each Partner is a seasoned financial executive who serves as 1099 CFO to growing businesses on as-needed basis. Together, B2B CFO Partners work with more than 600 businesses in the nation with combined annual sales of more than $3 Billion.
About Inc. Magazine
Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures LLC, Inc. is the only major business magazine dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies that delivers real solutions for today’s innovative company builders. Inc. provides hands-on tools and market-tested strategies for managing people, finances, sales, marketing, and technology.
Inc. Magazine’s 31st annual Inc. 5000 ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in the country is available online at www.inc.com/inc5000/list
About B2B CFO®
Headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., the firm was founded in 1987 by Jerry L. Mills who pioneered the “1099 CFO” concept. Today, B2B CFO is the nation’s largest CFO services firm serving entrepreneurial, growth and mid-market companies. The firm’s partners have an average of 25 years of experience and each individual partner is a senior level executive with a broad range of expertise. Please visit online at www.B2BCFO.com to find out more about the company and B2B CFO careers
Note to editors: high-resolution image of the headshot is available upon request. Interviews, press materials, and any additional information can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Had lunch today with the managing director of a local mid-sized CPA firm and a business owner friend of mine. We all share the same belief that every business owner should make the best decisions for their business, maximize their profitability, and let their tax professional help them with legitimate, legal tax strategies. Running the business to minimize tax instead of increasing the return on investment did not make a lot of sense to any of us.
Are there situations when a business owner may choose to make an investment and benefit from a deduction at a certain point in time rather than wait? Of course, but that should be the second criteria in the decision not the first. There’s no shame in putting a lot of money in your pocket if you own a successful business. It’s also not a sin to pay taxes if you are being guided by an experienced tax pro.
This was quite refreshing to me because so many times, I have difficult conversations with owners who are concerned first with reducing the tax liability under the influence of their CPA. Is that why entrepreneurs get into business? I think not. It would be interesting to add up all of the cash expended by small business in the US every year with the only real purpose to reduce the tax liability.
It was certainly encouraging to hear the CPA’s perspective on this!
In the attached article written by David Worrell in AllBusiness.com, there is a quote that sums up a lot of what I believe in as a professional. It happens to be great advice too. Here it is, “There is a huge difference between a good accountant and a strategic finance professional”.
The rest of the article has good insight as well, but this line is particularly powerful.
Happy Holidays to anyone who happens to be reading this blog entry.
Strange, but I do some of my best thinking…(you didn’t really think I was going there, did you?) actually when I’m out running. Probably should be more focused on my exercise, but oh well. Anyway, I digress.
Yesterday, while in a client’s office, I found a dime on the floor of the controller’s office. So I did what just about everyone would do, I picked it up and gave it to him. Today while I was out on my rather chilly (this is Minnesota) run, I found a dime in the street. Coincidence? I think not!
It made me think of an important business lesson I have learned since joining B2B CFO. When you give your customers more than they expect and don’t expect anything in return, the result is you get more business. In my case, I work very hard to help my clients get way more cash into their business than I will ever cost them. That’s my focus every day when I go to a client’s office. It seems so simple, yet without staying focused it is not always easy to practice. However, I find if I operate by this principle then my business remains strong and will continue to remain strong.
Maybe a little life lesson in there as well.
Our managing partner and founder, Jerry Mills, is up for the Top Small Business Influencer in Americaaward. Never heard of it? Neither had I until I learned Jerry was nominated.
Well, when I start to think about this a little further, it occurs to me how much our firm does influence small business in America in a very positive way.
As an example, one of my clients recently accepted an offer to sell his business. He is very happy with the situation, but just a year ago, this wasn’t very likely to happen. The company was losing a substantial amount of money and cash flow was negative every month. As a result, the business was digging further and further into the line of credit. Maxing out the line and getting into difficult cash flow issues was directly on the horizon.
Over a year later now, the company has posted a substantial YTD profit, the line of credit has been completely paid off and there is a substantial amount of cash on the balance sheet. All of this was very attractive to the buyer and will net my client the value he hoped to obtain on the sale.
How was this achieved? Four areas were targeted. First, instead of simply charging one blended average rate for their services, we analyzed the rates and costs of various levels of resources and determined the market would accept higher rates especially for higherr level resources. Through this process we substantially increased gross margins. Second, we began forecasting weekly cash flow and tracking performance against the forecast every week. By using this tool to manage cash, we began to make better decisions and were able to significantly increase cash flow. Third, we completed and implemented a budget for 2011. Finally, in conjunction with the budget we implemented purchasing and travel and entertainment policies to help control spending.
This is just one example of many from our firm, but it is a feeling of accomplishment to help small businesses in this way and it is meaningful. So, should Jerry Mills be considered for the Top Influencer of Small Businesses in America? I think so.
Recently returned from the annual meeting of our firm in San Antonio. What a pleasure it was to be with so many talented business people…and in a warm climate (not something I’ve been used to during the long Minnesota winter we’ve just experienced).
I’ve heard it said, “You should spend time with people who you want to emulate.” Initially that sounds like we should all be followers. That’s not how I see it. My translation is, we can all learn from people we choose to be around. We can learn good and bad things, depending on who we want to hang around. Well, I choose to be with positive, goal oriented, driven, professionals. This describes my partners around the country very well. I gained so many good and creative ideas at the conference, a lot of times just speaking to my partners between meetings.
When you spend the money to travel to a meeting like this, you want to get a return from the investment. Well, as a CFO, I’ve done the math and there is no doubt I got a well above average ROI on the 2011 B2B CFO Annual Partners Meeting!