In large companies, CEOs typically have large staffs that they can rely on for advice. For smaller companies, the in-house capability is much less.
For instance, a larger company may have a risk manager while a smaller company would use an insurance agent. Same thing for in-house counsel as opposed to an outside lawyer on retainer. Then, of course, there are bankers, CPAs, and consultants – all playing a greater role for small companies and filling in some of the internal void.
Call this the trusted advisors network. Sometimes they emerge out of other networks – such as a CEO roundtable where business leaders meet their peers to discuss business strategies. Sometime they emerge organically out of existing business relationships. Whatever the case, the network works best when each participant has a stake in the success of the business they serve.
For example, a loan officer at a bank might want to lend a CEO money for a new venture. The bank, however, might have concerns about the company’s financial management. In turn, the loan officer may introduce the CEO to a financial expert who can develop a plan to bring down the company’s debt or otherwise restructure its finances.
Now, let’s say that this financial expert finds that the company could save substantially by outsourcing in any number of areas – such as fleet management, IT support, or HR. Here, the financial expert may recommend service providers with proven track records of driving down costs and delivering quality work.
After making a series of such moves, the company puts itself on more solid financial footing. This, in turn, makes it possible for the loan officer to do business with the CEO – enabling the CEO to secure the financing needed to expand.
The point is that the CEO’s focus is on the customer and whatever it takes to deliver the best products or services.
As an intricate part of the management teams we work with, the part time CFOs from The CFO Connection constantly create and maintain relationships with trusted advisors. When the CEO has a need not filled by the organization, we are ready to make an introduction.