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How a FD Can Help You Sleep Better At Night

Babies, as any hollow-eyed new parent will tell you, often sleep for just a few hours at a time which is why ‘sleeping like a baby’ is a practice best avoided if you have a growing business to run and need to be on top of your game during working hours.

Instead, sleep experts recommend you look for ways to get between seven and nine unbroken hours of night-time sleep.[1]

That’s because sleep is believed to be crucial to your physical and mental wellbeing. It’s essential for maintaining cognitive skills such as communicating well, remembering key information and being creative and flexible in thought, says Dr. Justin Varney in an article for Public Health England.[2]

Insufficient sleep has a “profound impact” on your ability to function, he says. It makes you more vulnerable to infection and raises the risk of accidents and injuries.

What’s more, studies are beginning to show a link between a lack of sleep and conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.

So, what can you do to ensure you get a great night’s sleep?

Almost every article you read on the topic will fail to mention what is arguably the number 1 strategy for a great night’s sleep… They’ll tell you to transform your bedroom into a technological-free zone (so no late-night watching of ‘Peaky Blinders’ or checking your Twitter feed before you shut your eyes). That’s as much to avoid too much stimulation before sleep as it is to minimise the amount of blue light you’re exposed to from some TVs, computer screens, tablets, smartphones, and LED lighting. The blue light can keep you awake by suppressing the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.

Sleep hygienists (the name for experts in this field) also recommend you stick to regular bedtimes and avoid consuming caffeine and rich food in the last few hours before bed, and so on.

What most ‘sleep tips’ articles fail to mention is one of the best ways you can get your full quota of night-time sleep—that is how to deal with work-related stress which is one of the biggest causes of sleep problems. As the owner or CEO of a growing business, one of the best ways you can reduce your work-related stress is to hire an experienced part-time Finance Director (FD) or Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

Take the FD Centre’s part-time FDs as an example. They all have many years of big business experience so that they can identify and assess the areas of risk in your business. More importantly, they can advise you on how to deal with such risks now and in the future.

Equally, part-time FDs can highlight areas of risk that you are either unaware of or don’t know how to deal with. In other words, they’ll identify, quantify and help you to manage the risks your organisation faces.

But they do so much more than that. They will also advise, analyse and implement processes and practices to ensure your organisation performs better. They can provide strategic analysis and advisory support on every finance-related aspect of your business.

At any one time, they can be involved in all those areas of the business that have previously kept you awake at night: things such as reporting, auditing, tax planning, business planning, capital expenditure, working capital management, budgeting, and exit planning. Your part-time FD will work on your financial strategy and finance operations while also managing your tax planning, legal, compliance, outsourcing, and banking relationships.

You can rest easy at night, knowing your part-time FD will help you to improve your cash flow and profitability and provide insight into how your business can move seamlessly to the next level.

With a part-time FD on your side, insomnia and restless sleep should become a thing of the past.

How it will work

The FD Centre’s part-time FDs use a proven framework known as the ’12 Boxes’ to identify where the problems are within any business. They use it to review every aspect of your company finance function and identify every problem area.

They will help you to understand your company’s finances; eliminate cash flow problems; identify cost-savings and improve profits.

They can also help you and your team to understand your main profit drivers; find and arrange funding; identify your Critical Success Factors and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), help you to expand nationally and internationally; and build value to make your business more attractive to investors or buyers.

To discover more about the 12 Boxes, click here.

Need help?

To discover how an FD Centre part-time FD will help your business, contact us now on 0808 164 8902. To book your free one-to-one call with one of our part-time FDs, click  here.  You can see how they add rocket fuel to any business here.

To hear what people really think about the FD Centre’s part-time FDs, watch these short videos here.

Identify strengths and weaknesses

Identify the strengths and gaps in your business in just nine minutes with the F-Score.

Just answer a brief series of questions, and you’ll receive an 8-page report that will reveal potential current or future pain points for your business. It will also help you to rate the performance of your finance function and uncover untapped opportunities for growth. Click here now to take the F-Score.

Got a Big Question?

If you have a burning question for one of our team of FDs, ask it here, and you’ll get an answer within 24 hours. Please note the question must be finance-related (sadly they can’t predict who will win ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, ‘Dancing on Ice’ or ‘The Voice’).

[1]How Much Sleep Do We Need?’, The Sleep Council UK, https://sleepcouncil.org.uk

[2] Is a lack of sleep affecting your work?’, Dr. Varney, Justin, Public Health England, https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk , January 30, 2018

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Why Your Fear Of Seeking Funding Might Be Your Biggest Impediment To Growth

Are you so wary of debt that you won’t look for external funding to grow your company? Do you still consider the banks to be the only real source of funding?

A ‘yes’ answer to one or both of those questions is a sign that you could be hampering your company’s future growth prospects. (If you’d like to find out more about your strategic funding options, download a free report now by clicking here.)

If you are hindering your company’s growth, you’re certainly not alone. Research conducted earlier this year revealed that 78% of the 500 UK businesses surveyed by specialist mutual financial services provider Wesleyan Bank were too wary of incurring debt to seek external funding.

About three-quarters of those surveyed said they had a better understanding of traditional funding options such as bank loans and overdrafts than they did of alternative funding options such as asset finance. A national SME alternative finance survey commissioned by Nesta and the University of Cambridge found that only 9% of respondents had approached an alternative finance provider.

The so-called alternative funding market is growing rapidly, and in the UK alone has more than doubled in size year on year from £267 million in 2012 to £666 million in 2013 to £1.74 billion in 2014, according to the ‘UK Alternative Finance Industry Report’.

Sean Read, Director of Sales & Marketing at Wesleyan Bank says, “Without external finance, many SMEs are stilting their chances of prospering and fulfilling their ultimate potential.”

That’s because funding—whether through debt or equity— is often the catalyst for taking your business to the next level. Without it, you’re likely to stay where you are now or worse, stagnate.

Nowadays, there are many options for both equity and debt financing to consider. There is also the option to combine both debt and equity in a funding mix to provide the capital base for long term growth and the working capital to support working capital requirements in the business.

While there’s a vast array of options available—including some that can provide funds within days—figuring out how to access these funds can be a very time-consuming, frustrating experience, even for the most seasoned business owner.

Worryingly, the Wesleyan Bank research revealed that many SME owners turn to the internet for advice about funding options rather than speaking directly to banks or independent funding experts. While the internet does provide some accurate information, it is just as likely to offer information that at best is outdated and, at worst, wildly off-the-mark. Following such unqualified advice is likely to be disastrous for your company.

After all, raising funds is critical to your company’s future growth. As such, it should only be managed by those with substantial experience and knowledge of the strategic funding market.

Typically, that person will be an FD or CFO. And there’s the rub, for as an SME, you probably don’t have a full-time FD with the necessary experience in fundraising to manage the process for you. So what can you do?

You can hire a very experienced part-time FD to manage the entire process for you. He or she will manage everything from determining your immediate and long-term objectives, to finding the right kind of funding partner for the business. You can watch a 3-minute video here which explains the part-time FD/CFO model.

At the FD Centre, our FDs have sourced more funding (over £5 billion) for our clients than just about any other company in the UK. We will provide you with a world-class FD or CFO with ‘big business experience’ to manage your strategic funding process for you and we’ll do it at a fraction of the cost of a full-time FD. It’s the business equivalent of having an Olympic coach to help your business thrive.

To find out more about your funding options, just book your free one-to-one call with one of our strategic funding specialists—just click here now.

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