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GET SET, GO By: Gordon

I read an interesting article in Design Week by Suzanne Hinchliffe.  The title was “On your marks” and covered the issues facing start up consultancies in the design industry.

Three start ups were featured and a key message was that you need to be confident about what makes your company different so you can convey this clearly to potential clients so you can grow.

But, I was really pleased to see that the article ended with the recommendation to appoint a financial director from the start. Not just an accountant or book-keeper but someone who can keep you on the right path and help the owners realise their commercial ambition.

It is my experience that most design agencies do not do this and wait for financial problems to be acute before seeking advice.  Often the hidden costs run into hundreds of thousands of pounds.

A strong financial director considers both strategic finance and operational finance.

Strategic Finance includes:

• Plan ahead, with the implementation of budgets and forecasts
• Strategic advice
• Build relationships with banks
• Increase shareholder value

Operational Finance includes:

• Monitor cash flow
• Ensure regular reporting of management information
• Reporting KPIs
• Implement project management systems if appropriate

A financial director will assist in the growth of the business by ensuring that the key controls are in place and that the profile of growth matches the stakeholder’s expectations and demands.

In future posts I’ll go into detail about each aspect, but in the meantime, please do call if you are interested to learn more.

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