5 Simple Steps to Transform Your Business, and your life!

Here it is! The straightforward guide to getting back in control of your business, getting it moving forward and giving you back your life!

But reading this blog won’t help you. You need to implement the 5 steps I describe. 5 steps that I have seen work with my clients and in my own business.

Don’t delay – click here and start taking back control!

Free advice to help your business succeed!

imageI have extensive experience in helping small and medium businesses to grow.

I help business owners get back in control of their businesses and their lives.

I regularly share my experience in my blogs. Recent topics include: “7 essentials of highly successful businesses”, “The only 4 ways to grow revenue”,  and “5 simple steps to transform your business”.

The advice I share in my blogs is proven to help businesses succeed. Businesses just like yours.

To get equipped with straightforward advice to help your business grow, join my emailing list and get my blogs direct to your inbox. Just fill in the form below. I won’t share your details with anyone else.


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Who knows what a finance director does?

In my latest blog I’ve put together a job description for a finance director. It collates what I believe to to be the key skills and experience necessary for a good finance director. And a good finance director means a better business!

Read “The FD’s job description” by clicking here

For more information on my services as a freelance finance director and business coach, call me, Chris Fry, on 07740 800986 for a no-obligation discussion.

Focus on these four things to grow your revenue

Every small business owner wants to see more revenue. In my experience, actually being able to do so boils down to four key things to focus on. My latest blog discusses these things and and why I think they’re crucial for success.

Read “The ONLY 4 Ways you Can Increase Your Revenue” by clicking here

For more information on my services as a freelance finance director and business coach, call me, Chris Fry, on 07740 800986 for a no-obligation discussion.

Business Coaching Basics

What is a Business Coach?
Business coaching and the associated role of the business coach is not easy to define as by its very nature it is nowhere near as generic as the role of, say, a finance director. Each coaching assignment is tailored specifically to the precise needs of the client and can vary greatly in terms of the scope of the work to be done, what is to be achieved as a consequence of the intervention, how regularly the coach and the client meet and how long the assignment lasts.

There are some things that can be said however.

Coaching is Results Based
Business coaching is resolutely focussed on outcomes. From our very first meeting, I will work with you to establish what your objectives are from the coaching program. We will work together to ensure that these objectives, or goals, are specified precisely so that we are both clear from the outset exactly what success looks like. In this way, neither of us will be under any illusion as to the success of the program.

Coaching is Business Focussed
Business coaching is focussed entirely on your business goals. It is quite distinct from both Life Coaching which is focussed on you, the individual, and your personal objectives, and executive coaching where the emphasis is on your role as a leader within an organisation. Of course there are overlaps. As a business owner or managing director you will have personal goals associated with your professional life. And by definition you are a leader within your organisation. But much of the value in any coaching relationship lies in the focus you give to the issues at hand. So if it’s your life you need to get in order then by all means get yourself a life coach. Likewise if you are grappling with some specific leadership type issues then an executive coach might suit you better. Both of these coaching types are incredibly powerful in the appropriate context. But if your primary concerns lie with your business, with the development of that business to realise its full potential and with your role in that process, then a business coaching relationship is what you need.

Coaching is Process Driven
A popular, though ill-informed, perception of coaching methods generally is that they are rather wishy washy; cosy chats over coffee that never really go anywhere or achieve anything. Nothing could be further from the truth. All coaching methods follow a process. A typical coaching session will start with a review of the actions agreed at the end of the previous session, and will then determine what the next steps should be and hence the objective for the current coaching session. The ‘meat’ of the session will indeed be a discussion but this will be a facilitated discussion in which I will challenge you, through a series of questions, to set yourself some goals to be achieved before our next session. My role in this process is to lead you to a better understanding of yourself and of the issues that are holding you and your business back from achieving your potential. And having agreed a set of actions I will further hold you absolutely to account for delivering on the commitments you have made.

Coaching is Action Oriented
As I have already intimated above, the success or otherwise of the coaching process lies in its ability to get you to take action. By carefully and precisely identifying your business goals, defining the steps required to get you from your present position to the achievement of those goals and then holding you to account for taking those steps, the coaching relationship is unsurpassed in its ability to get you to achieve massive results incredibly quickly. Of course, sometimes that achievement will take some time and it may require a few attempts to find the right steps for you to take to get from where you are today to where you want to be. If this is the case, if you find yourself constantly unable to complete the actions we have identified as essential then I will work with you to uncover the subconscious blocks and self-sabotaging mechanisms that are holding you back. Together we will expose these to the cold light of day and develop strategies that you can use to overcome these hurdles and so continue your path to success.

Coaching is both Supportive AND Challenging
As the above comments have hopefully made clear, the coaching relationship is one that will provide you with incredible levels of support without becoming sycophantic. At the same time it will provide you with a lot of challenge without becoming critical or excessively confrontational. An element of confrontation may be unavoidable as an essential part of the process involves confronting those issues within you that are holding you and your business back from achieving the success you desire. The extent of that confrontation will depend entirely on you willingness to open your mind to learning things about yourself that may be quite uncomfortable at first hearing. But at its heart, the coaching relationship is focussed entirely on your success and the achievement of the goals that you have set yourself and any confrontation that may arise will only be within this context and with your success in mind.

Next Steps
For a free, no obligation chat to find out how I could add value to you and your business as your business coach, working with you to regain control, and your passion for your business, please give me, Chris Fry, a call on 07740 800986, or email me at chris@chrisfryconsulting.co.uk with your contact details and I will get straight back to you.

The Benefits of a Finance Director for Your SME

So what are the benefits of a finance director for your business?

By bringing a finance director, such as myself, into your business you will secure the services of an experienced business adviser who will be able to relieve you from a lot of the day to day hassle of running a business, freeing you up to concentrate on whatever it is you do best. That might be new product design and development, spending more time with your key clients, or driving new business development and securing more sales for your business. Whatever it is, I will ensure that your activities are properly budgeted for, and that you have sufficient ready cash available to achieve your immediate targets.

Working closely with you and other key members of your management team and board, I will also keep the big picture front of mind and ensure that your business grows in a planned and controlled way, that you have the financial and other resources available to take advantage of any unplanned opportunities that arise, that potential risks are identified and risk prevention and mitigation strategies are implemented. If your business does have the misfortune to hit a bump in the road (and it happens to the best of them) then I will be on hand to help you plot an appropriate recovery strategy.

In addition to this, in my role as your finance director I am required to maintain a professional independence from you that ensures I can always provide constructive challenge to your plans, proposals and decisions. If you’ve ever watched Dragon’s Den, you will have witnessed the confrontational version of this. But to have someone on your team who has the ability to ask incisive questions that challenge the direction you are about to take is invaluable to any business leader. Whilst you might not always appreciate it at the time, it’s far better to have the potentially fatal flaws in your business strategy exposed at the planning stage when they can be discussed and alternatives considered. Post implementation, when a substantial amount of time and money has already been invested, it may be too late. The consequences for a small business in this situation can sometimes be terminal.

And it is this constructive challenge that as a business owner or managing director you probably find most difficult to get. However good your management team, when all is said and done, they look to you to take the lead, set the course and take the key decisions. If you have those within your team who will genuinely challenge you, constructively, when you are set on a particular course of action then you are fortunate indeed. But most leaders in your situation are not so blessed and it is here that I can add value to your planning and decision making processes.

Find out more

For a free, no obligation introductory chat to find out how I can add value to your business, working with you to regain control, and your passion for your business, please give me a call on 07740 800986, or email me via the contact form with your contact details and I will get straight back to you

The Role of the Finance Director

The Role of the Finance Director

The role of the finance director varies considerably from company to company depending on the size of the organisation, its strategy and what stage of the business lifecycle the company is at.

In very broad terms however, the finance director will take responsibility for all financial aspects of company strategy and for the flow of financial information to the chief executive, the board and, where necessary, external parties such as investors or financial institutions.

The role has a very broad remit that takes the finance director into every part of the business. For a commercial enterprise, the amount of profit or loss you make is a way of keeping score and the most objective measure of your success. Because ultimately the consequences of every decision you take in your business are measured in financial terms.

So whether it’s a better understanding of your market and the competition, the development of a medium term strategic plan for your business, the production of a budget for the next 24 months or a cash flow forecast for the next 13 weeks, your finance director will be involved.

If you are expanding and need access to fresh capital, the involvement of an experienced finance director will be absolutely invaluable to you as not only will he or she be heavily involved in producing the business plans needed to secure the new funds but the very fact that you have a qualified, experienced finance professional on your team will lend credibility to your application. And on top of that, your finance director will have an extensive network of contacts that could open up sources of finance to you that you otherwise might not be aware of.

Your finance director will also add a lot of value in your daily operations. Every qualified accountant has a strong grounding in financial and business controls, and risk management. This is an area where new businesses are traditionally quite weak. To be fair, when it was just you, or just you and a trusted partner, and all your focus was on developing your business idea and bringing it to market, there wasn’t a great need for a fully developed controls environment. And no SME business wants to become over burdened with bureaucracy. But as your business grows and you recruit more staff, your ability to control everything diminishes and the need to establish processes and procedures with an appropriate level of inbuilt risk management becomes more apparent.

Find out more

For a free, no obligation introductory chat to find out how I can add value to your SME, working with you to regain control, and regain your passion for your business, please give me a call on 07740 800986, or email me via the contact form with your contact details and I will get straight back to you

Relight the Fire

Imagine yourself back in control of your business. Imagine being able to focus on what you do best. With the benefit of my skilled financial advice and expertise to guide your decisions, you can stop imagining and start achieving your goals.

Call me on 07740 800986 to get back on track and relight your fire.

As a successful Managing Director, you know better than anyone just how lonely the top job can be. That sense of isolation is compounded when the business you are running is your own. No one else shares the same sense of responsibility for what needs to be done. No one else has the same vested interest in the success of your business that you have. To some extent your self confidence rises and falls with the ups and downs of the business cycle. But there is no one to whom you can really turn with any degree of confidence to share the burden.

If you have ever felt that you’re losing control of your business, or that you are becoming the victim of circumstances beyond your control then I can assure you that you are not the first owner MD to have experienced this and you will not be the last. As a business grows and the activity levels ramp up there is more and more that needs to be done. Suddenly, your role can become unsustainable as your time and attention gets spread over an ever increasing range of issues. Paradoxically, this can actually be more of a problem with a very successful, fast growing business than it is with a business that is struggling to realise its potential, though the issues confronting a business struggling to make headway against market and economic headwinds are not to be underestimated.

If any of this rings true for you, then I can help. If you spend too much time each month wondering whether you will have enough cash to make payroll, wondering which suppliers you should prioritise for payment (or which ones might not notice if you don’t pay them for a couple more weeks) then you should give me a call. If you’re just not making the headway you thought you would, if the buzz has gone out of running your own business, if you’re just not making the sort of living you hoped you would and are starting to wonder whether the struggle is really worth it then we should talk.

Of course, it might be that you have a different set of problems. Business might be booming, new clients or orders are coming thick and fast, you need larger premises, more staff…. But increasingly you find that you are struggling to stay on top of the business. And what to do first? What are the priorities and where, for that matter, can you lay hands on the sort of cash you need to fund the necessary expansion? If the very success of your business is taking it away from you, if you no longer feel as though you have it under your control, if you are increasingly worried that although everything seems fine on the surface, important matters are not being addressed and you just can’t stay on top of it all… Then pick up the phone today or drop me a quick email as I have a great proposition for you as well.

My name is Chris Fry. I am a Chartered Certified Accountant and a Chartered Tax Adviser and have nearly 30 years experience in senior Finance roles either at, or close to, Board level. You can read more about my career and professional experience on the ‘About’ tab. Now, I am bringing my expertise and accumulated years of experience to supporting owner managers like you, to realise your potential and the potential inherent in your business.

For a free, no obligation introductory chat to find out how I can add value to your business, working with you to regain control, and your passion for your business, please give me a call on 07740 800986, or email me at chris@chrisfryconsulting.co.uk with your contact details and I will get straight back to you.