Welcome to episode 104 with Jim Downes. Jim is the founder and CEO of a business called Blueprint CFO. Blueprint CFO focuses on improving companies’ accounting and strategic planning processes.
The company helps implement plans for business growth with a focus on the future, tracking what’s working and what’s not, to grow revenue.
So, what does this episode cover?
After leaving public accounting, Jim ventured into consultative work as a fractional CFO. Focusing on helping clients look at what their numbers are telling them, he felt this helped them to make better business decisions. He also felt it helped them reach their financial goals.
We discussed how being proactive about what your business data is showing you is vital. Jim calls this “future focused accounting.” Instead of dwelling on historic data it’s important to focus on the future.
He explains that profit and loss is very important and is usually a result of the different things going on in your business. These tend to fall into 3 different groups:
- Sales and marketing – money spent to generate new clients or make new products – data will show how efficiently this money is being spent
- Operations – how efficiently are you fulfilling orders to maximise profitability?
- Finance and accounting – how are using income to further the business and make it more successful?
The data from these 3 groups is important. For example, in thinking about how you compensate your sales team and how this could impact your sales. Or, how advertising certain products over others could be ineffective. Jim suggests that whilst most businesses may think they know what’s going on, looking at data may be shocking as it reveals what is really going on!
We discussed how some companies focus on aspects of business such as avoiding excessive costs. This may mean overlooking other more important elements such as how to use people more efficiently. Labour is typically the largest expense to business, so labour productivity is essential in terms of generating more revenue per person.
Listen in to this fascinating episode. Jim raises some interesting points as we discuss key areas of how looking at and using data can help businesses to achieve growth and improved success in the right areas.