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What do we expect of clients?  The selection process

We select each client based on the following five point criteria:

Bullet 1 Is the client committed to an "Everyone Wins" philosophy? There are five constituencies to every business--customers, employees, vendors, owners and the surrounding community. Management and owners of our clients are determined that every constituency receives value from the business. A business that short changes any member is not a good candidate for our service. (Example: We don't service tobacco, alcohol, or gambling companies because their products cause loss to their customers. We also won't serve companies that take advantage of employees or vendors or are bad citizens in their community.) Management must have a philosophy of "Everyone Wins" or we won't get involved.

Bullet 2 Is the client committed to principles of honesty and integrity? Companies that fudge the numbers, mislead customers or fail to honor commitments are not good candidates for our service. With us this isn't a moral issue—honesty is just good business.

Bullet 3 Is the business model viable? If the business model is flawed beyond repair, we won't get involved. We need to really believe the business has a legitimate chance for profitability and success. However, just because a company is unprofitable and in deep financial trouble doesn't necessarily mean the model is flawed. We're not afraid to get involved with troubled businesses, just those that have a flawed business model.

Bullet 4 Can we make a difference? If we don't think we can make a difference and bring tangible value to the relationship, then we won't get involved.

Bullet 5 Do we genuinely like the business and the people? This is strictly a personal chemistry issue.

What can clients expect from us? (Our commitments)

There are a number of things that our clients have a right to expect from us:

Bullet 1 We always maintain an "Everyone Wins" philosophy.

Bullet 2 We maintain integrity and strive to be completely honest and meet the commitments we make.

Bullet 3 We maintain confidences.

Bullet 4 We deliver value and are determined to always deliver value that exceeds any investment in our services.

Bullet 5 We speak with candor. We are an independent voice of reason. We tell you what we really think and what you really need to hear. We are team players, but not yes men. The last thing you want in a chief financial officer is someone who carefully tells you what you want to hear.

How much will it cost? (The bottom line)

Since we are committed to delivering value that exceeds any investment there should be no cost—only an investment and return on that investment. If we do our job, a client's investment in our services should pay for itself many times over.

The amount of the investment will vary with each client and the level of service required.

We use a combination of all the tools of compensation to exactly align our rewards with those of the owners of the business.

To see how this is done, you need to clearly see how owners of companies receive value. It happens in three ways:

Bullet 1 Compensation for service. If the owner also works in the business, the owner should receive a salary or some form of compensation for time and expertise. This should be the amount the company would pay to an outsider providing the same services.

Bullet 2 Share of profits. An owner receives a share of the profits of the business. The distribution of profits may come in many forms and at various times, but they represent the reward for the investment and risk of ownership.

Bullet 3 Growth in value. Also, as an owner you will share in the growth in the value of the business. This is often a transparent asset until you decide to sell the business. For many small businesses, this is element of compensation that gives you the most long-term reward.

Our goal is to align our compensation to the same three ways owners make money.

Bullet 1 Fee for service. We receive a fee for the time we spend actually working on business tasks.

Bullet 2 Bonus on increase in profit. We share in the increase in profit generated by our contribution. This is not a share of total profit, but of the increase attributable to our involvement.

The bonus on increase in profits requires a little explanation. Let's assume that a client business is earning $100,000 of pretax profit a year and is growing at 5% each year. (The business should make $100,000 this year and $105,000 next year.) With our help, the company leaps forward and generates $150,000 in profit this year and $200,000 next year. We would share in the extra $50,000 profit this year ($150,000 earned less $100,000 earned without our help) and we share in the extra $95,000 ($200,000 earned less $105,000 that would have been earned without our help).

Bullet 3 Share in increase in business value. Ideally this is done by acquiring an equity interest in the business with specific terms of exit. In other words, we share in the equity and in the reward when the business is sold or with a buy back provision when you elect to move on and not work with us any longer. Always, you are left in control. The provisions assure that the small percentage of stock we hold are transferred back to you upon the completion of our work, but we share in the increase in value over the time we work together.

A client's overall investment is structured from these three elements in a manner that fits the specific needs of the client and aligns our interest exactly with their own. For example, a client with severe cash flow problems would likely prefer much less in fees in exchange for a share of the increased profits and growth in business value.

Where do we go from here? (Getting Started)

If you feel your business would benefit from the level of services we provide, we would love to talk. Of course, there is no cost or obligation for discussing your needs and the strategy we would use to help you.

Simply send us an email to info@solutioncfo.com or call at (801) 571-0974 and let us know of your interest. Naturally, we will be happy to answer any of your questions.