Get to know Daryl LaFountain and some of his financial services achievements? In the early stages of a company, CEOs get involved in everything. As your growth ramps up, however, you must become strategic with your time. You need to put systems in place for building and scaling a financially viable business while preserving your attention for mission-critical items. As a fractional CFO for growth companies, I help clients navigate this shift on a daily basis, and I’ve found the following tips useful in nearly every situation. Every business leader understands they need a strategy for attracting and converting new leads into customers. But when you’re growing sales on a budget, you need to be creative. Instead of costly ad campaigns or branding strategies, I’d recommend you build strong, reciprocal partnerships first and that you do so as soon as possible. I’m not referring to simple networking. I’m talking about identifying companies with business models that complement your own and approaching them with a win-win proposition. The relationship can be formal or informal, but the key is to offer something valuable in exchange for inexpensive exposure to your target audience.
Daryl La Fountain‘s tips on improving your business financial situation: With the advent of modern technology in the field of accounting and finance, organizing your business finances is much easier. Instead of doing the calculations and analysis of financial transactions manually, you can automate everything with the help of must-have tools and software intended for keeping track of your business finances. Also, you can better organize your company’s finances if all your financial records are automated and can be accessed digitally. For example, you can use the relevant accounting software to do online invoicing. Instead of going through the physical copies of the transactions, which is time-consuming and a bit of a hassle, using technology will allow you to automate and organize your finances better.
One of personal finance’s most-repeated mantras is “pay yourself first.” No matter how much you owe in student loans or credit card debt, and no matter how low your salary may seem, it’s wise to find some amount—any amount—of money in your budget to sock away in an emergency fund every month. Having money in savings to use for emergencies can keep you out of trouble financially and help you sleep better at night. Also, if you get into the habit of saving money and treating it as a nonnegotiable monthly expense, pretty soon you’ll have more than just emergency money saved up: You’ll have retirement money, vacation money, or even money for a down payment on a home. It’s easy to put your fund a standard savings account, but these earns almost no interest. Put your fund in a high-interest online savings account, short-term certificate of deposit (CD), or money market account. Otherwise, inflation will erode the value of your savings. Just make sure the rules of your savings vehicle permit you to get to your money quickly in an emergency.
Sadly, you can’t really kick-start your financial future if you’re carrying a ton of debt. Between sky-high interest rates, large minimum monthly payments, and the damage lots of debt can do to your credit score, you’re better off paying your debts first. Create a debt pay-off strategy and be patient but consistent when working toward becoming debt-free. If you are serious about building wealth, then you’re going to need to put your money to work for you. This is where investing comes in. However, before you put any of your hard-earned money into investments, it’s important to have well-defined objectives. Think about what the investment is for when you’ll need your money and what your risk tolerance. Investing is a long-term activity, so you have to commit to it if you really want to see your money grow. Worried that you’ll need your money in the short term? Well, that’s what your savings accounts are for; to put aside your emergency savings and money for your short-term goals (i.e. money you’ll need in 5 years or less). You also want to make sure you have a basic understanding (at the minimum) of any investment you put your money into (e.g. the stock market, real estate, or small business). Your plans to invest should be included as a part of your monthly budget where you allocate a certain percentage of your income toward your investment goals.
About Daryl LaFountain: Daryl is an energetic professional CFO with a background in politics. Daryl has done fundraising, been a candidate, and worked in politically appointed positions in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia. Daryl has worked for Democratic candidates and nominees in 18 additional states. Are just entering the political realm and need some advice (Daryl has been there).