If you’re like pretty much anyone else on the planet, you’ve probably considered starting your own business at some point.
At least every Finance Hacker does! :)
But how do you make a business, not just any business, but a highly profitable business. The kind of business the likes of Google, Facebook, and Apple have built. It isn’t easy, but there are some steps that you can take. You just need to think like a CFO
Think Like A CFO? What Does That Mean?
A CFO is the chief financial officer of the company. It is an extremely important position, as they are in charge of the money. Which means that they need to take specific actions and develop a particular way of thinking in order to make the business profitable.
Many young entrepreneurs fail because they are too focused on just one part of the business like the product, marketing or finances. But a great CFO takes all of them into account and keeps the overview about the health of his company.
If you want to know how to get there, just start with these eight steps and you will be well on your way.
1. Deliver Insights, Not Data
Anyone can look at a set of data, and present in a flashy format to someone else. While some people may be fooled, and think this is what makes a profitable business, it is not what a top quality CFO would do.
You need to deliver something more than data, something that is going to help drive your business forward. Let people know what the data means, both for the current business, and what you can use the data for to improve the business in the future.
2. Operate End To End
This basically means being involved in every aspect of your business. Don’t take a back seat. Be aware of everything that is happening.
That way you are in the perfect place to make the decisions that need to be made.
Don’t micromanage, but at the same time always be aware of what is going on.
3. Question And Challenge The Status Quo
Look at the biggest, and most successful businesses in the world. Google, Apple, and companies like them. They got to where they are by challenging what was the accepted logic in the business world.
With Google it was that search engines could be user friendly, with Apple it was that the smartphone would have mass appeal, and that the tablet would too.
They took the risk, challenged current thinking, and as a result they are now two of the biggest companies in the world. Truly successful business people are not afraid to challenge the accepted norm, think what others aren’t, and become a true success.
4. Take Smart Risks
When you look at the most successful people in the world. The Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Warren Buffetts of the world. You never see someone who was averse to taking risks.
Zuckerberg & Gates dropped out of college, well before their ideas ever really took off. They took a risk, focused on their business, and it paid off.
Warren Buffett was often laughed at for some of the investments that he made. But many of them made him millions of dollars, because he was willing to take the risk.
None of your risks need to be quite so big, but don’t be afraid to take a well educated risk, because that is how your business becomes successful.
5. Build A High Performing Team
Very few people, even the most visibly successful ones, got there by themselves. Most of them got there with the help of a small team (expanding to a large team when they grew big enough).
You can’t do it alone, no matter how good you are. As the boss you have a lot of responsibility, so start thinking and acting like the boss. The way to do this is to surround yourself with the best, and with people that you can trust.
Give them important tasks, and expect the best from them. That way you can focus on the bigger picture, and your business can become a success.
Not to mention that your team can give you ideas that you might never have thought of.
6. Innovate And Strive For Breakthrough Solutions
In a profitable business, it isn’t enough to just rest on your laurels, and do your job. You need to be a cut above the rest.
You should always be looking for ways to innovate in your business. Whether it is something small that can save the business money, or a whole new product line. Always be prepared to introduce new innovations into your business.
This is how you break through to the next level.
7. Don’t Avoid Tough Decisions
Sometimes in business, things don’t go according to plan. Maybe you have lost some money, or another pitfall has fallen your business.
When tough times arrive, you mustn’t be afraid to make tough decisions.
Maybe you need to cut the payroll to survive, or stop production of a product that hasn’t been as successful. Whatever the issue, don’t be afraid to make the tough decisions. It may be what separates your business from success, and failure.
8. Step Forward To Lead
The best businesses have a figurehead. If you look at the most profitable businesses, they all have a person who you can name that leads the company.
The late Steve Jobs of Apple, Richard Brandson of Virgin, Larry Ellison of Oracle. That is because they step forward, and truly lead their businesses from the front.
To take your business to the next level, you need to do the same. Don’t rest on your laurels, always be leading your people.
These eight steps to a successful CFO are presented from the CFO of Kimberly-Clark, Mark Buthman in this video. He truly believes every employee in his finance organization should think like him:
This Is How You Become A Successful CFO
Combine these eight steps, and you should see how you steadily make more money in your business. These are the steps that probably all CFOs have in mind, and they are a great place to start if you want to follow in their footsteps, start your own business and building wealth.