25/07/2014

By Ken Crabtree, Chief Financial Officer, alldayPA


1. Controlling costs is always on a CFO's agenda. It is a balancing act. Don’t be fooled, sometimes the cheapest option can sometimes be the most expensive. The skill is knowing what to spend money on and when to save.

2.A company is only as good as it's weakest link, and staff investment is essential. There is a cost benefit analysis involved here as recruiting and training new staff is an expense so a clear recruitment brief for the role is important. Keeping good staff is an organisational USP.

3.When it comes to pricing products and services, the market out there is knowledgeable. It will pay the going rate so be realistic to be competitive. What makes you different.

4.Finding efficiencies and cost savings means money can be spent elsewhere, get your staff to understand that if we cut costs in one area then the company will have more money for, the staff party example. Sometimes management are too far removed so getting everyone involved is important.

5.Providing exceptional customer service to your customer, whoever that may be, will always be a differentiator. There is a continuous downward pressure on costs and priding yourself on always being the cheapest has its risks. You need to find something else, as a competitor will always be willing to go cheaper than you, however they often won’t provide the same service or industry insight.

6.Never be sad to lose a loss-making client. There is a point at which you have to say no. If you spin it round the client wouldn't want to make a loss so why should you? Chasing these types of client will always be a mistake.

7.Having strict and rigid policies, doesn't always work. I take each case on an individual basis. The rule book isn't the same for everyone as every situation is different.

8.The companies that don't pay the bills and won't pick up the phones are the ones you have to worry about. Whilst they are still willing to talk to you, there is often a way to resolve a problem.

9.Only threaten action such as downing tools or suspending a service/product, if you are willing to act on it. Unfulfilled threats make you seem weak and this course of action is no longer a deterrent.

10.A quick chat rather than a big meeting is often more effective at getting a resolution. Not everyone needs to be involved in everything and those small chats cost less money. Trust your team.


By Ken Crabtree, Chief Financial Officer, alldayPA