Experienced leaders are critical to steering companies of all sizes to success. In fact, a strong, experienced leader is often the difference between an incredibly successful company and one just getting by.
The annual salary, however, of C-level executives in Australia averages between $150,000 and $250,000. That means, when you add up the cost of a full C-suite team, that experience may seem out of reach for most start-ups, SMBs and even many SMEs.
So, how can you attract the high-power talent you need, at a budget you can afford?
The answer is the part-time CXO.
Executives on demand, when you need them
Talent is often the largest cost base for most businesses. While many organisations have focused on streamlining operational and IT services through popular ‘as a Service’ models, few have explored ways to take the same ‘on demand’ approach to talent.
Luckily, new technology has made it easier than ever to connect with workers across all levels of business. Mobile job apps like Found help you quickly find casual workers and extra summer staff while we focus on connecting you with seasoned and highly-skilled business consultants. There is no need to waste time and money on the traditional hiring process or overspending on a full-time position that you may not be able to maintain throughout the year.
Working with on demand workers, particularly experienced C-suite executives, is a great way to bring in best practice from outside your company and upskill your existing talent in a way that fits with your business.
How would a CXO work for you?
It’s a common misconception that only larger organisations require a C-suite team. In fact, SMBs can benefit greatly from external insight and experience and quickly position their businesses for growth.
For example, the idea of an on demand CFO started in the United States during the dot-com boom of the 1990s. Hundreds of small Silicon Valley companies were not big enough to warrant a full-time CFO but were engaging in fund raisings that were complex enough to require seasoned finance professionals.
It you manage your company’s finances on your own, a part-time CFO can free you up to plan for the future, helping you streamline internal processes, implement new solutions and most importantly, look behind the numbers and make sure you understand your financial information so that you can make informed decisions.
If you already employ a bookkeeper and/or accountant, a CFO can provide advice about your increasing financial responsibilities, tax compliance and business direction. He or she can build a budget or forecast for the financial period, work with you to source finance via banks or potential investors, act as an advisor during these transactions or as in the case of Unispace, complete a strategic review.
Another example is the part-time CIO or CTO. Due to limited budgets, there are a worryingly large number of companies with someone in charge of IT strategy, operations and the overall budget, who realistically knows very little about managing IT. But if IT isn’t being done well, it can be disastrous.
An on demand CIO helps you to identify and implement IT efficiencies and removes inefficiencies and risk. This experience can help you through specific projects such as planning for future IT requirements as your business grows, implementing security solutions, improving customer service delivery and productivity, setting up performance tracking and more.
Senior marketing expertise can also be critical to the success of a growing business. A strong marketing leader can establish a brand, acquire customers, and drive sales.
Many start-ups and SMB owners prefer to try their hand at marketing without the necessary experience or expertise. They get carried away with engaging in marketing tactics before outlining business objectives and considering the best marketing strategies to achieve these objectives, which can hinder and even damage the success of the company.
A part-time CMO can create a marketing plan to strategically plot the tactics you will employ and avoid wasting time and money on ineffective activities. They can also help you understand all the latest marketing and social media best practices and set up the necessary tools and software.
Tapping into the proven skills and experience of seasoned C-suite executives isn’t just for large companies anymore. It’s up to you to take charge and begin harnessing top talent to take your business to the next level.
Paul Anderson is the VP Strategic Partnerships, Expert360.