A great fractional CFO can help your startup build the right financial foundation to scale quickly and confidently.
What kind of experience do they have with venture-backed startups?
Venture-backed startups have unique finance and operations needs, and you want to hire a fractional CFO who has “been there, done that” in the startup world. A CFO might have an impressive resume with enterprise or mid-market companies, but if they’ve never helped a company through a successful Series A or acquisition, they’re probably not the best fit for your startup. You need someone on your team who can effectively see around corners and help you with the challenges of managing cash while you scale.
Are they experts in your startup’s particular sector?
Next, you want to look at how well a CFO candidate’s sector experience fits your startup’s sector. For example, SaaS startups have much different needs from Fintech, which are different from Consumer, etc.
Will they expand your network of investors and partners?
When it comes to successfully scaling a startup, it’s what you know and who you know. Beyond bringing relevant expertise to the table, your CFO should also bring quality relationships.
Ask your CFO candidates about their relationships with investors and with other companies in your industry. Will they help you tap into synergies to accelerate growth and expand your footprint?
Process & Time-to-Value
How soon will your new CFO start delivering value?
Finally, you want to look at the expected time-to-value for your new CFO hire. Hiring a fractional CFO is significantly less expensive than the fixed cost of a full-time CFO, but it still costs money. You want to make sure that your new CFO will be up-and-running and delivering value to your startup as close to day one as possible.
Do they have a proven track record in the services where your startup needs the most support?
Not only are the needs of startups different from the needs of established large businesses, but the needs of startups also vary greatly from one to the next. Examine your company’s specific strategic finance needs, and look at how each candidate’s experience and expertise fit those needs. Consider your current and anticipated future needs as you scale your startup.