FD Centre

Colin Mills says that part-time FDs could be the answer when going through a transitional period


Who are you?

Colin Mills, MD and founder of the FD Centre

What do you do?

The FD Centre provides part-time finance directors (FDs) for small and medium-sized businesses. Our clients are business owners and managing directors. They get FD-calibre support with no full-time fixed costs, no ongoing liability, just advice, insight and support when it’s needed, leaving them to concentrate on their core business. All our consultants have been finance directors in business with formal accounting qualifications, and many have been managing directors. They offer knowledge that only people with real-world experience can provide.

What size company suits you?

The vast majority of our work comes from businesses with turnovers between £1m and £20m, although some businesses we are dealing with have now exceeded the top end of this range.

Why should I care?

For those businesses that don’t want, don’t need and probably can’t afford a full-time FD, but need that skill set on a regular basis or for specific situations as they arise, a part-time FD can be the answer. An individual with big-company experience can provide interpretation, advice and positive intervention when it’s required, at a fraction of the cost of employing someone full-time to do the job.

What can you do for me that I can’t do for myself?

Entrepreneurs drive growing businesses with great business ideas, innovative products or services, and a powerful capacity to sell. However, they are often limited when it comes to the financial and managerial aspects of fast-growth or problem situations. Even those with the appropriate financial skills rarely have the time to use them effectively. We take away this pain, offering growing businesses the financial and management support they need.

Give me some examples of what benefits I might expect.

Our whole mindset is geared to delivering business benefits and taking away headaches for business owners and directors. We will help you, for example, see a clear picture of where your business is going in financial terms that you understand, figure out the best directions for your business, analyse business performance, introduce new systems across the business, and reduce costs to improve profits. We can also help you to forecast and manage cashflow for growth or survival, obtain the best deals on financing, and access funds and gain support from seemingly elusive bankers.

Give me an example of one business you’ve worked with this year.

Last year saw the culmination of five years of working with the DBI Group (an industrial and environmental services business) in a partial exit for management. During that time, the FD Centre has helped this group grow from a £6m to a £25m-turnover business. Along the way we have raised funds for growth, improved business systems, helped make acquisitions, planned and managed cash, set up and overseen the development of the finance function, and ultimately with management, planned the sale of the business. In October, the industrial services business (representing about half of the group) was sold for £20m.

Why should I trust you?

We have been working as part-time FDs longer than anyone else. We only employ highly experienced, very well-qualified FDs with real-world experience. Our team can all legitimately wear the ‘been there, seen it, done it’ T-shirt. If sector experience of your industry is important, chances are we can provide it. Customer references support our claims. It’s this track record and experience that has earned us the trust we enjoy with existing clients.

What will it cost me?

Typically, part-time FDs from the FD Centre will cost somewhere between £9,000 and £36,000 per annum for continuous involvement.

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: FD Centre

Description: Part-time Finance Directors

Based: Nationwide

Employees: Currently 30 FDs and growing

Contact:

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: FD Centre

Description: Part-time Finance Directors

Based: Nationwide

Employees: Currently 30 FDs and growing

Contact:

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: FD Centre

Description: Part-time Finance Directors

Based: Nationwide

Employees: Currently 30 FDs and growing

Contact:

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: FD Centre

Description: Part-time Finance Directors

Based: Nationwide

Employees: Currently 30 FDs and growing

Contact: www.thefdcentre.co.uk

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