Happy New Year to all our clients, friends and associates. We at CFO for Rent® genuinely appreciate you and have enjoyed working with you this past year. We look forward to even more next year.

I have no big financial magic or amazing accounting discovery to offer you as we leave 2021 (unlike some of my earlier posts). I do have a message that will hopefully help you start 2022 on a positive footing, despite the challenge of the past couple years. The message has two parts, and actually I’m not going to write them. You are.

  1. The first part is a recognition of the biggest lesson you’ve learned from the past year. Possible responses:
  • We should always have a larger cash reserve than we’ve had in the past.
  • If our planning had been better, or more closely watched, we would have better prepared.
  • If we had delegated more effectively, our team might have made better informed decisions.
  • We knew where our customers were – we just didn’t know where they were going.
  • Your response: ________________________________________________________________

For my part, I learned – or re-learned after 35 years in business – that we need to recognize earlier in a consulting relationship when we are not a good fit for our client, and bring it to a mutually supportive close sooner.

  1. The second part – even more valuable – what is the most important thing you will do differently in 2022, based on what you’ve learned in 2021. This is a bit harder. Some possible responses:
  • We will look more carefully at what we plan to spend money for, and assess its likely impact on enterprise value before we spend it.
  • We will actually do a budget this year that means something, and that has some accountability from those who actually control the activities that drive performance. We may not meet the budget, but we’ll absolutely learn how to more effectively use it to allocate resources.
  • If we determine someone on our team isn’t able to fill the role we need, we will help them find a better seat on the bus, or on a different bus if we can’t grow them to fill the right seat on our bus.
  • We will ask our customers what they want from us, rather than assuming they must want what we are selling. Our relationship going forward WILL be based on their answers.
  • Your response: _______________________________________________________________

My awakening: In the remaining years of my consulting life, beginning with the next one, I will reduce the time I spend on things I don’t love and invest that time wholeheartedly in doing more of what I do love.

If you are clear about your responses and want to share your insights with us, we’ll summarize and share with our readers – anonymously, of course.

So what do you think? Are you ready for 2022? We are.

We are Your CFO for Rent.

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