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Keep It At The 8Th Grade Level

Feb 27, 2011

I once worked for a CEO in a turnaround company who continually reminded us to “Keep it at the eighth grade level!”   Now this CEO has a Harvard MBA, a terrific work ethic, and many successful years of running companies.   It took me a while to fully understand the power of simplicity.  We’ve all heard “experts” talk in techno-babble either to impress us, confuse us, or perhaps because they didn’t realize it or couldn’t communicate any other way.  Sometimes undue complexity is a sign of inexperience.   Unfortunately, undue complexity is expensive and leads to misunderstandings and other problems.  Many times, complexity is not required and is not practical.

We should design our business organization, systems, policies, and procedures with simplicity and flexibility in mind.  In a word, it should be functional.  A smaller business doesn’t need the same things a larger business needs.  We’ve all seen consultants that come into a business and design things that the business really doesn’t need and doesn’t understand.  They write up a report and then leave us to implement, execute, and maintain  it.

Is your company financially functional and practical?  Do you get timely and accurate financial statements?  Do the financials accurately portray the current financial position of the company and are you able to use financial tools to analyze the company,  predict the future, and help run the business?  If not, you may be at a competitive disadvantage.

At B2B CFO®, we use our experience and business model to help business owners.   Our partners average 25 years experience.  We know what works and what doesn’t.   We don’t bring in elaborate models and systems when simpler things will work.  We don’t recommend things that we leave for you to implement.   Our model is based upon being a hands-on business partner with you.   We’ve been bringing world-class financial talent on an as-needed basis to business owners since 1987.

Please contact us if you need help or if you’d like a confidential, free, no obligation assessment of your business.

More from Ronald W. Baker…

About the Author

Ron began his career at Reliance Electric as an accounting clerk, working at night to complete his accounting degree. He served in a series of increasingly responsible accounting, treasury, and business development positions- culminating as Treasurer of RELTEC Corporation, a Reliance Electric telecom spin-off and private equity (Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts- KKR) company. Subsequent to Reliance Electric/RELTEC, he served in a variety of industries in both large and small companies, in CFO, Treasurer, and President/CEO roles.

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