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Don’t Miss Your Golden Hour

Imagine the first glorious hour of a sunrise early in the morning or the precious last hour of sunlight where everything appears in a softer, subtler hue. It’s not something I am able to enjoy every day but when I do it’s a moment of reflection and stillness. What I refer to as The Golden […]

Ownership Transition: Why good leadership is vital for a successful EOT or MBO

Embarking on an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) or a Management Buyout (MBO) as an exit option has become popular for business owners. The choice reflects your values and commitment to the long-term success and sustainability of your business. However, the journey isn’t without challenges, particularly be aware of a potential gap in leadership and skills […]

Barry’s Story from Group FD to Portfolio FD

Barry King joined vfdnet as an Associate FD in 2016. He met James Shand nearly a year before that, he shares his journey from the point of deciding on a portfolio finance career. Are you at a junction in your finance career considering if a portfolio route is the right next step for you? Read […]

Will’s Mentoring Story

Will Marr is a vfdnet Associate FC. He’s been an associate since 2019 and recently started mentoring under James Shand’s wing to learn ‘real-life’ about options for business exits with a focus to date on Employee Ownership Trusts.  vfdnet are seeing a real interest in EOTs alongside MBOs and where a trade sale isn’t the […]

Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) or Management Buyout (MBO)? What is the difference and which is right for your business?

When it comes to selling a business, owners have various options available to them. Two methods of business sale that have gained popularity are Management Buyouts (MBO) and Employee Ownership Trusts (EOT). Proving a trade sale is no longer the only or obvious option. An Employee Ownership Trust, requires a minimum of 51% of your […]

How to Reconcile All Stakeholders’ Interests in an EOT Sale

In an Employee Ownership Trust deal the focus can often be on getting the best deal for the business owner. Everyone’s keen once a decision has been made to complete a sale to employees that they lose sight of the importance of ensuring all stakeholders’ interests are included in the EOT agreement. Our Virtual FDs […]

The deal is done, what’s your next move?

So, you’re the Finance Director of a company that’s on the verge of a major transaction. You have been at the core of the process from due diligence, preparing all the finance documentation and working closely with the legal counsel. It’s been pressured, and your life has been overtaken by work. You’re about to complete. […]

Are you ready to break free from working full-time as an FD or FC for one employer?

Working out if leaving your FD role in a business for a portfolio finance career is right for you or not, is a big decision. At vfdnet we want to help you make the right decision for you based on key facts and weighing up the pros and cons. Perhaps you are considering voluntary redundancy, [...]

How to protect your business value as costs increase

We're all experiencing a rise in the cost of living but how does this impact businesses? At vfdnet we see first-hand how increased costs are affecting our clients' businesses every day and we help them to navigate any long-term negative effect on the value and success of the business. How to best navigate these potential [...]

Nick’s Onboarding Story as a Portfolio FD

Nick was a successful CFO and Finance Director seeking a change. He contacted James at vfdnet in December, after finding us on Google, to enquire about joining as an associate. This was his first step toward a portfolio finance career. After working as a Finance Director for several years it was time for a change. [...]

Top five mistakes to avoid as a new portfolio FD or FC

James Shand is an experienced Virtual Finance Director and owns vfdnet, here he shares mistakes he wishes he’d been told to avoid when starting his portfolio finance career 18 years ago. What I wished I’d known when I stepped into the portfolio FD world The variety and independence of being a portfolio FD are great, […]

Game Plans for Growth – how to bridge the gap between FC and FD?

So, what should you expect of a really good Financial Controller compared to an experienced part-time Finance Director? Are your Finance Function issues down to an under-performing FC or do you need a part time FD to act as a sounding board?  This newsletter should give you a good idea about what to expect of [...]

Game Plans for Growth – which route is best for selling your business? MBOs

This is the second in a mini series of newsletters on business succession, the first was on Business sale via a trade sale, whereas this one focusses on buyouts by managers.  Business owners can often put off thinking about business succession, however we are all mortal and there are many horror stories of businesses left to widows [...]

Business Exit via Trade Sale – Misconceptions

This is the first in a mini series of newsletters on business succession, addressing the trade sale route, buyouts by managers, and transfer to employee ownership (the so-called John Lewis model).  Business owners can often put off thinking about business succession, however we are all mortal and there are many horror stories of businesses left [...]

Management Buy Outs (MBOs) Key Stages

Here are the key stages of a Managemet Buy Out. Evaluation of the Management Team – Evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses to determine…

How do you make your business more resilient?

How do you make your business more resilient? Here are our top tips to make your business more resilient…

Bank Tenders

Bank Business Loans and Financing. What are the lending criteria for Banks? How can you best present your business to a Bank? What are the alternatives?

Strategy – Assessing the risks of Growth

Strategy – Assessing the risks of Growth: Strategic business plans – strategic planning and advice for startup businesses from qualified finance directors

Strategic – Brexit Workshop

Brexit workshop: How will Brexit impact my business? Strategic business planning and advice for startup businesses from qualified finance directors…

Why consider Acquisitions?

Increasing the size of your business can be a significant factor in improving how others will value it. Businesses which are marginally profitable will…

How to retain Key Managers?

The loss of a key manager is always a big event in SME businesses. At the very least it will lead to short term pressure, considerable senior…

What do Buyers look for?

Companies which are seeking to grow by acquisition will be constantly looking at quite a number of ‘possible targets’ at any one time…

How do you manage Recovery?

Many businesses will sail ‘close to the wire’ on occasions as circumstances don’t always turn out as expected. However what is the difference between…

How do you Buy a Business?

All businesses need to grow their sales, so called organic growth, however many business owners may become frustrated at the length of time or the…

How could an up to date Business Plan help you?

If you don’t know where you are going how will you know when you have arrived? You may know that you need a Business Plan, or have an old plan that has…

How good is your Bank Relationship?

In a recent CBI survey of small and medium sized business managers, although only 12% have experienced a tightening in bank credit to date, a further 53%…

Could your business benefit from an MBO

A Management Buy Out (MBO) is simply the acquisition of a business by its existing management team, usually backed by external funding sources and so…

How can you protect your business from a Downturn?

With the CBI lowering its growth forecast for 2009 to just over 1%, and BDO Stoy Hayward forecasting Business Insolvencies rising by 18% next year…

Could a Merger help your Business?

In a contracting market once you have restructured your business to fit lower demand how else can you protect your business for the future? Large…

Where to Hunt for Funding?

You may be contemplating an acquisition or even considering selling your business to your Management Team via an MBO (see our earlier newsletter..

Valuing Businesses – science or art?

There are many reasons why a business valuation may be needed, including buying a business, selling a business or even organising a Management Buy Out…

Share Option Schemes – Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid

How can you align the objectives of key managers with the Business Owners agenda? Most Business Owners strive to build the value of his or her business…

Time to Seize the Moment?

With business confidence at a new low, the temptation is to put off strategic decisions. However your competitors may have been studying the market for a…

Top Deal Breakers to avoid

As Virtual or part time Finance Directors we are passionate to help make deals happen, which is why it is incredibly frustrating when deals fall down…

What is Due Diligence and why does it matter?

Understanding what Due Diligence is all about, when it is employed and what the objective is will help you be better prepared. If you are thinking of…

Why Transform your Finance Function?

vfdnet has progressed a long way since starting out in 2003 and it has been very revealing asking clients what they really value about what we do…

How to avoid Shareholder Splits?

Having business owners with shared vision and values is one thing, but ensuring that your objectives and timeframe are also in harmony is essential to…

Why measure performance?

How do you measure your business performance? Do you have finely tuned measures in place which tell you whether performance is on track? Or do you run..

Acquisitions – How could synergy gains help your business?

With business sellers expectations more moderate today than at any time over the last 6 years, Game Plans for Growth is running a series of 3 newsletters…

How can you protect your business from fraud?

This Game plans for growth we are looking at some of the typical fraud warning signs to look out for, as well as reviewing some basic strategies to…

10 reasons why you might tender your bank facilities?

“If you owe your bank £1m, you are at his mercy. If you owe him £1bn, he is at your mercy” – a quote from John Maynard Keynes in 1947, (updated for…

Top 10 Budget Blunders!

What gets measured gets done. If you don’t have a well thought through plan as to where your business is going you won’t reach your destination on time…

Top 10 Tips for Great Profit Share Schemes

There is nothing like giving your employees a share of profits to attract their attention and motivate them to helping achieve your goals. Well designed…