5 Things Keeping Your CFO Up at Night

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I’m not sure who sleeps less these days — the CFO who is micro-managing cash flow for survival or the CMO whose role, let alone budget, is discretionary. Regardless of what marketing role you play, you need to understand the mission-critical metrics that your CFO is watching.   

Below are 5 questions your owner(s), bank, or board members expect your CFO to answer.   Read the full article, 5 Quick Questions for your CFO, at the BoardSource website.   

  1. Are our cash equivalents truly liquid?
  2. How many days in cash do we have?
  3. What’s our current ratio?
  4. What’s the status of our line of credit?
  5. Are we going to make a profit this year?

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Quality versus Quantity: Know Your Limits

It’s not that marketers enjoy self-sabotage, but I understand it can look that way. Never ones to shy away from a sales crisis or marketing challenge, we’ll accept a drop-in assignment out of sheer love of the game.

It isn’t until 2:30 a.m. of the day the project is due, when we’re strung out on caffeine and pop-tarts, that we realize something’s gotta give. Therein lies the self-sabotage. When there’s more work than time, you need to pull up and manage expectations before you’ve overcommitted yourself or your team to another drop-in project.

When my boss says ‘give me more’ what kind of fool is going to tell her she’s off her rocker?”

First of all, I’ve been that boss, and I already know I’m off my rocker. So, sticks and stones… you’re singing to the choir, etc etc… but there’s work to be done. The more outrageous my requests, the more I rely on you to keep me grounded.  

Even if you’re stuck with people who could care less about what it takes to produce quality work, guard your process and your time with these four disciplines.

  1. Quantify your time for each step of the process — then TRIPLE it.
  2. Define your team’s development and delivery process.
  3. Communicate your operational process — ad nauseam.
  4. Hold colleagues responsible for their deliverables.
    Continue reading

The Argument for Quality over Quantity

In every marketer’s career, we hear something that sounds like this:  “I appreciate your high quality standards, but what we really need right now is QUANTITY.”  

Here’s reality — those ridiculous, unrealistic people who nag you to lower your standards will never go away.  Ever.  Whether it’s the CEO, sales manager (or sometimes, yes, even your Marketing VP), someone will coax you to ease up on your quality standards for the sake of getting more done.  The problem is, these well-meaning folks have no idea what “quantity over quality” really means, nor at what cost.

In a growing, entrepreneurial company, the demand for MarCom output will always exceed your resources to produce it.  Your job is to manage it, not fall victim to it.

If you’re with a growth-oriented company (which is where I hope you are), the pressure is even greater, to the point of insane.   Naturally you’re passionate about your craft and will do what it takes to move the company forward.  If that’s who you are (especially if you’re a pleaser),  you will set yourself up for failure.  

Your passion will sign you up for unrealistic deliverables and, in the end, your work is sub-par and ineffective.  You feel like a sell-out , look like a poor performer, and your boss is oblivious as to why you couldn’t manage his expectations.

So, what to do?  Let’s get the textbook answer out of the way, first. Continue reading