While companies typically do not start in the middle market, many well-funded start-ups operate in a similar capacity to high-growth, middle market companies, in terms of staff, budgets, financing and basically every aspect except sales.
Rapidly changing technologies create opportunities for 19-year-old tech geniuses, but successful companies are started everyday in a wide variety of industries by a wide variety of entrepreneurs. Regardless of the industry, the CFO’s role in a start-up company will typically begin on a part-time basis in an advisory role and to assist with seeking the start-up capital. As the company grows, it will evolve into a full-time job where the the key responsibilities will be:
- Investor relations
- Cash flow forecasting
- Dashboard reporting with Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) both financial and non-financial
- Setting up the GL, ERP, banking, payroll & benefits, policies and procedures, insurance, legal, tax, etc.
CFO’s in start-ups typically have equity participation, so it can be a very rewarding experience both professionally and financially, but it is not for the risk averse.