Q: What is the difference between Advisory Services and Consulting?
A: The primary distinction between Advisory Services and Consulting is in the focus of the work to be provided. In a Consulting engagement, the scope of work is generally known in advance, and the company then needs a "subject matter expert" related to that work. In an Advisory Services engagement, the scope of work is broader based and is best viewed as an open field. The value of an Advisor is helping you find what needs to be done or to explore what is possible, not simply reacting to what you already know is needed. SCS Advisory Group is not subject matter focused, but instead we bring thoughtful analyses and solutions to helping improve the overall success of an organization --- we help you find ways to grow and improve, to work smarter, and to function more effectively as a team; we challenge you to think beyond what is visible; and we encourage you to have big dreams. Our clients sometimes have an idea of what needs to be done when they engage us . . . . more often they only know that the current state just doesn't feel right!
Q: Why are your fees so low for the Small Biz Coaching Service --- does that suggest a lower level of service?
A: Quite simply, the "ridiculously low fees" for this service are my personal way of supporting and applauding the truly heroic efforts of small business owners. Starting and sustaining a small business is no small task, and many owners struggle because they lack independent (and sometimes brutally candid) advice and counsel. I applaud the determination required to succeed in a small business, and i truly enjoy helping owners succeed.
Q: What are the common "Business Potholes?
A: Business experts generally agree that the Top 5 causes for failure or under-performance in an organization are (1) a lack of focus and communication, (2) poor team alignment and commitment, (3) financial mismanagement, (4) ineffective sales and marketing, and (5) limited accountability. These "potholes" (with minor variations) are also often common causes for problems within personal relationships, whether those relationships be at home among family members or in the workplace among co-workers.
Q: Our business already has a CPA. Why do we need a Virtual CFO service?
A: Though many businesses have a CPA, that individual or firm has an ethical obligation to remain independent from key aspects of your business, including strategic issues, cost management, and more. Typically a CPA is trained in and focused on the matters of accounting, whereas a CFO is trained in and focused on the matters of strategic management, business planning, staff development, cost efficiency, and other similar functions. Our role as an Interim CFO will not displace your CPA, but instead we will work as her or his partner to be sure the information they need and the financial systems they expect are in place.
Q: What results can I expect from your work?
A: Results vary but improvement is guaranteed --- if not, our work is FREE !!. SCS Advisory Group takes pride in not undertaking an engagement unless we truly believe that measurable and meaningful improvements can be achieved --- and we candidly discuss our estimates of the possible improvements with you before the work is begun. We also know from experience that your commitment and active participation in the work is just as important, if not more so, than our involvement --- and thus we also candidly discuss our expectations of your commitment and active participation with you before the work is started.
Q: Can I pay for the work with a personal or corporate credit card?
A: Yes. Payment for individual services may be made by credit card directly through our web site; payment for corporate accounts may be arranged through a customary Purchase Order / Invoice method OR paid with a corporate credit card.
Q: What level of client involvement is required in this work?
A: Active and meaningful collaboration between a client and advisor is crucial to the success of any engagement. We expect that you as the Owner / CEO will have a sincere interest in achieving the goals agreed between us, and that you will actively participate in and support the work as needed.