Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Small businesses struggle on many fronts and find it difficult to strive in the competitive world. But with the help of fractional executives, these businesses have a true fighting chance!
What is a fractional executive?
A fractional executive is an individual a company hires to fulfill an executive role. This role asks for a fraction of the full-time work, and these individuals do not work for long office hours but as consultants instead. Companies hire fractional executives on part-time or on-demand contracts.
Such hires are the best options for companies who may not have the resources needed to hire a full-time executive or simply do not have the need. Companies who want business experts without spending a lot of money often go for fractional executives. These individuals are often highly experienced, having spent many years in the field, and can prove to be very valuable assets. Fractional executives may have a vast range of skills pertaining to different disciplines or just one, depending on their qualifications and experiences.
Such executives may practice independently, or they may be a part of a consulting firm. These experts can fill in different roles besides consultancy. For example, you can also hire a fractional executive to fulfill senior management roles and make important decisions. Companies can also hire their services for a specific project, such as a marketing initiative, and bid farewell when the project ends.
Related: How a Fractional Executive Can Take Your Business to the Next Level
Why are fractional executives important for your small businesses?
If you are a small business, then you must consider hiring a fractional executive, as they serve smaller businesses better than large companies.
Your company may still be in its initial stages, and it can be very difficult to steer it through turbulent times. In such times, smaller companies require the guidance of an expert, so they know what to do in order to succeed.
There are several other reasons why small businesses should get a fractional executive on board. Let’s take a look at some of them:
To sustain the growth of your business, you may need to hire people who are very experienced and match the qualifications you need. Fractional executives can show you the right direction and advise you along the way.
Since they have experience with successful companies, they know just what you need to do for the growth of your business. With their experience, many small businesses can benefit in sticky situations such as changing market trends or financial problems, as these executives have seen it all.
Small businesses are especially careful of their budget, because they simply cannot afford to waste finances. Budgetary constraints prevent businesses from hiring highly qualified industry leaders, but that does not mean that small businesses should completely give up on the idea.
This is where hiring fractional executives can be a wise choice. Small businesses can get fractional executives on board and benefit from their expertise for a certain period. This means smaller organizations don’t have to hire full-time executives to get the job done.
Fractional executives also help companies save money by bringing down overheads. For instance, companies don’t have to pay health insurance or other benefits as they are not full-time employees.
There are several things your small business needs to excel in, and one of them is a strategic approach. If you hire a fractional executive, they can help you come up with a well-considered strategy. These experts will review all the details of your business and conduct in-depth market research to come up with a plan of action. A strategic approach is important to accomplish all the goals that you set for yourself so that you can target problem areas and emerge successfully.
You may have several employees on board, but they may not have all the skills you require. For instance, they may not have the right technology skills, and if you are looking to create a new product, you need a sound technology strategy. In this instance. the best way forward is to hire a fractional CTO. This CTO can spend some days with you and help you come up with a technology strategy that is tailored to your business objectives.
Getting an expert on board can make things easier for everyone in your company. If you hire a fractional executive, they help streamline and ease the workload on your employees. With changing market needs, you cannot afford to add new employees to address uneven demand, which is why hiring a fractional employee is a much better option.
This calls for a flexible working relationship that can help your business get the help of a seasoned expert without the responsibility of hiring them as a permanent employee.
For scalable business expansion, you will need the help of an expert. Hiring an expensive full-time employee is not possible for small businesses, which leaves them with the option of hiring a fractional executive. A fractional executive will give your company the tools it needs to expand and the relevant insights that can help sustain the expansion.
Their expertise will be able to guide you in the right direction that you can use for the expansion of your business.
Stable financial transitions
Most businesses go through financial ups and downs, but the important thing to consider here is how they manage these transitions. Hiring fractional executives can help here. For instance, if the business is not doing too well, they can engage a fractional CFO to provide a plan to get back to financial health. Fractional executives can help you manage financial health and allow you to have a stable business by being there when you need them the most.
When senior employees quit, it can leave small business owners in a very difficult position. Hiring replacements is not easy. Opting for fractional executives is a quick fix. You can get a fractional executive with the same qualifications and experience, and they will pick up where the last employee left off. This helps small businesses maintain smooth operations as they don’t have to struggle with the loss of an employee and watch their business suffer as a consequence.
Fractional executives may not stay with your business for a very long time, but they certainly leave you with long-term benefits. These fractional executives can help set up an actionable game plan for your business, and this can prove beneficial even if the executive is no longer working for you.
It is a short-term investment that will continue to pay off for a long time.
Related: 3 Factors When Choosing Between a Contractor or Full-Time Employee
How to Find the best fractional executive for your business?
There are multiple ways you can find a fractional executive. You can network with different people and find a fractional executive who works independently, or you can contact a fractional executive via a consulting firm.
Just make sure that you hire the executive who fits the profile of the perfect employee you are looking for. Don’t forget to go through their qualifications and experiences to determine if they are the best choice for you.
Hiring a fractional executive is the best idea for small businesses and can help them be very successful in several different ways. They can also share their experience with your full-time employees and give you the direction to ensure your small business does not stay small for too long.
Related: When to Hire a Consultant