At EFM, we’re a network of Finance Directors (FDs), Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and other Finance professionals in the UK and Ireland who bring affordable, part-time, outsourced Finance expertise within the reach of smaller and medium businesses. But it’s not just the clients who benefit from this arrangement.
Joining EFM has been a revelation for our Associates – over 100 of them – because it has enabled them to deploy their expertise, engage with interesting and varied clients, and achieve excellent earnings – but on their own terms. Maximum freedom, optimum support, no 9-to-5, and no need to contemplate retirement quite yet.
We asked our Associates what they thought were the stand-out benefits of joining and working with EFM, and the seven points below led the field.
A balanced lifestyle
Nobody knows better how important it is to achieve financial objectives than a Finance professional, but it’s not the only thing that defines a rewarding career, particularly when you’re already an experienced practitioner. Work-life balance is important too, and this is exactly what joining EFM enables you to achieve.
By offering a combination of fixed-term project work with interim FD/CFO posts, monthly contracts, and open-ended assignments, EFM provides you with the options to accommodate both how many hours you wish to work and for how long. You’ll never have to put off attending a grandchild’s sports day, taking in a matinée, going for lunch with an old friend, or enjoying a weekday game of golf again.
And, of course, you can work from home – or wherever you like.
A proven model for finance professionals
EFM has been successfully connecting experienced Finance professionals to flexible, part-time work opportunities in the UK and Ireland for well over 20 years, so this is a model that’s tried and tested.
And the appetite in the market is growing. A full-time FD’s salary in the UK can reach £150,000 (€170,00 in Ireland), and with other business costs now spiralling rapidly (fuel, energy, minimum wage, sustainability levies, inflation, interest rates) small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and startups urgently need an affordable alternative.
As it stands, our Associates have already serviced hundreds of clients, and ultimately EFM is part of a wider outsourcing sector that is growing steadily, suggesting that the desire to outsource is becoming the norm for many businesses.
Lead generation that works
At EFM, we understand that generating leads for our Associates is critical. The demand is certainly out there, but attracting it and validating it takes time, insight, and effort – which is why we do this on our Associates’ behalf.
We’ve invested significantly in marketing the EFM brand to create a high profile and communicate our trustworthiness, and this, combined with other strategic and tactical marketing approaches, has resulted in a track record of generating and delivering leads and new clients (as well as repeat business) for our Associates.
Of course, we also train and support our Associates to ramp up their own marketing and business development activities (see below), so we’re delivering on both fronts from the very start.
Expert advice and compliance
As experienced Finance professionals ourselves, we know that Finance is a complex domain in which compliance is crucial- but we also know that outsourced Finance professionals operating on a conventional freelance, rather than Associate, basis can overlook the essentials. This can result in fines, or even a prison sentence.
This is why we give all our Associates access to a highly experienced advisory board who have “been there and done it”, and support them to ensure they have, for example, the appropriate practising certificates and anti-money-laundering registration.
At EFM, we don’t just promote you, we protect you.
Getting started is often the hardest part of doing anything new, but at EFM you have your own coach and mentor, with specific sales and marketing expertise. They help you to hit the ground running, create the right impression with the right audiences, and become more confident about how you articulate the benefits of working with you to prospective clients.
There are many exceptionally experience senior Finance professionals out there who have always worked in corporate environments and therefore aren’t practised in “talking up” their own services as a commercial proposition – so this is where we focus a lot of our support.
At EFM, we know that when you put a group of skilled and experienced people together to talk, swap experiences, and ask for advice, magic can happen. This is why we ensure all our Associates are connected to the rest of the network, through virtual and physical events, and regular peer-to-peer sessions.
But this isn’t just about discussion technicalities or obtaining sector-specific advice (although that’s certainly an important part of it). Our peer network is also an enthusiastic environment for communicating and sharing new business opportunities, too, and our Associates regularly secure new and repeat clients this way.
You’re not alone
Finally, what came through strongly in all our Associates’ responses was that whilst they are technically running their own business, there is support from EFM every step of the way.
From the all-important induction and onboarding programme to help you develop the key skills required to run and grow your own business – including sales training, CV updates, LinkedIn tuition, and planning – to ongoing support with content marketing, thought leadership, and sales collateral, EFM’s dedicated in-house team provide ongoing support to help make your Associate business a success.