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February 17, 2023
Read time: 3:10 minutes
In today's edition, I'm going to explain to you how I would approach making $100,000 per year as a fractional CFO. And I'll tell you how to do it working less than 4 hours per week.
An aspiring fractional CFO recently slid into my DMs.
He asked 👉
"If a competent, fractional-CFO-skilled-individual wanted to quickly engineer ~$100k in annual revenue for ~200 hours/year in time investment, what advice would you offer?"
I love this question because my DM BFF has clarity.
• He knows how much he wants to work.
• He knows how much he wants to make.
So I decided to tell him how I'd approach this case study.
The other thing I ❤️ about this question is that he approaches the situation from a place of curiosity. Most people wouldn't even ask the question because they think it's impossible!
The good news is that it's entirely possible.
Here's how I'd approach it, step by step.
As numbers nerds, we are good at this part.
200 hours per year / 12 months per year = ~17 hours per month
At 17 hours per month, a fractional CFO can handle roughly 2, MAYBE 3 clients. This is contingent on the scope of work and the size of the clients.
Let's assume 3 clients for now because I know it's possible.
That means we can dedicate roughly 5.5 hours to each client every month.
If we're looking to make $100k per year, that means each client needs to generate $33k per year.
This comes out to ~$2800 per client per month.
The challenge has been set:
✅ 3 clients
✅ 5.5 hours each
✅ $2800 per client
✅ $100,000 per year
✅ 200 hours of time invested
At this point, you might be saying to yourself
👉 "There's no way that I'm going to be able to serve a CFO client in only 5.5 hours a month."
But let's keep that curious mindset that my DM buddy had!
What if our scope of work included:
1x60-minute CFO call per month
2x30-minute check in calls per month
Unlimited support comms via Slack, Teams, or email
And we know that preparing for the monthly CFO call takes about 1.5 hours.
Let's do the math:
CFO call: 1 hour
Check in calls: 1 hour
CFO call prep: 1.5 hours
Support comms: .5 hours
Total time investment: 4 hours per month
💥 That leaves about 1.5 hours per client per month for the inevitable things that pop up that require your time.
And I'm here to tell you that you can ABSOLUTELY land clients at $2800 per month with that scope of work. I've been doing this for 7 years and I've coached 100+++ firm owners at this point.
I have a pretty good sense of the market.
And I know this is entirely possible for you!
This whole thing falls apart if you fail to maintain boundaries.
You have to believe in the value of your scope of work and commit to sticking to that scope of work.
❌ You're going to want to do more for your clients because you have a heart of service.
❌ Your clients are going to ask you to do more because, well, they're clients and that's what clients do.
But you have to stick to the game plan and say no.
Step 4: Find Clients
Look, you just need 3 clients to make this a reality.
You don't need to be good at marketing.
You don't even need to be that good at sales.
You don't need a huge social media following or a weekly blog.
Honestly, for a side hustle like this, a website is even optional.
If it were me, I'd be aggressively scouring UpWork 3x a day until I landed 3 clients.
Or I'd be hitting up my existing network on LinkedIn.
What kind of clients would I be looking for?
For a sitch like this, I'd look for clients that are relatively easy to serve and aren't too big.
• US based
• QBO for accounting
• $2MM - $5MM in annual revenue
• Service providers with little (if any) inventory
• Not looking to raise capital or pick up investors
As you can see...
Making $100,000 per year and working around 200 hours is entirely possible.
There are 3️⃣ keys to success:
Get the scope of work right
Set and maintain necessary boundaries
Stop telling yourself that it's impossible and go find 3 clients!
Go get after it.
I'm over here cheering for you my friend!
Whenever you are ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:
1. The Inner Circle - every month my team and I go live and share the most impactful lessons we've learned in our journey to start, scale, and optimize our own CFO firm (including live Q&A). Plus you'll get access to our private community of nearly 150 fractional CFOs.
2. The CFO Academy - This is a 7 week deep dive into the exact playbooks that I use to run my firm, KFE Solutions.
3. If you'd like more amazing (and free!) content about starting, scaling, or optimizing your Fractional CFO firm check out:
→ The CFO Report on YouTube (if you love video)
→ The CFO Report on Apple Podcast (if you prefer audio)