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Know When to Walk Away: A Guide for Fractional Leaders

I've caught myself saying the following more times than I can count: "Fractional work allows me to have all the fun associated with working at a startup without the bullsh*t associated with a startup." For most of my career, that has been true. But based on a recent experience, I have started thinking about the times when the bullsh*t of a startup does rear its ugly head and how I could advise new fractionals on how I've approached it. Here’s my list for how to know when to walk away. Reasons to Walk One of the most powerful concepts that I learned in that time is the concept of "firing a customer." There are many reasons why you might need to let a customer go: Nonpayment or chronic late payment; Violation of terms and conditions—for example, work outside scope; Unreasonable demands or expectations—3 AM replies; Abusive behavior; Lack of engagement—they forget they hired you; Misalignment of a target market; Merger and acquisitions; Legal reasons; Strategic

How Fractional Leaders Can Help Your Business Survive Economic Hard Times

With the current economic climate, many businesses are struggling to maintain their operations and stay afloat. For small businesses and startups, this is especially true as they often don’t have the resources or flexible workforce to quickly pivot to meet new challenges. However, there is an option that many companies may not be aware of—hiring fractional leaders.

What is a Fractional Leader? 

A fractional leader, also known as a “part-time C-suite executive” is an embedded senior leader who works part-time for your business on an open ended basis. A fractional leader can provide experienced guidance in times of difficulty and help you navigate through economic hard times better than ever before. Learn more about what defines a Fractional in our prior post! Some of the most common Fractional Leaders include:

  • Chief Marketing Officers
  • Chief People and Talent Officers
  • Chief Operations Officers
  • Chief Finance Officers
  • Chief Strategy Officers
  • Chief Sales and Business Development Officers

Here are some of the benefits of hiring a fractional leader:

Cost Savings 

Hiring full-time executives can be a costly endeavor for any company, especially when resources are limited due to economic hardship. By utilizing fractional leaders, you can save up to 60% on overhead costs such as salaries and benefits. Additionally, these savings will add up over time because you only need to pay for the work that was done during that contract period instead of paying an executive’s salary every month. 

More Flexibility 

Fractional leaders give businesses more control over the direction and strategy of their company without having to make long-term commitments or investments that may not be necessary in the future. Additionally, fractional leaders can help bridge gaps in staffing shortages due to layoffs or budget cuts, allowing businesses to continue operating during hard times without having to take on additional permanent employees. Most beneficials are fractional leaders flexibility with their contract terms so that you can adjust your staffing needs according to your budget, timeline, or economic constraints. This type of flexibility allows businesses to respond quickly to changing market conditions and optimize their operations accordingly. 

Expertise and Experience 

Fractional leaders come with years of experience working at top companies in various industries which makes them invaluable assets when it comes to providing strategic advice and leadership during difficult times. Not only do they bring expertise in various areas such as marketing, finance, talent, hr, sales, and operations but they also have access to industry networks that can further benefit your business by connecting you with potential partners or investors who could help propel your business forward even during hard times.  Furthermore, because they serve multiple clients at once, they often have access to more resources than full-time employees do—allowing them to bring an outside perspective that can be beneficial in times of economic hardship.

Hiring fractional leaders offers many advantages for businesses looking for experienced guidance during difficult times without breaking the bank or making long term commitments. Fractional leaders come with a wealth of experience from various industries, making them ideal hires for any business looking for ways to survive economic hard times successfully. So if you want expert advice without breaking the bank, consider hiring a fractional leader today!


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