Showing posts from March, 2023

Is Going Fractional Right for You? (Karina Mikhli)

If you've read any of my previous posts either here or on LinkedIn, you know that I believe fractional is a win-win: employers get leaders who can help them scale and optimize, despite not being able to afford that level of talent full-time and leaders can get more flexibility and control over their time and careers, as well as diversify and keep themselves challenged and growing But does that mean that every leader should quit their full-time job and go fractional? No. Like everything in life, there are downsides to going fractional, and I thought it only fair to spell out the three main challenges so that anyone considering going fractional understands both the pros and cons before making that decision. Leads As someone who was a fractional COO for years before "fractional" was a thing, and is newly back to this world, the biggest challenge of being fractional is finding the work. This is a challenge I face and that 98% of the fractionals I speak with—both inside and ou

Lessons from the Trenches (Sam Wehbe)

I considered consulting back in late 2010 after my first startup exit. At the time, the term "consulting" was used even for what is fractional today (see earlier post for the difference between them), which later gave way to the term "virtual" and eventually "fractional." (As a side note, I wasn't initially fond of the term "fractional" over "virtual," but it has grown on me over time. For fans of behavioral economics, this is the exposure effect at play [similar to how Parisians initially disliked the Eiffel Tower], but I digress.)  The road to success has been long, with many mistakes made and lessons learned along the way. Thirteen years in, I want to share some of those lessons, especially for those who are just starting their fractional journey.  Lessons: Competition: In the past, there was very little competition in fractional work. However, now that more people have caught on to its benefits, you'll be competing against

Raising Money as an Early Stage Startup Now? Yes You Can! (Chris Seidensticker)

More than any time I can remember in the last twenty years, the advice from venture capital firms to their portfolio companies is overwhelming: Don't raise money now if you can avoid it. The environment is terrible; investors aren't putting money to work. You need to extend your runway and do what you can to push off fundraising six months, if not twelve or eighteen. But for how many startups is that realistic? Very, very few. Especially if you're Seed to Series B... So, sure, it's not a great fundraising environment, and if your entire focus as an early stage startup has been to grow the top line, regardless of customer acquisition costs, retention, or cash burn, then you're going to have a hard time, and without material changes to your approach, you'll likely not have a successful fundraise and will be forced in to unpleasant decisions, including, ultimately, getting acqui-hired or worse, shutting down. But, companies that over the last six to nine months hav

A Cost Comparison: Fractional Leaders vs. Full-Time Execs (Natalie Stones)

Most organizations understand the value of having a leader in an executive role to guide their business, but it's not always financially feasible, there may not always be a full time need, or some struggle to find the right person. As a result, fractional leadership has become increasingly popular as an alternative means to leveraging executive level talent.  As a reminder from our last  post , the benefits of hiring a fractional are the flexibility it offers in terms of time commitment and the ability to access talented leaders at a fraction of the cost. Additionally, working with fractionals does not require businesses to make significant investments in infrastructure or resources—the professional provides all necessary tools and resources themselves. Since this is an emerging and growing concept, I was eager to explore the cost of a FTE (full-time employee) compensation plan, in comparisons to fractional monthly retainers. The data is eye opening to say the least!  Accor