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Guest Blog - What is a Fractional Executive and why would you need one?


Written by our partner and guest blogger

Alan Giles CCO/CRO/ CEO

Fractional-Execs

The term “Fractional Executive” has been used for some time in the US, and is becoming more widely used in the UK market. The world of start-ups is a fast-paced and constantly evolving landscape, with new technologies and ideas emerging every day. However, many start-ups face significant challenges when it comes to scaling their operations and building a strong executive team. In particular, the technology industry in the United Kingdom is known for its fierce competition, and many start-ups struggle to find the right talent to take their businesses to the next level. This is where the concept of "fractional executives" comes in. Fractional Executives are most commonly used by fast-growth startup companies as well as some companies who are geared for scaleup activities. The challenge many of these types of companies face is knowing when to hire senior executives that can help drive their companies forwards. Once you have decided, almost always the right person is already engaged in a big role somewhere else, so do you want to break the bank to secure them? A Fractional resource can help bring 100% of the required skills, expertise and experience, but at a 'fraction' of the cost. This is because they work for you for a defined fraction of the time - no holiday pay, no pension, no healthcare, no car allowance. Whether or not you should hire one depends on your business, but they do provide many benefits. In most cases, they will help fuel growth and bring your business to where it needs to be as they lean on the experiences they have had over many years. What Is a Fractional Executive? A fractional executive is a professional who works part-time or on a project-by-project basis for a company, rather than a full-time employee. This type of arrangement can be especially beneficial for start-ups, which often have limited resources and budget constraints. By working with a fractional executive, a start-up can access the expertise and experience of a seasoned professional without having to make a long-term commitment or take on the additional cost of a full-time employee. Fractional executives are leaders who take up a part-time position in your organisation at C-level or VP level usually. The roles you can expect to find offering their services fractionally are employees such as CIOs, CMO's, CCO's CFOs, COOs, CROs — most CxO type resources are available. In some cases, where the founders of a company are more technical than business driven, CEO's are also relevant. When your business hits a certain size, it can be challenging for a founder or CEO to balance all these roles while still running a company, let alone implement a growth plan! Typically, the workload is more than CEO can handle alone, and the growth possible becomes limited by the skills and experience of the staff they have on board, and importantly, what they can afford. Fractional executives bring significant and varied experience with major firms and bring a lot of different skills and expertise to the role. Most of the time they may only work part-time or in a freelance capacity, but they can have the same kind of impact on your business that many of your full-time staff provide. Not only do they bring their leadership skills to your business, but they may also lend a certain amount of credibility to your business. What Are the Benefits of a Fractional Executive? One of the key advantages of working with a fractional executive is that they can bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table. These professionals have often spent years working in the industry, and have built up a deep understanding of the market and its trends. They can provide valuable insight and guidance on key business decisions, and can help start-ups navigate the complex and ever-changing landscape of the technology industry. Another advantage of fractional executives is that they can provide start-ups with access to a wide range of specialised skills. In the technology industry, for example, a fractional executive may have expertise in areas such as software development, cloud computing, or data science. This can be extremely valuable for start-ups looking to build new products or services, as they can tap into the expertise of professionals who have a deep understanding of the latest technologies and trends. In addition, fractional executives can also help start-ups to scale their operations more efficiently. As a start-up grows, it may need to bring on additional staff to support its expanding business. However, it can be difficult to know when and how to make these hires, and hiring the wrong people can be a costly mistake. By working with a fractional executive, a start-up can gain access to the resources it needs to scale its operations without having to make a long-term commitment to a full-time employee. There are several other areas where fractional executives can help your business. After all, they may be more experienced in the business world than many other people on your team. As a result, they can provide unique ideas and knowledgeable input to these areas. Many fractional executives become long term mentors to their clients once the initial engagement finishes. Experience A fractional executive can provide new ideas for growth and prevent your company from committing some common mistakes whilst growing. The experience they have gained working with other companies and in other industries can provide useful insights that you can act on as your company grows. Cost Savings One of the biggest challenges that many business owners face is when to scale up their business, as well as how fast to do so. Many fractional executives have already walked in your shoes and can help you decide when is the right time to commit to scaling the business. Fractional executives save companies money. They bring a level of experience and expertise that many companies thing is beyond their salary structure. This enables you to invest in other areas, like product or operations to help your business run more efficiently. Growth A fractional executives impact will grow quickly within an organisation, freeing up a founder’s time for customers. Unlike traditional consultants, they are not there to just recommend changes, but also to implement them for you. Many founders and CEO's find that once they have engaged with experienced executives on a fractional basis, that they become repeat customers of this type of resource. The experience that fractional leadership can bring enables everyone to benefit from mentoring and coaching along the way. Overall, fractional executives can be a valuable asset for UK start-ups in the technology industry. They can provide start-ups with access to the expertise, skills, and resources they need to scale their operations and build a successful business. By working with a fractional executive, start-ups can gain a competitive advantage in the fast-paced and ever-changing world of technology. Get in touch with us info@fractional-execs.co.uk or fill in our contact form for an informal chat about how this could help your business grow.

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