I have worked full time in Finance and Information Technology (IT) since 1985 and have run the finances of a stock market listed company and SME’s up to £20M turnover and been variously Operations Director, Finance Director, Company Secretary, Head of Finance and Accountant. My freelance work started properly in 1991 although my first project was actually ten years earlier. It continued alongside my other employment until 2000 when time-constraints from employment necessitated a break, before resuming at the end of 2012 and becoming my full-time role in 2013.
During those years I have seen cash-flow nightmares, buyouts, takeovers, tax investigations, exponential growth, personnel problems, massive exchange rate movements and business refinances.
Having implemented my first business computer software (for stocktaking) on a Sinclair ZX81 (yes, really) in 1981 (my first freelance job), I followed it a few years later by the first full office administration software package (on a computer bigger than an American refrigerator) and in 1988 the first implementation of an early predecessor to ERP and accounting software. Two dozen software implementations later and changes in computer software are still almost as hectic as they were 30 years ago except that now the average school child knows more about computers than the average Board of Directors of the 1980’s – at least until you show the child a command prompt. I specified my most recent piece of software (also for stocktaking) thirty years after my first one, but this time someone else did the programming!
Primarily however, I am a finance person, number cruncher, bean counter, penny processor, journal junkie, whatever you prefer, so my advice will be influenced by that side of your business – after all, that is why you are in business isn’t it – to make a living for you and your employees?