What our clients say about us
What our clients say about us
Serena put her favourite procedure in place: the 13 week cashflow forecast. Very quickly and immediately we started using our brains a bit more with our money and so using the money a bit better. Since then, our profit margins have improved because Serena made us look further into the detail…what were we doing and how was it costed? We started to cut through the wastage.
Digging deeper, Serena introduced the Monthly Information report, initially unpleasant to look at, but previously we had had no clarity of information with the accountants coming in at the end of the financial year and dealing with data which was 21 months old, and with bad news in it! I get the clarity now on monthly basis looking at the budgets and see what isn’t going well.
On a different level, it has given me a great deal more confidence, the scrutiny of the numbers gives a better message to the staff, that things are being checked and that we have accountability. Other key benefit has been that we have more cash in the bank, we’re more organised and have better systems and processes in place. SO much better than where we were two years ago.
Sharon is a genius who comes in and gets into the details, and doesn’t let us get away with things. Serena is just a great coach. She cuts straight to the point of the problem; it’s an innate skill, and is prepared to challenge me.
I would 100% recommend Serena and The F Word to others, for the feeling of being in control of my own business, and not running after it.
Quite honestly it is the best day I have ever spent with an external consultant.
I was totally staggered by the sheer scale of your drive, energy and commitment during our day yesterday. I have worked with many professional people previously, the vast majority of them (in particular accountants) will go through the motions, I am frequently sat at the other end of the table feeling I have to wind them up to get a response. This was categorically not the case with you.
I would like to thank you for the passion you showed in trying to help me and our business, considering this was the first time you have visited the progress already made is very encouraging.
Our relationship with accountants up to that point worked on the basis that we trusted them implicitly because we didn’t have the skills to be any more involved! We wanted to work with somebody who could enable us to have our finger on the pulse. Who could give us the skills of financial leadership to create a business based on fact and not instinct. After years of reading her articles and following her work, we approached Serena about some tailored coaching to level-up our skills in finance and strategy. Working with her allowed us to unlock a level of clarity that we never imagined possible.
Serena has given us much more than financial coaching – she has changed the way we get out of bed in the morning, how we decide to spend our day and how we make decisions around our business. Our stress levels have gone down dramatically because we aren’t worrying about something just beyond the horizon that we didn’t know about. Here are some of the ways she’s changed Fat Free Media for the better:
We’ve also never had a better work life balance and job satisfaction. We’re hugely excited about the next financial year ahead and about what we’ll be able to achieve in the future.
If you’re a business owner who feels like sometimes your company is running you, not the other way around, if you lie awake at night worrying that something might go wrong or if you feel scared of losing a client or a project because you don’t know where the next project is coming from, make 2018 the year you get in touch with the F Word, and you won’t look back.
With every good wish,
Then my bank manager introduced me to Serena. She knew exactly what I was talking about. She understood where I was coming from…. and more
She came into the business and after a look at what we do, how we do it and the skill set of the team, she came up with an action plan. The rest, as they say, is history.
Eight months after starting the project I have week by week, month by month, year on year visibility on what is happening in real time in the business. The business levers are identified which shows me where to pull and push in the business to get the financial effects that I want to achieve.
The way information is set out gives clear diagrams and graphs to share with my co-director and senior team so I can now involve them in the conversation about the things that are in their gift to control and now they are coming up with their own cost savings. The whole team has become empowered to look at how we roll with the money and they are relishing it
Understanding the costs of providing the service has meant that we can set prices at the right level to ensure the health and continuity of the business.
The finance team have received extensive training and mentoring, putting systems and processes into place and then owning them and reporting to me on key issues such as income, cash flow, debtors. They now understand how the quality of their information helps me to make the decisions that affect the company. They are all proud as peacocks and quite right too.
Business credibility with our external financers has taken a boost and they are impressed by our level of understanding and control of our finances. No shocks, no surprises, factual and controlled – just the way that banks like to see things.
I feel that through this whole process we are finding financial health through financial mindfulness
Thank you, Serena
After struggling to get the monthly management and reporting we needed from traditional accountants, Serena gave us a process and helped us organise how we keep a handle on the finances internally. She tops this off with her incisive brand of consultancy. She probes to the heart of the matter, exposing risks and opportunities to help us grow the business.
Serena does a superb job of steering our financial strategy, growth planning, recruitment and more. If we have a tricky issue to solve I give her a call.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
I will keep you posted!!!
Thanks again. You and Wendy have made the world of difference here and it couldn’t have come at a better time
If you want to take the pressure off you and your business this cashflow training is the answer.
After the initial set up and a little planning our business was transformed.
The training and tools we have had from Serena has changed our world for the better.
Then there is the F-Word.
Serena Humphrey has realised the emperor is naked, and identified that in many boardrooms up and down the country, directors simply do not have a sufficiently robust handle on their numbers.
For those confident enough to admit they are not omniscient, Serena uses her considerable expertise to bring not just clarity, but revelation. Uniquely, she does this with empathy and encouragement.
Serena has been pivotal in helping us claw our way out of a loss-making position, through break-even, and into profit; all this in a highly volatile market with very lumpy cashflow. We are now able to identify meaningful targets and robust measures to identify where we are on the journey to meet them.
I would not hesitate to recommend the F-Word for ANY company – even as a financial health check for those who think they know better
In all aspects Serena has performed to levels above expectations, and always with a very satisfactory outcome. We have no hesitation in recommending her for any finance or senior personnel project that may be presented to her.
Thanks for your help with getting my KPIs and financial structure in place – it makes total sense. I can’t thank you enough as this really helps!
Despite being fairly small at the moment, Emma and I knew that the money would be one of the most important things to get right. Serena gave us a very clear, step-by-step process to make sure we’re finding out what we really need to know, and explained it in a way that got us really excited about it.
Mixing a broad range of understanding with specialist proficiencies, she is able to see the end game and still apply empathy and discretion to the myriad of details that have to be addressed in order to attain sustainable success.
It has been a pleasure and privilege working with Serena and I would recommend her services to those with a serious ambition to succeed.
Your knowledge and passion for helping businesses was evident and you personal testament gave the course absolute credibility. Throughout the day you had us relate each session to our own business making the course content real and relevant, enabling us to draw up our own individual action plan to take back and put into action.
Actions speak louder than words.
Again Serena thank you for an enjoyable and worthwhile day.
Serena has identified the problem areas, streamlined all our accounting processes, trained my accounts team to delivery accurate work to a monthly timetable so that we get our group accounts out by week 2, and trained me to manage the accounts team and how to understand the accounts better.
She has torn our stock and margin position apart and put in place systems and controls to make sure the gross margin is always accurate. We now are able to raise finance easily from the bank to fund our continued expansion, as the bank know we have a firm grasp on our financials, and the monthly information means we can spot problems quickly and fix them.
Serena also constantly keeps us focussed on the projected full year result and on increasing the net return.
I feel safe now that Serena is part of the business, she keeps me focussed and is my safety net.
She quickly got behind the numbers, implemented a stock and wip control system, and was able to relate the figures to our business in a way that previous accountants had been unable to. We did not believe our accounts before, and that really created doubt and uncertainty as the business grew.
The other benefits of having Serena in the business were that we had someone from the outside, with a breadth of knowledge and experience from other industries, who brought enthusiasm and a fresh perspective, who could be the catalyst for the changes we wanted to make. I found it incredibly valuable having someone independent to confide in about business issues, especially someone who would tell it straight and not necessarily agree with me!
Anyone who wants to make their business more successful through financial management should be on this course. Serena presents from the perspective of someone who has been through the pain of a business failing and the passion is very evident.
This course will give practical straightforward advice that is easy to understand and will fit any business. Whatever your business situation you will gain something from this and it would be an investment that will repay itself over and over again. Highly recommended.”
I recently called upon the f word for one to one cashflow training following a period of financial difficulty. As a new business owner, cashflow is something that you have to get to grips with from day one, and yet most of us have never had the experience of, or the worrying that comes with, cashflow. The f word gave me very friendly expert guidance and cashflow planning techniques which have developed my understanding of the mechanics and importance of cashflow and helped my company gain greater control over our company finances. Needless to say that without the assistance of Serena and Wendy at the f word my business wouldn’t find itself in the stronger financial position that it is in today.
She’s managed to make business finance accessible without dumbing it down, and leaves you with insights and tools that can immediately transform the financial health of your business. If you’re after a day that just might change your life, I urge you: spend it with Serena.
Well packaged, structured and delivered – thanks Serena.
Serena put together a great document summarising exactly what would be useful – and then helped out by putting the rest of our accounts in order – not a task for the faint- hearted as we had been led down a garden path by a succession of so-called accountants. We are now in a very much better place with accounts that are running just a week behind, and everything available to view online through a great programme called xero…. I can’t thank her enough!!
Our monthly finance meeting gives us the dedicated time we need to monitor the progress of our business, whilst analysing threats and opportunities. We can then get on with the day to day running of our business, working to deliver our plan, secure in the knowledge that our finances are in safe hands. If you don’t have a ‘Serena’ in your business, it’s about time you did.
Serena’s training is an excellent journey into the secret world of finance by a genuine ambassador for making finance clear and simple.
Serena doesn’t attempt to mystify with jargon and draws on real experiences/case studies to demonstrate how concepts work and how they can be applied to your business.
I walked into the session feeling apprehensive and after a brilliant one-day workshop walked out armed with a a healthier view on finance and a toolkit of ideas for how I can support the business I work for.
Be that down to time or in my case with finance, an admitted lack of knowledge. I met Serena at a networking event and appreciated her no nonsense approach and we arranged to have a one-to-one session to go over the key principles. Within half an hour I was dangerously close to actually enjoying looking at the numbers (a very odd experience) and crucially, understanding how best to use them to forecast and plan for optimum profit and performance.
It was also fun – and I don’t think ‘fun’ and ‘finance’ go in the same sentence very often. I really benefitted from our sessions and am looking forward to growing my business with her help and guidance.
Wendy is a fantastic coach …
Thank you very much for all your hard work today I believe what and how you’ve taught me today will make a real difference to my business and family.
Fantastic day very empowering I have completed a weeks worth of input , all good so far managed to get the numbers to tally when checked and double checked after an initial error.
Makes sense more now I have had time to let it all sink in – I was surprised what I didn’t know and I’ll now be making more time to set aside for my finances.
Finance training with a difference delivered fastidiously with flair, focus and fun. Serena’s ferocious curiosity into why businesses fail has resulted in a training course I recommend all business owners, MD’s & CEO’s attend.
Fasten your seat belts for a fabulous, focussed, fun day which will have you ferreting around in your numbers, cutting unnecessary overheads and time, getting the right finance skills or personnel in place and increasing your profits as you follow the 5 Step System to Killer Finance. You’ll leave with an actionable plan specific to your business and finance will no longer be your F word!
and highly recommend it to other owner/managers of small and medium sized businesses.
I studied an MBA for three years in the 1990’s, and while we covered finance, it was not from the highly-practical perspective provided by Serena. I came away with five specific actions to take, which I believe collectively will cover the course fee several times over. If you are looking to learn about cash, making your business more profitable, and frankly just better-understanding your accountant’s jargon, this is the session for you.
Having very basic knowledge of SME accountancy I found the course very easy to follow due to Serena’s expertise on content and its delivery.
Everything was broken down into manageable categories, explained well with a summary after each section and overview at the end to check understanding.
Since the course I have actioned a lot of the content learnt and have also sought help from Serena in respect of system coaching/training and also recruitment which she has been only too happy supply.
In all an excellent course with valuable content delivered by what I would class as an expert in her field. Thank you for your help Serena and look forward to working with you over the coming months.
I thought the course was well presented and delivered at a level that kept me engaged throughout the day. The course notes were easy to follow and to be able to write a draft Action Plan by the end of the day was a real plus. Too many times you go away and never follow through.
The template management report and flash sheet will be extremely valuable to the business and I have already introduced it to our management accountant.
Brilliantly executed! I would definitely recommend this course to other businesses as it’s essential best practice for finance. It really gets you thinking in a friendly environment.
Not only was the content relevant and informative the style it was delivered was very relaxed and engaging.
The biggest difference will be for me to delegate more as I have learnt to focus more on my main role and not get distracted by doing other roles that can be done by others allowing me to spend more time focusing on company finances and use the considerable financial expertise & systems available to me.
The training exceeded my expectations and has made me re-focus my role in the company. I have also learnt new technologies and been given new tools to improve my effectiveness to the company.
Serena highlighted areas that required improvement & gave us the tools and advice to implement the changes.
The course was enjoyable & delivered professionally without being too indepth.
The workshop-style approach was hands-on, practical and delivered with lots of passion and enthusiasm. I left the course energised, with a clear action plan ready to execute.
Since then, we’ve implemented our alarm system and rolling flash reporting, which has really helped with forecasting cash flow. We’ve also identified and renegotiated terms for several of our least profitable customers.
On a personal note, I’ve actually started to ‘enjoy’ looking at the accounts. I find myself looking at them much more regularly, and am always looking to make or save that extra 1%.
A highly professional, outcome focused and personable individual; the Board and Senior Management Team have enjoyed working with her and will continue to call on her services in the future.
I can without hesitation recommend Serena to provide both strategic and operational policy support whether it be in the private, public or third sectors.
She combines expertise in all things financial alongside an ability to understand how a business operates.
If networking conversations were truthful - https://t.co/tlGaN2ZFGj20 hours ago
If networking conversations were truthful - https://t.co/GkSaHx6XpI5 days ago
We held our very first Build to Sell workshop this morning at the fabulous Hexgreave Hall. Working with our clients… https://t.co/7GV3twMap81 week ago