Fill gaps from outside the box

Source: The Times


When Ciaran Crean needed a part for his business, MicksGarage, he sought a temporary fix rather than a permanent solution. It helped to move the company up a gear.

The online car parts business, which was founded in 2003, employs 50 people in distribution centres in Ireland, the UK and Poland.

Four years ago Crean thought the firm needed more oomph. “We felt the business would benefit from the financial oversight of a chief financial officer, but we didn’t have the work in place to pay the six-figure salary that goes with that,” he said. “So we looked around for alternative options.”

A business acquaintance introduced Crean to a former executive who works with companies on a temporary, part-time basis. “We agreed he would do a day and a half a week with us and it worked great. We got the financial oversight we needed but on a piecemeal basis,” Crean said.

The interim manager also assisted Crean in raising money. “He helped us assess a range of solutions, from vendor debt to invoice finance, and in the end we went with equity,” said Crean, whose business has 35% year-on-year growth.

“When I was out pitching for finance, my role as chief executive was to pitch the vision of the business. Having a chief financial officer beside me for those conversations was great. He was a great resource.”

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