Do you have all the strategic tools you need to confidently achieve business success?


Did you ever notice that both strategic planning retreats and horror movies are stories about a group of people trapped in a cabin in the woods where they are slowly dying?

There’s a lot of overkill in most strategic planning. You don’t have the time or resources to waste on complex strategic planning. You need a process that fits your business.

Small business strategic planning doesn’t have to be complicated. It should quickly lead you from defining where you are going to deciding how to get there. That’s all there is to it.

You know your business. You know your goal. Getting there takes a well-built financial strategy and implementation plan. You need simple planning and management tools with the basics of how to use them.

Poor Cash Flow = Stress + Missed Opportunities

Owning a small business can be a lonely job. You feel like you are a “jack of all trades and master of none.” You’re busy looking for more sales, delivering your service, or creating your product.

Yet, you may be one of the 69% of business owners who have been kept up at night by concerns about cash flow. You’re overwhelmed with work but it never seems to create cash flow for you.

Managing finances was never your expertise but you know it’s critical to the success of your business. You’re tired of the missed opportunities and stress caused by trying to manage your financial strategy without expert advice.

You need the insights of a high-level financial expert to help you:

  • Improve cash flow
  • Gain clarity on your long-term business strategy and shorter-term plans
  • Focus your business on what you want from it as the owner
  • Cut through the clutter of numbers to identify and measure the key measures of success
  • Determine the most profitable opportunities for your business
  • Optimize business cash flows for your personal cash flow needs


What if you want targeted, customized, one-on-one advice for your business? My ACE program is a completely new way to get CFO insights for your business.

How much would your profits increase from financial guidance that’s tailored for your company?

Every million-dollar sale you miss because of lack of cash is hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost profits. Worse, being ignorant of key financial management practices can lead to a cash crisis and bankruptcy. Lack of planning leads to a lack of focus that causes wasted cash.

Lost profits due to poor financial management are common with small businesses.

  • More than half of U.S. businesses have lost $10,000 or more by foregoing a project or sales specifically due to issues created by insufficient cash flow. (Quickbooks study)
  • 82% of small businesses fail because of poor cash flow management skills or poor understanding of cash flow (U.S. Bank)


Tap into my expertise to build your company’s financial strength and stability. Your stress will go down and your ability to capture more profit will go up. Most importantly, your company will be focused on achieving your definition of success.

ACE is a set of three one-hour coaching sessions for you to:

  • Achieve

    Determine what you want to achieve in the long term and the short term. You'll create a vision of where you're heading with three-year priorities and one-year goals of how to get there.

  • Clarify

    Your goals are clarified and refined to make sure they're achievable. You'll build a cash flow projection with me to clarify your financial plan and options. You'll map out the right sequence of quarterly objectives to achieve your goals. You'll be able to see visually if you're maximizing productivity without being overwhelmed.

  • Execute

    You'll break down your objectives into specific step-by-step tasks that can be assigned to others and tracked for accountability. Monitor your progress with a key performance indicators (KPI) dashboard. You’ll have a complete action plan from three- year priorities to practical quarterly objectives and tasks.

These sessions can be done via phone or Zoom video call. You are in complete control to decide how you want to communicate with me. You also have the choice of one-on-one coaching or small group coaching. I'll let you know a more about that later in this page.

These straightforward sessions will increase your:

  • Focus

    You’ll know the most important factors to your companies success with practical ways to monitor your progress.

  • Confidence

    My expertise and everything you learn in ACE will show you how to build a stronger business.

  • Alignment

    ACE will guide you from big-picture strategic thinking all the way to quarterly objectives that turn plans into reality. Each step follows the previous step and all the parts of your plan are tightly aligned.

A program worth thousands of dollars

I’ll guide you through the basic steps of setting and implementing a strategic plan. We’ll start with the big question of “What do you want from your company” and map that all the way to practical quarterly objectives and tasks to attain that purpose. Along the way, I’ll give you tools to implement this plan. You’ll receive:

Financial statement analysis – You receive a CFO-level analysis of your company’s financial statements. More importantly, I explain in plain English what I see and what you should monitor.

Custom cash flow projection – I create a cash flow projection template for you that’s customized to your company’s financial statements.

Key performance indicator (KPI) dashboard – You’ll follow your future progress with a dashboard of the 5-15 metrics that we decide together are the most important to your success.

SWOT analysis – Know your company’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT). I’ll guide you through this time-tested analysis.

Action plan – You’ll outline three-year priorities for your company, goals for the next year, and quarterly initiatives to turn those goals into reality. I build that out in Trello to track your progress.

Finding your path with an experienced guide

It’s a jungle out there in the business world. You’ve seen the traps and pitfalls other businesses have fallen into. Would you like a guide with decades of experience for your business journey?

Here’s a little about why I can be your guide:

  • CFO of multiple companies, including two banks
  • Director of Operations of a $4 billion company
  • Worked for small companies where I juggled multiple roles
  • Worked for big companies where I was focused on strategic planning, executive leadership, and proving information to make decisions.


When it comes to how businesses set strategy and manage their money, I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. I want to show small businesses how to avoid the ugly and achieve their goals.

I’ll explain in plain English how you can improve your business as I guide you through a step-by-step process. This process is flexible so we can work together to adapt it to your business. If you are ever uncertain or unclear, you can always email or call me.

COMPASS: Clear Direction

Strategic planning is a process of knowing where you are, where you want to go, and the direction to take to get there. Do you have a clear roadmap to your path to success? This program’s components provide an easy-to-use COMPASS:

  • Cash flow projection: Find the cash needed for your plan
  • Objectives: Well-defined quarterly steps to achieve your plan
  • Metrics to monitor that you’re on the right path toward success
  • Purpose: A clear purpose for your company to provide focus
  • Alignment: Every part of the plan is aligned with how you define success.
  • SWOT analysis is a proven tool for assessing your company and environment.
  • Strategic plan: All of this program comprises a proven planning process that I’ve done with other companies and can do for you.

Client Testimonial

CJ Curtis, Owner and Operator of The Garden Coffee and Local Eats

"There are so many unknowns when opening a new small business; it can be down-right scary. That's why it would be hard for me to put a value on having Rob Stephens on my team. Rob's guidance and counsel has taken a lot of the fear out of opening my own shop. His guidance and confidence in me has been invaluable. He's helped me to sort through the unknowns and taught me to take things one step at a time, starting with the most important tasks first - and he even helped me to figure out what those 'most important' task were! Rob is patient, thorough, and intuitive. I highly recommend his services to anyone looking for support.”

Jana Erny, SVP Retail Experience and Operations, Numerica Credit Union

Rob has a knack for breaking down complex concepts in terms that are easily understood by those who do not have a background in finance/accounting.  Working with Rob is both fun and rewarding as he tactfully lightens the mood with his sense of humor, while also teaching new concepts or strategies.  Rob’s approach is strategic and methodical.  His knowledge has been built throughout many years of well-rounded experience and his insights often prove to be invaluable.

Dr Nils W Ohlsen, Outlook Vision

"I am an optometrist and I've been in practice in Spokane since 2000. I've always liked and have done well in math. It took me quite a few years to realize that being good at math does not necessarily mean I can effectively analyze the many important financial numbers of my practice. It is much better, and a much better use of my time to utilize the talents of someone that deciphers financial numbers professionally. CFO Perspective filled that gap for us. I feel fortunate that our small optometry clinic was able to benefit from an analysis from a Chief Financial Officer with decades of experience, wisdom that would typically be inaccessible to small businesses. Rob Stephens has a calm, reassuring manner and heart of a teacher. He has been a pleasure to know and is very effective at the service he provides. Thank you CFO Perspective!”

Three modules to a complete plan

I provide a series of instructions and worksheets for you in each module. You submit them to me and I create customized analysis and templates for you in our coaching sessions. Here’s more detail about each module.

Module 1: Achieve

  • Clarify your business’s purpose, vision, mission, and three-year priorities
  • During our coaching call, I’ll provide observations of your financial statements from the perspective of an experienced CFO.

Module 2: Clarify

  • Identify your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis)
  • I’ll give you a customized cash flow projection template that we’ll work on together to map out your plan.
  • Identify 5-15 key metrics to your company’s success.

Module 3: Execute

  • Create an action plan with tasks
  • We’ll work together on a communication process to align all your employees’ efforts to support your plan
  • Key metrics dashboard
  • Timeline graph for executing your quarterly objectives.
  • Task tracking system to monitor the achievement of your objectives and plans.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Module 1: Achieve

    • Welcome and Overview

      FREE PREVIEW
    • How to use this course

    • Module 1 Workbook

    • Activity: My Hopes Worksheet

    • Activity: Personal Aspirations and Company Purpose Worksheet

    • Activity: Vision Formation Worksheet

    • Activity: Mission Formation Worksheet

    • Activity: Three Year Strategic Priorities Worksheet

    • Activity: Income Statement and Balance Sheet

    • Check-In #1!

  • 2

    Module 2: Clarify

    • SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis

    • Activity: SWOT Worksheet

    • One Year Goals

    • Activity: One Year Goals Worksheet

    • Key Performance Metric Dashboard

    • Activity: Key Performance Metric Dashboard Entry

    • Managing Cash Flow Course

    • Cash Flow Projection Course

    • Check-In #2!

  • 3

    Module 3: Execute

    • Quarterly Objectives and Tasks

    • Quarterly Objectives and Tasks Worksheets

    • Trello 101 Video

    • Check-In #3!

  • 4

    Wrap Up

    • Help Me Improve This Course

    • Testimonial


My mission is to provide CFO-level insights at prices that fit the budgets of small businesses. The above planning would cost you $3,000 if I flew to your business to conduct a day-long strategic planning session and cash flow analysis.

You can receive the ACE program for $495. That’s less than a quarter of the cost of me coming on-site. You save thousands and work at the times and places that are convenient for you.


Each ACE registration is good for up to 2 business leaders. For example, you can have two people on each Zoom call with me or the small group. This means two partners can take the course for one price.

BONUS - Get FREE Access to the Improve Your Cash Flow Course (a $149 value)

Reduce your stress and capture more opportunities by improving your business’s cash flow. Better cash flow means more growth and more profit.

This course will help you:

  • Get your hands around your current and projected cash flows
  • Increase cash flow
  • Avoid painful mistakes business owners make with debt and equity
  • Reduce stressful periods of low cash
  • Identify the major sources of debt and equity finances that could provide precious capital to your business.
  • Avoid common cash management mistakes
  • Get the cash you need for growth

Already enrolled in Improve Your Cash Flow? Contact me for a coupon code to get ACE discounted for what you paid for Managing Cash Flow.

One-on-One Coaching

You have a year to complete the program. Buy it now and complete the course when it's convenient for you. You get three one-hour coaching sessions with Rob.


Get ACE with No Risk

There is no risk to you. You can leave within the first 30 days with a full refund. I want you to be 100% satisfied with what you’re receiving from me.

Sign Up Now for the ACE Program

The price is a quarter of the cost of me coming on-site.

  • $495.00

    $495.00ACE: Achieve, Clarify, Execute - Small Business Strategic Planning

    I want a powerful plan and private one-on-one coaching sessions with Rob.
    Sign Me Up!

P.S. My mission is to help small businesses succeed. With ACE, you'll build a plan to achieve your definition of success. As always, God bless and I wish you well.

Instructor(s)

Founder, CFO Perspective

Rob Stephens

Rob Stephens is the Founder of CFO Perspective, where he provides financial consulting and education to small businesses. He has been quoted in Forbes, U.S. News and World Report, Business Insider, Business News Daily, and many other news sources. Rob has a 20-year career that includes serving as CFO for two banks and a health clinic system. He was also Director of Operations at a $4 Billion bank and SVP of Finance of a $2 Billion credit union, where he was Program Manager of an investment advisory group with $170 Million in assets under management. Rob teaches the entrepreneurial finance class to MBA students at Gonzaga University. Rob holds a Masters of Science in Personal Financial Planning and a Graduate Certificate in Financial Therapy from Kansas State University. He received a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Washington and is a CPA.