1770 – Custom Advisory with Manny Skevofilax of PORTAL CFO Consulting

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks with the Principal of Portal CFO, Manny Skevofilax.

Skevofilax wide

When asked about the services Manny renders as a fractional CFO, in response, he elucidated that numerous business proprietors initially seek assistance from accountants but often grapple with comprehending profitability and executing data-driven decisions.

Manny underscored the significance of grasping fundamental metrics, such as identifying the most lucrative products or services, to advance towards business objectives.

Manny's professional scope extends across diverse sectors, encompassing service companies, manufacturers, and contractors. He conveyed that a pivotal aspect of his responsibilities involves scrutinizing financial statements.

Each business's financial statement narrates a distinct tale, and the ability to pinpoint areas for enhancement and make informed decisions grounded in financial data is deemed indispensable.

When questioned about his interactions with clients and the concept of engaging a fractional CFO, Manny expounded that he initiates by evaluating the client's existing financial information and their capacity to make informed decisions based on said information.

He stressed the urgency of timely and accurate financial statements, highlighting the significance of promptly addressing adverse trends.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Manny Skevofilax's work as a fractional CFO
  • Importance of analyzing financial statements and making data-driven decisions
  • Identifying profitable segments in business
  • Making tough decisions about clients
  • Overcoming stagnation in business
  • Manny's experience working with various types of businesses
  • Importance of basic metrics in understanding profitability
  • Manny's blog and valuable content on LinkedIn
  • Manny's approach to providing practical lessons based on his experiences and mentors

About Manny Skevofilax:

Manny Skevofilax, a dynamic consultant and compelling speaker, breathes vitality into businesses, ensuring holistic success through his venture, Portal CFO.

Initially rooted in the restaurant industry, Manny holds a Bachelor of Science in Business and a Master of Science in Finance, leveraging this dual expertise for a seamless transition into the corporate banking realm.

His journey crystallized in consultancy, where his wealth of experience became instrumental. Renowned for translating intricate concepts into actionable strategies, Manny stands as the go-to figure for businesses navigating the ever-evolving commercial landscape.

With a proven track record, he empowers enterprises to survive and thrive, offering indispensable insights for flourishing in today's dynamic business environment.

About Portal CFO:

Portal CFO is a guiding beacon for business owners, dedicated to enhancing financial prosperity. Positioned as a trusted navigator, the mission is clear: facilitate a seamless journey from the current state (Point A) to the business's envisioned future (Point B).

As a financial compass, Portal CFO empowers entrepreneurs to comprehend and bolster their business's economic well-being. The focus is on fostering a more profound understanding, enabling informed decision-making throughout the transformative voyage.

By providing insights into the intricacies of financial health, Portal CFO ensures that business owners not only navigate but thrive, ultimately translating into the ability to make judicious and profitable decisions for sustained success.

Tweetable Moments:

14:32 – “I do everything very, very simple so that the owner can understand, teach it to his or her team, and make it actionable.”

Apply to be a Guest on The Thoughtful Entrepreneur:

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Portal CFO website at

Check out Portal CFO on LinkedIn at

Check out Portal CFO on Facebook at

Check out Manny Skevofilax on LinkedIn at

More from UpMyInfluence:

We are actively booking guests for our The Thoughtful Entrepreneur. Schedule HERE.

Are you a 6-figure consultant? I’ve got high-level intros for you. Learn more here.

What is your #1 Lead Generation BLOCKER? Take my free quiz here.

Want to learn more about all the podcasts managed by UpMyInfluence? Opt in here.


Josh (00:00:04) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach, or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my influence. Com and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now. Manny. Skevofilax. Manny, you are the principal and founder of portal CFO consulting. You're found on the web at portal Manny, thank you so much for joining us.

Manny (00:01:11) - Josh, thank you for having me.

Josh (00:01:13) - Well, what our listener of the podcast can see is we're recording this cuz you have this beautiful background of a Greece island.

Josh (00:01:22) - The water is so clear and blue and beautiful, and this photo is where your folks are from. And that's just it's wonderful. What a what a what a wonderful tribute. What's the name of it? Someone wants to Google what I presume to be one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Manny (00:01:37) - Uh, sure. It's the island of carp. If I could spell it. K.R. Patty h o s it's in the southeast, uh, Aegean Sea.

Josh (00:01:48) - Nice. Excellent. Well, Manny, your website again, portal Tell me a bit about the work you do and who you serve.

Manny (00:01:57) - All right. Uh, I have been very blessed for the past 20 years. I work with business owners, Josh, all different types of businesses to help them make more money by helping them navigate the challenges of growing that business profitably.

Josh (00:02:11) - Yeah. All right. So you do this. And again the services you provide a lot of fractional CFO leadership. Why is this, you know, to someone who might be at this earlier stage and maybe they haven't considered it? I'm sure they have someone helping out with taxes.

Josh (00:02:25) - Sure they've got someone helping out with accounting and then they've got this data right. And they may or may not be using this data to make decisions. Can you help connect the dots on all of that?

Manny (00:02:39) - Sure. That's a great point. These business owners are bootstrapping. So they have, you know, some kind of help with an accountant, which of course is important. And then it gets to the point where after they've grown that business, they get more interested in trying to understand, you know, profitability. You know, we have a big thing in our country where we want to grow, grow, grow. Well, it's easy to grow a business. And while you grow, you end up not making any money. Your profit goes away. So as an owner, if you can have at least a little bit of a handle on the basic metrics, you know, what's my most profitable product or my most profitable service, you know, which one should I do more of? Which one should I do less? It helps you to make progress on meeting your goals.

Josh (00:03:24) - Yeah. And so who do you typically work with? What types of companies? And by the way, I have to point out, man, you've been at the helm for over 20 years. So congratulations on your longevity.

Manny (00:03:36) - Yeah. Thank you Josh I've been very blessed. All different types of business owners, service companies, manufacturers, contractors. You know, the interesting thing is I work by analyzing the financial statement. And even though the financial statement is three key components income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, it tells a different story. Josh, for each business, it's it's very cool. And you're able to read in and look at it. That's what I was trained to do as a banker to analyze financial statements and figure out, you know, what are things are going well and where what areas could use improvement?

Josh (00:04:14) - Manny. Someone who's not trained or really hasn't taken the time to really understand this. What are they likely not going to see that you may be able to see and interpret?

Manny (00:04:27) - Yes, it's a great question.

Manny (00:04:28) - If they have multiple ways that they make money. They may not be able to see that they're spending 50% of their time on selling a product or service that maybe only accounts for 10% of their profit, because when they got started, that's what they do. It's what we've always done. They might even like doing it. But they just don't understand how much money they make from each of the different segments. And if they wanted to make more money, they would probably be better off doing less of that one. And if we could find another segment where it makes more money for their company.

Josh (00:05:04) - So you may have someone, let's say that they've got some of their clients, let's say they've got 35% profit margin, and then they've got some of their clients that have a 5% profit margin still profitable. You know, it's kind of keeping the employees going and that sort of thing. So, you know, their ego prevents them from wanting to let go of those clients. But tell me about that decision making.

Josh (00:05:26) - Like how do we make some of those maybe tough decisions or, you know, if we can identify, well, clearly, we're making a lot more money here. Um, how might this look in real life?

Manny (00:05:39) - I think that's a terrific example, Josh. You know, ego does get in the way when the business owner lays out goals. So we're in a situation where expenses are constantly going up. Right. So your cost for maintaining your employees, which are your most valuable asset, are constantly increasing. So you're in a situation where you've got to constantly keep growing that business and making a little more money to be able to give raises, to be able to give bonuses, to be able to take care of of your company overall. And if you're continuing to focus in the lower margin activities, you're not going to be able to get where you want to go. So you need to take a sharper look at, hey, you know, I need to pay this much in bonuses, this much in salaries.

Manny (00:06:27) - I want to add some people. I might need a bigger space. So how can I make some more money in this business to fund this? Because I like to use my own me out. I wouldn't want to have to borrow if I couldn't help it.

Josh (00:06:38) - Yeah. And someone might say, but why would I? Should I let go of a client that I'm, you know, at break even on or, you know, because there are more costs than maybe just kind of the balance sheet of labor costs or operating, um, cost of goods. Right? So cost of goods sold. Yes. It's marginally profitable, but it's still profitable. Right? I mean, there are more there's more impact to maintaining that customer than just maybe what might be directly observable.

Manny (00:07:11) - Again, another excellent point that you make, I have to ask that.

Josh (00:07:14) - In the in the form of a question. Excuse me.

Manny (00:07:16) - I know it's a great point, and I'm glad that you brought it up that way, because it's a tough decision.

Manny (00:07:21) - So if you do an analysis and you see that yes, you are making that 5% margin on this one customer and you've got three people deployed on it, you're making 35%, as you mentioned, on the other customer, with two people deployed on it. That helps you see better that you've got three resources. That's netting you 5%, and then you got two on the other one making you 35. So it becomes easier, thanks to your example, to see that if there's no future for this client. So we can just be direct, if there's no way that I can sell it an additional value added product or service to this client, because we do want to take into consideration the lifetime value of a client, you're absolutely right. But if there is no way and we have additional employees we'd like to hire, take care of our existing employees with bonuses and stuff, we're going to have to make that tough decision, maybe, and move on from that client.

Josh (00:08:17) - Um, when somebody comes to you and they're complaining.

Josh (00:08:20) - Manny of stagnation, what questions do you typically look at or what what data do you typically want to start peaking at to help gain them some clarity? Because stagnation, I think it can impact a lot of us. And I think there's you know, it's like in business, there's you got moments of growth, you got moments where going your profitability goes down a little bit, and then you've just got those doldrums where it's like, man, I feel like we're stuck. We can't seem to break through that. You know, the it can't get over the eight figure hump or, you know, we're stuck in the, you know, 1 million. We just can't seem to cross into 2 million a year. And it's frustrating because they feel like they've been there for too long.

Manny (00:09:03) - Yeah. This is again a great point that you make. It happens every day. You know, there's the peaks and troughs of business, right? It's not that steady upward trajectory. So the first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to ask that business owner a lot of questions.

Manny (00:09:18) - I'm going to interview that owner and say, hey, you know, how did you get here? You know, what are the things that have been working? And I'm going to do a lot of listening. I'm going to want to get educated on the dynamics that are going on inside that particular business, because there are a host of things that may have impacted it. Part of it could be like technological obsolescence, you know, might be impacting them. Service offerings are not perceived as as giving the value that they once did. You know, your client is saying, ah, you know, I loved it, but not so much now. So a deep introspection was leaving, you know, the ego out of it and just saying, hey, let's take a look at this as unemotional as we can and figure it out. Why are people not buying our stuff anymore? Because we got from 0 to 1 million. You know, we got from 4 million to 5 million. So we've got a proven track record.

Manny (00:10:13) - What could it possibly be?

Josh (00:10:16) - Man, you have a pretty good blog here, and you share a lot of this content on LinkedIn as well, which I really like. And and what I like about your blog articles is they're pretty punchy. Do you have really good lists and like checklists? It's pretty actionable. Um, so one that I'm looking at right now is three simple ways to improve your decision making skills, which again, I'm sure when you're working with clients, you want to help them gain some clarity on some of these decisions that they need to make, you know, where they invest their money and growth, you know, is there are there opportunities for savings. But, you know, I just want to maybe kind of share these three items here and let you comment on whatever inspires you. But I thought this was pretty valuable. So again, three simple ways to improve your decision making skills. Number one, try to find flaws in your own ideas. Number two, don't let emotions cloud your decisions.

Josh (00:11:07) - Which yeah, that's pretty much we think that we're, you know, operating logically as a business owner. It's mostly not. And then number three, don't assume many sure things. That's a great outline. But take that anywhere you want because there's a lot there's a lot to discuss there.

Manny (00:11:26) - Thank you I'm going to try to keep it simple, you know because I'm passionate. So I consider myself emotional. I get excited about stuff. There are a lot of topics that business owners just don't really want to talk about, and that's one of them. You know, you don't go out there and say, hmm, I wish I could improve my decision making, right? That's something that you keep personal. So, yeah, you know, the first thing is, you know, let me look at me, you know, what am I doing? Let me give myself just a little report card without beating myself up. Too bad. Right. So, you know, I try to provide the lessons that I've been taught by my teachers and mentors over my career, you know, do a little bit of, you know, looking at yourself, you know, how self-aware are you? Do you understand how you're being perceived? Like one of the things a little bit off of the topic.

Manny (00:12:13) - But I used to get frustrated because I couldn't learn very fast. If you talk to me about something, I could not absorb it. I could not pick it up. But if you get up there and write it on a board, I got it. Well, I didn't know, but that's called being a visual learner, so there's wasn't anything wrong with me. That's not how I learn. Other people learn by you just talking. There's a big tribe of visual learners out there. So that's like the first thing I do is, hey, by the way, Josh, how do you learn? Do you get it by somebody talking to you or do you need to see it? So I try to ask questions that help with introspection and, you know, kind of going to places that you might not really care to be real public about.

Josh (00:12:57) - Yeah. Um, Manny, what does it look like when you're working with your clients? So let's say that someone says, well, I don't know. Should I hire a fractional CFO? Can you maybe explain what that looks like?

Manny (00:13:07) - Sure.

Manny (00:13:08) - You know, we start with what they're doing, you know, do they feel that they have timely and accurate information at their fingertips to make their decisions? That really is the be all, end all. Um, a lot of owners are working with the financial information that's months and months old. And, you know, I'm a firm believer based on what my teachers and mentors have taught me. You need to have a fresh financial statement in your hand within, you know, two weeks after the close of the month. Josh can not afford to not be looking at a financial for three months, because if there's any negative trends that are occurring, you want to be on top of them as soon as possible and not let them take root. So that would be the first thing. How do you feel about, you know, the quality of your information? Are you able to, um, to make informed business decisions? That's where it starts.

Josh (00:14:03) - Yeah. Your website portal Someone that's been listening to our conversation.

Josh (00:14:10) - Where does someone start and what does that sound like? So if someone says, listen, I don't know, I'm open. I've you know, I think we're at that level where maybe I would like a little bit of kind of that executive level leadership when it comes to making sure that we're making more data driven decisions. But what are those first conversations usually sound like? How do we make it sound less scary?

Manny (00:14:32) - Yeah, we start by having a meeting that's informal. You know, we might meet over over. Coffee in person is my preference, but we might meet over zoom. Just have a conversation so I can ask you, you know, Josh, where do you think you could get better? Where do you think you're missing? It's not my perspective. I've been trained my whole life to do this in my particular field. Now I need to ask the other human being that business owner. Hey, what do you think? That you could use some horsepower, you know, where do you think you could get better at this stuff? What could really help you? And that's where it starts.

Manny (00:15:10) - And I try to do things as simply, as simply as I can. I don't bring any complex, you know, present value of future cash flow and blah, blah, blah. I do everything very, very simple so that the owner can understand, teach it to his or her team and make it actionable. Because if it's too complicated, my experience has found that people are not going to follow it and stuff's not going to get done.

Speaker 3 (00:15:33) - Yeah, you are also, Manny.

Josh (00:15:36) - You're a speaker. Um, but again, your website, portal CFO, dot com, someone's been listening to our conversation. What would you recommend they do next?

Manny (00:15:43) - I think, you know, reading a couple of blogs would be, uh, pretty cool because you can go in there and meet people, have it set up so you can search it. So if you got a topic that's a hot button, you can type it in there and search, and it'll bring some articles that you know that are what you're looking for.

Manny (00:16:02) - And then, you know, probably look at some of the testimonial videos because I've had, you know, this conversation in the past. What is the best way to share with someone what it is that you do? Exactly? Well, that would be to probably hear from a business owner, in their own words, what it's like working with me. So I would say read a few blogs. Um.

Josh (00:16:24) - Know your blog. As I mentioned earlier, it's a very, very valuable content. Also, man, you're good. You're a good LinkedIn follower. Just got connected with you there as well. So again your website. What's that? Yeah. Portal Manny. Skevofilax. Uh, it's been great having you. You're the founder and it's been a joy having this conversation. Manny, thank you so much for joining us.

Manny (00:16:45) - Josh. Thank you for having me I enjoyed it.

Josh (00:16:52) - Thanks for listening to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up my influence com slash guest.

Josh (00:17:04) - If you're a listener, I'd love to shout out your business to our whole audience for free. You can do that by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts, or join our Listener Facebook group. Just search for the Thoughtful Entrepreneur and Facebook. I'd love, even if you just stopped by to say hi, I'd love to meet you. We believe that every person has a message that can positively impact the world. We love our community who listens and shares our program every day. Together we are empowering one another as thoughtful entrepreneurs. Hit subscribe so that tomorrow morning. That's right, seven days a week you are going to be inspired and motivated to succeed. I promise to bring positivity and inspiration to you for around 15 minutes each day. Thanks for listening and thank you for being a part of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur movement.

We're actively booking guests for our DAILY #podcast: The Thoughtful #Entrepreneur. Happy to share your story with our 120K+ audience.Smiling face with halo


Apple iTunes podcast