There is life after finance … portraits of converted CFOs

“It’s not as easy as I originally thought, but I have absolutely no regrets about my choice.”. At the age of 53, Benjamin Nolf has been in charge since last autumn small business specializing in moisture treatment and is based in Douai in the north. Faced with some uncertainty, he had to deal with a slower start than he had initially anticipated. However, he certainly does not question his decision. This decision, made in 2021, to leave the career in finance, which he did since studying at Edhec and which led him from the first audit tasks for Daf positions in various companies: WTX (cars, turnover of 50 million euros) and Anaïk (professional gifts), in particular.

“I needed a change”

Why is this a sudden bifurcation towards entrepreneurship? “I was bored at work. I tried to look elsewhere, but when I went for an interview, I realized that it no longer meets my wishes. “, he recalls. He then agreed to leave in February 2021 to be able to turn the page more calmly and accompany his successor for several months, preparing a sequel. “At first I thought I would do something Timeshare Daf to see other things, support more modest companies, but in the end I came across a the possibility of business acquisition which I found interesting “.

The idea came to him not by chance, it hovered in his head for several years, but he put it in the background, still too busy to embark on a serious search for a goal. “I was more open to taking over an industrial company than a construction company, an industry I didn’t know at all, but the potential and activity of this company, which gave 1.5 million turnovers. Business attracted me. The prospects seemed very good. “

In addition, as soon as negotiations with the seller began, all staff decided to resign … “The employees were not aware of the discussions, their decision is not related to me, but rather a dispute with the owner of the company. These resignations quickly led the company to liquidation. Since I had already invested a lot in this adventure, and the tracks seemed good to me, I still started by going through the equipment and premises. Former employees did not want to return, meanwhile they found a job. “.

A “difficult” start, but a “rewarding” experience

After taking over the business, Benjamin Nolf finally moved on to starting a businessthat Assain. Since last September, he has been working to ensure that the company’s name is known and developed. “I gradually rebuilt the team: now I have three salespeople, two installers and two prospectors”. The former Daf also trained to obtain the necessary technical qualifications so as not to depend solely on its employees.

“It simply came to our notice then. I have not yet received a salary, and the income from Pôle Emploi benefits is obviously lower than my previous salaries, but I knew it I made this choice consciously.. My financial situation with the children who graduated allowed me to do so. I know that I agreed to lose if necessary. ” – emphasizes a novice entrepreneur. “It’s worth it, what I am going through today is extremely useful. I study every day. Not to mention that I’m in the logic of business development, it’s really stimulating, I’m not bored anymore! “.

Although he has made a 90-degree turn, Benjamin Nolf admits that the skills he has acquired during his career give him an interesting weapon for a new life: for example, in his exchanges with banks or business support networks. Not including know-how in terms of business plan, margin calculation, company invoicing, etc…