Here are some services I like to bundle and provide for companies.
Founding a company can be the most exciting and rewarding thing you do in your professional career. It can also be the loneliest thing you do. As you are faced with countless challenges and decisions to make, that all seem to come at you at once, you are always better off seeking the advice of those who are in the same boat or have done it before.
I know because I have been on both sides many times. I have not only founded over a handful of companies, I have also advised or mentored a hundred or more. Helping founders as a sounding board is a “service” I am always happy to give for no charge (…maybe the price of a cup of coffee). I encourage all founders to seek mentors or advisors who can provide them with new and fresh perspectives or help connect them to valuable resources. I also encourage all mentors to help founders with no strings attached.
Financial and Operations Modeling
At the heart of any business strategy is a model. The ability to model conditions in the market and assumptions regarding your business are critical towards understanding where to invest your time and money in your business. In addition, if you are seeking investment, a strong financial model is one of the most essential components for helping investors understand the potential of your company and the use of their investment dollars.
I have built financial models for several companies and advised many others on their models. I would be happy to show you examples of this work and talk to you about the ways a good model could help your business. I can also help you develop your financial model and work with you to get the most out of it. I guarantee that, once you build it and tweak it to your liking, you will use it all the time, and you will make much better decisions about your business.
How well do you understand your customers and their pain, your competition and their strengths and weaknesses, the technology that is available and its application potential, and potential partners and how they can help you? As a CEO, you probably already know most these things because you either come from the market or have studied it intensely. But how do you translate your market knowledge into a product offering that can meet the needs of your customers, while differentiating from competition, while using the latest technology to gain advantage, and leveraging potential partners?
This is where I really like to play. Sometimes you need someone who can act as a sounding board to help you think through your product options before making the major investments required to get them off the ground. I am happy to bring in a fresh perspective into your product strategy process and help assess any places where there are gaps in your market knowledge or assessment.
Having run a venture-backed company for several years, I have experience working within the constructs of a fiduciary board of directors. I know from experience, both good and bad, that it is vitally important for CEOs to get their board working with them to grow their business, and there are distinct ways of accomplishing this. I am happy to share my experience with CEO’s who are new to this responsibility, and can work with them to help them manage this critical process.
Sales Planning and Execution
As a young company, cash is your lifeblood and your sales operations are the heart that pumps it. You must understand how to get new customers in a way that is repeatable and profitable. You must also invest in the right people to get the job done. The hires you make here are very important because the right people can be 4x better than the wrong ones.
I have years of experience not only building sales organizations for my companies, but also working with some of the top sellers and sales strategists in the world. I can help you develop your sales and marketing plans, review your existing efforts, assess your needs and current resources, implement programs that help you measure and improve, and help bring on the right people to profitably grow your sales.
As a high growth company, you may find that outside investment is the best way to help your company achieve its growth potential. When you realize this, either early in the companies development or after the company is already established in the market, you need to start planning your investment strategy. What is the investment required, what will it accomplish, who are potential investors, what is the timing for getting investment, and how do you approach the process?
Having raised funds for several companies, I have been through this process several times and realize that it is never too early to plan for it. And, the more you are prepared, the less disruptive the entire process is on your business and the more likely you are to meet your investment goals. I can help guide you through the planning process and can help you execute the steps along the way.
Messaging and Pitch Coaching
It is critical to be able to accurately and concisely describe what your company does and the value it creates. It is critical for customers, employees, partners, investors, and most of all, you. But, it is also very hard to do. Especially when you are in the middle of executing on it all the time. Often, it is best to have an outside person help you articulate your offerings and their value from the perspective of a customer, investor or other party.
For many years now, I have helped companies more effectively convey what they do and why it is valuable. I have done this as the director of an entrepreneurship group, a coach in several business plan competitions, a mentor in various accelerator programs, a consultant, and most importantly, as a founder and CEO like you. I would be happy to assess your current massaging and pitches and let you know how I can help.