Approach

APPROACH

We help portfolio companies identify and implement a “future state” roadmap.

Critical Few Workshops Overall Key Benefits
  • Workshops are a low time investment – preparation occurs over two days, workshop occurs over a weekend or a scheduled executive retreat
  • Extends the investor strategy into the actual implementation within the portfolio company
  • Adds C level interim resources that would not otherwise be working with the firm
  • Focuses on moving into a well-defined future not just an extension of the day-to-day
  • Empowers teams to stand up, take bold steps and run
  • Hold the entire organization, investors and trusted advisors accountable for growth and progress
  • Improves communications
  • Aligns all stakeholders around agreed upon initiatives
  • Establishes direction and vision for the business
  • Mitigates risk due to ROI based initiatives
  • Establish a roadmap to move the company to the next stage in their lifecycle
Start-Up Stage
Primary Objectives for a Start Up
  • Framing products or services.
  • Establishing revenue opportunities.
  • Managing the investment and overall cash flow.
Key Indicators for a Critical Few Workshop
  • Convoluted CEO leadership, lack of planning and delegation, working primarily “in the business” instead of working “on the business”.
  • Leadership team members working inefficiently, wearing “too many hats”, spending time on low-value, low-impact initiatives.
  • Unclear product or service messaging, lack of brand building.
  • Lack of structure in the sales effort.
  • Lack of standard operating procedures
  • Inadequate cash flow management controls.
  • Decisions made in by a leadership committee, little delegation.
  • Compliance issues not addressed.
  • Inadequate HR controls – benefits, payroll, withholding taxes and job descriptions.
  • Unprotected intellectual property, inadequate patents and trademarks.
Benefits of a Critical Few Workshop to Start-Ups
People
  • Staffing based on prioritized initiatives and supporting revenue.
  • Definition of a target organizational chart and key responsibilities.
  • Clear job descriptions, accountability, and delegation.
$ Investment
  • Investments tracked against attainment of Critical Few initiatives found on the Critical Few roadmap.
  • Investment protection controls in place.
  • Establishing financial modeling for best case, worst case and most likely case of performance.
Business Model
  • Confirmation of key financial metrics, margins and cost per sale metrics.
  • Focus on products and services – competitive analysis.
Early Growth Stage
Primary Objectives for an Early Growth Stage Company
  • Sharpen focus on those few products and services that provide sufficient cash flow and profitable returns.
  • Lay the foundation for future growth.
  • Begin and/or expand best practice and standard operating procedure.
  • Begin transition to delegation.
Key Indicators for a Critical Few Workshop
  • Unfocused leadership team, chasing unproven opportunities away from the core business.
  • Challenges in time management.
  • Business vision unclear to all employees.
  • Unclear messaging.
  • Poor web presence.
  • Lack of open communications and weekly team meetings.
  • Cash flow management challenges.
  • No coordinated branded marketing communications, sales individuals creating customized sales materials.
  • Revenue concentration on only a few customers.
  • Reliance of unsophisticated information systems – heavy use of tools such as Excel
  • Responsibilities still crossing areas.
  • Investment in material, equipment and people placing strain on available capital.
  • Financial reporting and Key Performance Indicators not completed.
  • Requirements for more investment.
  • Heavy reliance on external advisors.
Benefits of a Critical Few Workshop to an Early Growth Stage Company
People
  • Organizational structure around clear revenue streams.
  • Brand development and application to website and sales efforts.
  • Staffing plan designed to support product growth and reduce reliance on consultants.
  • Performance measurements and accountability.
$ Investment
  • Sales process and plan tied to product / service revenue.
  • Focused funding for specific capital investments such as CRM, marketing automation and revenue supported staffing.
  • Financial reporting on budget versus actual.
  • Multiple financial scenarios.
  • Separation of financial reporting & revenue/expense sources.
  • Transition from expense to potential growth or breakeven.
Business Model
  • Accountability supported with KPI’s and future financial hurdles.
  • Information System implementation – spreadsheet transition.
  • Standard Operating Procedures taking shape.
  • Quality Control Systems & Reporting.
  • SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats).
Growth Stage
Primary Objectives for a Growth Stage Company
  • Quantify returns expected through new products and services.
  • Develop repeat business leveraging existing relationships.
  • Control costs— grow more rapidly than revenue.
  • Focus on competition & opportunities.
  • No longer under the radar – visibility a factor.
Key Indicators for a Critical Few Workshop
  • Need to define and target new market opportunities.
  • Investment required into infrastructure.
  • Need to manage cash flow against target KPIs.
  • Identification and evaluation of new products and services.
  • Expansion of sales network.
  • Introduction of inbound marketing, social media, and blogging.
  • Consider geographic expansion.
  • Clear job descriptions required.
  • Expansion of marketing – employ buyer’s journey methodology.
  • Improved information systems.
  • Organization needs to be positioned to support growth.
  • Increasing need for employee accountability.
  • Increased funding required to support growth.
  • Improvements in HR required.
  • Potential regional and international support.
  • Employee turnover a constant challenge.
  • Development of a middle management team.
Benefits of a Critical Few Workshop to a Growth Stage Company
People
  • Specific staff hiring strategies for growth areas.
  • Well defined job descriptions, code of conduct, and compensation.
  • Accountability systems including performance evaluations.
  • Regional and national – remote coverage.
$ Investment
  • Investment risk reduction.
  • Incentives for sales profitability.
  • Product and service longevity and leveraging.
  • More concise financial reporting.
  • Potential positioning for additional funding and/or transition/exit strategy.
  • Employee benefit packages.
Business Model
  • Expansion of revenue sources.
  • Shortened product / serve pathways.
  • Basic integrated marketing and sales processes.
  • Enhance information systems.
  • Change control management for Standard Operating Procedures.
  • Facility management and growth requirements.
  • Quality control best practice continuity.
  • SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats).
Mature Business Stage
Primary Objectives for a Mature Stage Company
  • Maintain value through product and service profit recognition.
  • Begin to focus on operational synergy through best practices.
  • Focus on efficiency.
  • Leveraging institutional experience.
  • Reducing dependency on individuals and replacing with best practice.
Key Indicators for a Critical Few Workshop
  • Inadequate level of delegation of management decisions.
  • Little focus on competition and client retention.
  • Under investment in new products and services.
  • Focus on cost reduction to drive value.
  • Undefined succession or exit strategies.
  • Unclear client base retention strategy.
  • Undefined sales compensation plans.
  • No clear diversification strategies for buyers.
  • Unsecured IP and legal agreements.
  • Replacing “tribal knowledge” with best practice.
  • Redefining the appropriate Target Operating Model.
Benefits of a Critical Few Workshop to a Mature Stage Company
People
  • Success / exit plan.
  • Identification of crucial personnel.
  • Foundation of transition management.
  • Engaging and retaining key performers.
$ Investment
  • Multiple scenarios for risk mitigation.
  • Options for product profitability.
  • Possible external funding transition planning.
  • Information system investment – upgrade expenses.
  • Overall compensation options based upon growth or maintain strategies.
  • Benefit evaluations.
Business Model
  • Updating best practice.
  • Client retention.
  • Quality control systems.
  • Product life end decisions.
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