You have a great thing going... but you could use some help!
Whether you need to tighten up your financial reports for investors or need help navigating a unique business challenge, I am on your team!
Check out some examples of business challenges I love to tackle.
A Well-funded startup THAT needs some outside help
YOU: You've raised your series A and things are going well! You have a couple of early adopters signed on, customer demand is strong, and you finally have the cash to invest in scaling your offering.
YOUR PROBLEM: You have a bunch of needs that aren't being met by your current team, but you're not ready to bring someone on full time.
SOLUTION: I can help! I'm available for short or medium term contract work that fits your needs. Think of me as an outsourced CFO/CSO, who can take on tasks big and small. I can bring an experienced set of eyes to help you conduct market research, learn everything there is to know about a potential partner, tighten up the financials, and figure out your larger strategy. I will ensure that you're prepared for any meeting and will have a higher likelihood of closing the deal as a result. When you're ready to raise your next round, I can help with that too- from cleaning up your financials to putting together your deck.
A restaurant looking to make a bit more cash
YOU: Passionate about food and service, running an chic restaurant with a great menu.
YOUR PROBLEM: The dining room is pretty busy most nights- but you're not sure how much money you're on track to make this month, or next. Costs feel a bit out of control, and you could use some advice on better managing your food orders and staff. You wonder, if you increase the number of orders by 20%, what will that mean for profits? Are you priced right for the neighborhood relative to your competitors? What would it mean financially if you partner with Seamless or Opentable? Is it worth the fees to get in front of more potential customers?
SOLUTION: I can help! I will go through your financials in detail, and ensure you have a strong grasp on them. To the extent you need help building a financial model or running analysis on your Quickbooks reports, I can do that too. I will work with you to define your strategy for the next 1, 3, and 6 months. We will discuss how you will leverage your fixed costs- once you've covered your fixed operational costs (rent, staff, etc.), every additional order = cash right in your pocket! We will develop plans for how you can get more folks in the door, ordering more items per table- as well as how to manage your costs- ensuring you're appropriately staffed and getting the best prices on ingredients.
A YOGA STUDIO LOOKING TO EXPAND INTO A NEW MARKET
YOU: Passionate about wellness and excited to expand your yoga studio into a second market.
YOUR PROBLEM: You're not sure how to assess which market makes the most sense for your next location. You're struggling with how much it will cost to open an additional studio, and unsure how you're going to come up with the funds. Will you get a bank loan, use your credit cards, or seek out an equity partner? Who will you need to hire, and when? Should you use contractors or employees? What will that cost? Bigger picture, how well should you can expect your new studio to do? The last one was profitable in 18 months... will this one ramp more quickly as people already know and love your brand? Will it ramp more slowly because you're opening in a neighborhood that is already crowded with studios?
SOLUTION: I can help! I've worked with companies in the past that use both contractors and employees, and am skilled at building financial models for you to understand what to expect from your new location based on how your first one has scaled. (First location? No problem! We can start from scratch!) I will also help you think through all of your options for financing, including preparing materials for investors so they have the information they need to write the check!
An online SELLER of home goods considering a partnership with a brick-and-mortar retailer
YOU: Your colorful wall hangings are selling nicely online, and you wonder how to grow from here.
YOUR PROBLEM: While sales on your website grew quickly at first, they've slowed down recently. You wonder if you should be using online partners (To Amazon or Not To Amazon?), and whether you should find some retail partners. Would you sell more if customers could sample your product in their local Whole Foods? Would your product fly off the shelves in the checkout line at Urban? What's the best way to get in front of more customers? Many companies that started online, like Casper and Warby Parker, found over time that customers still really want to touch and feel products before buying- and returns can get very expensive. Should you follow their lead?
SOLUTION: I can help! I will conduct broad market research on your behalf to evaluate the best way to expand distribution and reach. I will help you understand the costs of working with a sales partner, and the potential market opportunities of growing your sales in this way. I will also investigate the competitive landscape to understand what complementary products your customer might be interested in- for example, would she be interested in purchasing related accessories, or customizing her orders with monogramming?
A brick and mortar retailer A BIT short on cash, and not sure why
YOU: Running a neighborhood favorite shop and confused why if sales are up, cash is tight?
YOUR PROBLEM: You've been investing more and more into inventory, credit card fees are on the rise, and you're not sure if you can will have enough cash to pay yourself this month. Sales have been moving in the right direction, and you're confident that your business is on the right track, but you need help understanding your financials and how you can better control cash month-to-month.
SOLUTION: I can help! I will go through your numbers with you, and we will find ways to better manage expenses and bring in more cash. Perhaps you can cut back on costs by buying certain things in bulk (especially if you're making some of your own products), or offering certain merchandise on consignment. Perhaps we need to think through more variable compensation programs to ensure that your staffing costs only rise in line with sales growth. We'll consider other options to bring in cash- such as subletting a corner of your shop to a local entrepreneur who wants to have a pop-up for a few months.
a new business just getting off the ground
YOU: Your line of homemade bath scrubs is a huge hit with friends and family, and you want to grow sales!
YOUR PROBLEM: You've never run your own business before, and you're not sure where to start. So far, all of your plans are in your head, and you need help putting together a business plan. You'd love to bring on an investor or two to help fund your initial manufacturing, but you're not sure who that should be or how you should tell your story.
SOLUTION: I can help! Together we will put together a business plan that articulates your story, projects financial performance, and will allow you to raise money from a local bank or a couple of friends.