To say that a main goal, perhaps the main goal of any company is to make money is to state the obvious — or is it? There are times when other goals are more important than profitability, especially when a company is ramping up and investing in market penetration and infrastructure. It’s a rare company that makes money consistently from Day One of its operations.
In a recent blog, I discussed trends that are converging to create an opportunity for the $470 billion U.S. franchise industry to expand into new franchise concepts. Specialized technology-based services represent an opportunity for franchising to expand beyond its traditional confines of retail services.
As an advisor to executives, entrepreneurs and investors in the senior care industry, I am always concerned to understand — and try to influence — the public’s and the market’s view of the senior population. This is an enormous market opportunity. A striking statistic about the growth of the senior population: the U.S. Census estimates there will be 834,000 centenarians in 2050. Senior care is a unique industry; it evokes the concern everyone should share that their parents, grandparents and themselves will be in good hands when they reach the latter stages of their lives.
Emerging growth companies must climb a steep hill to penetrate their market, grow revenue, and attain profitability. Setbacks, disappointment, and frustration are common occurrences. The company founder is driven by a vision — and by the upside that comes from owning some or all of the company. But most employees are only getting a paycheck — and the chance to get in on the ground floor of what they hope one day will be a fast growing company.
Employee morale is an indispensable driver of a company’s success. It boosts confidence, commitment, and productivity. A drop in employee morale can quickly lead to disappointment and resentment — and an exodus of employees without whom the company can’t function.
We asked Newport partners how successful CEO’s they know respond to setbacks.
Note: John Isaza, Esq. is the co-author of this blog.
Content, including records and information, has become a pervasive and strategic part of companies — large and small. 1Records and information are commonly considered an important and strategic asset of any organization. 2Yet many companies treat this asset as, at best, a cost center — an important issue but not an urgent one. But this may be changing. A sense of urgency about content is growing. The regulatory environment is demanding accountability for the management of content. At the same time, liability for failing to control unfettered information raises the stakes tremendously. This blog explores this problem in a bit more detail and proposes an approach to manage it.
Several trends are converging to create a new concept that may help the $470 billion U.S. franchise industry achieve a major leap in growth. Big Data, social media, and advances in how software is developed and deployed are enabling entrepreneurs to create innovative packages of specialized B2C and B2B services and software — and target them to niche markets.
If these specialized technology-based services companies prove to be franchise-able, they would be a departure from the retail services businesses that have traditionally dominated franchising--and could attract a new generation of franchisees.
One of the biggest challenges growing firms face is finding a way to market their products/services without draining their scarce working capital on marketing, advertising, and promotion.
We asked our partners to reflect on the best practices they see companies following to get their products and services to market without costing big bucks.
Every successful company needs a strategy to define how it will win in the marketplace.
But entrepreneurs, juggling many priorities, are sometimes inclined to dismiss strategy as a theoretical exercise and a distraction from selling their next customer or hiring their next employee.
So how do busy entrepreneurs set strategy in a way that remains practical and relevant to what their company is doing day to day? Our partners reflected on this question based on their experience with companies they’ve run and advised.
Middle market private equity is a topic on which Newport Board Group has deep expertise. Our Chair, Doug Tatum, is Immediate Past Chairman of the Board for the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), a global not-for- profit organization representing middle market private capital investors, intermediaries and the middle market deal community. Our partners have extensive experience running companies owned by private equity and serving their sponsors as portfolio company operating partners. We know the PE scene very well.
But that is only one aspect of our familiarity with PE. We also talk to and serve a great many promising companies that are or could be targets for acquisition by PE. We asked our partners what they hear from entrepreneurs and their investors about PE-- whether or not our partners agree with these views. We got some interesting responses.
Spotting industry and technology trends and market shifts is key to entrepreneurial success. Changing market dynamics have a constant (if often hard to see) impact on the attractiveness of an emerging growth company’s products and services. Critical determinants of a company’s success-- such as its buying power with its suppliers and its pricing power with its customers-- are also changing all the time. Capital-strapped companies need to define their best approach to understanding the markets in which they compete — so as to optimize their chances to be the disrupter not the disrupted.