Impulsa 2012 Interview Series on Second Stage Companies
Second stage growth companies are a particularly interesting breed of firms. They are perhaps the most important companies of the economy, yet their contribution often go unrecognized. These firms are growth-oriented businesses that have survived the startup phase but have not reached maturity, and they are responsible for a disproportionally large part of job and wealth creation. In this interview series we shed light on this category of firms by hearing experts addressing this topic from a broad range of perspectives.
We often hear that small businesses are the engine of the economy, and if that is the case, then second-stage firms are the motor of that engine. Between 1993 and 2008, second-stage firms represented about 11% of all U.S. companies but accounted for 36% of jobs, close to 25% of positive job growth and 38% of sales . Typically, second stage companies have between $1 and $50 million in revenues and 10-99 employees, but what separates them from other small and medium sized firms is their apetite for growth. They deliberately seek to scale their businesses to national or even global markets.
The second stage growth cycle is the transition period during which a company transforms from being a startup to become a mature organization. This is a particularly trying period in the company lifecycle and at Impulsa Business Accelerator we often call this phase "company adolescence", as it brings to mind many of the troubles and hurdles a teenager faces while moving into adulthood.
As a company gets solid traction in the market and starts to receive steady streams of revenue it often gets sucked into the daily operations of running a business. The balance between running the day-to-day activities while continuously developing the business further to hone and sharpen the competitive advantage a firm holds, is indeed a difficult task to manage.
In this interview series we hear experts from a broad range of fields share their views, experiences and best practices for how to manage the second stage of growth and transition a business from small to large.
6. Grow your business through Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Time: Interview scheduled for MARCH, 2013 Outline:
What does the SEO landscape look like today?
In what way is SEO a powerful tool for entrepreneurs and business owners to grow their business?
SEO tips and tricks
Victor Grant, CEO of Earthgrid
Viktor Grant is a recognized expert in the creation and maintenance of virtual communities, as well as an Internet architect and entrepreneur responsible for pioneering multiple technologies in the computer industry and on the Web. His expertise includes pioneering the use of social networking, multiuser roundtable chats, artificial intelligence based e-commerce systems, viral marketing services, and not the least SEO. His thirty years of programming and project leadership experience began with writing the world’s consumer grade copy protection software program for the Apple II while still a teenager.
5. Coaching as a catalyst for second stage growth
Time: 26 min. Outline:
What is coaching?
How is a coach different from a mentor?
In what way can coaching be used as powerful tool for second stage entrepreneurs seeking to break trough the growth ceiling?
What is your recommendation to entrepreneurs and small business leaders who have not yet leveraged the power of coaching?
Can you share a success story from someone you have coached who later succeeded with his/her business?
David Terry, Chairman of the board, NBIA
David Terry is a professional business coach, entrepreneur and sought after speaker and trainer. David coaches entrepreneurs and professionals to help them reach their desired destination. He specializes in strategic business growth, assisting entrepreneurs and professionals in mastery of time and money, developing a market niche, and building a winning team.
David is CEO of Destination Coaching & Training, and has assisted more than 800 small businesses. He is also a sought-after speaker and trainer. Terry earned his MBA from West Texas A&M University in 2000 and is certified coach with 400+ hours of logged coaching sessions. He holds the First Vice Chair of NBIA’s Board of Directors he is a member of its executive committee. Terry was recently recognized by the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce as a recipient of the inaugural Top 20 Under 40 award for business leaders.
4. Challenges facing growth entrepreneurs when transitioning their businesses from small to large
Time: 18 min Outline:
What got you here might not get you there!
Is your past model fit for the second stage?
Can the CEO duplicate him/herself?
Is the "entrepreneur perspective" the best to ensure stability required to grow the company?
How to overcome the challenges? --> Peer coaching is one great way
Dino Signore, Ewdard Lowe Foundation
Mr. Dino Signore is an experienced Organizational Development practitioner, professional facilitator and business executive. He joined the Edward Lowe Foundation in 2001 and serves as the Program Development Manager.
Dino is the senior educational advisor and curriculum designer of the Foundation’s Leader Retreat programs, Economic Gardening and Peer Spectives Facilitator training programs. He is the lead facilitator all of the Foundation’s learning events that have been attended by thousands of second-stage business owners, executives and organizational leaders. Dino is also the principle owner of the Signore Group, a consulting firm that provides professional facilitation, strategic dialogue, and executive performance services for growth oriented businesses.
3:Pathways to a Successful Mobile Business Strategy for Small Businesses
Time: 18 min
Is your business ready to reap the benefits of mobile solutions, or are you in danger of falling behind? Now, more than ever, SMEs need to develop a mobile business strategy to determine why to mobilize, who to mobilize, what apps to use, and how to deploy and manage mobile solutions. The following questions are discussed during this interview:
1. What is this thing called "Mobile"?
2. What are the benefits of Mobile for small businesses?
3. What is the current usage of mobile among small businesses?
4. How can one best implement a Mobile strategy?
5. How should small businesses best invest in mobile expertise?
Laurie McCabe, Co-founder at SMB Group
Laurie McCabe brings more than 20 years of experience in the IT industry to her current role as co-founder and partner at SMB Group. Laurie has built widespread recognition for her capabilities and insights in the small and medium business (SMB) market in several areas, including cloud computing, mobile solutions, business solutions, social networking and collaboration, and managed services.
What stages of business growth are particularly tied to the development of the finance function?
What is your advice to owners of second stage companies who seek to set up a proper finance function?
Emmanouil (Manos) Schizas, ACCA
Manos istrained as an economist in Athens and London and is currently a senior economic analyst in ACCA's (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) London-based Policy Unit, specialising in Access to Finance, Access to Markets and Regulatory Reform. He is also editor of ACCA's Quarterly Global Economic Conditions Survey the largest regular survey of professional accountants in the world. Manos is also the manager of ACCA’s research programme on Access to Finance.
Manos' paper on the "Finance Function" can be found here:
1. The Importance of Second Stage Businesses
Time: 15 min Outline:
What are second stage companies?
The Importance of second stage companies
Unique needs of second stage companies
A second stage business success story
Christina Henderson, The Bureau of Business and Economic Research
Christina joined the The Bureau of Business and Economic Research in 2011 as Marketing Director. She served previously as director of the Delta County Economic Development Alliance in Escanaba, Michigan and she has many years of experience from working as marketing consultant.
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