I am back with a book!

Front Cover Book

A year ago I wrote a blog on Transform, Transition and Change.

I  have missed engaging with you, and yes, it has been a busy year!  Looking back I accomplished some of the goals I set and others are still incomplete! Maybe as a reader you affiliate with this dilemma?

All three actions above have affected me in a very positive way.  I am very proud to announce my newly published book. It is available on Amazon if you would like to purchase it.

It would mean a lot to me if you would take the time and write a review.  See Sample Quotes for Rudi you may want to incorporate at the bottom. Either way, send me a line or two with your feedback and what you think.

The book is written for CEO’s as an instructive business guide that leads them through the myth of finance. Providing a fiscal navigator to embrace operational finance more positively, it’s a holistic perspective to overcome typical business challenges and to experience sustainable growth.

The book now has a dedicated website Stop-Compromising where you can find more details about the book, speaking ideas and board role qualifications, all part of my transition to Business Advisor, Thought Leader and Board Member.

Let me know about your transformations, transitions and changes. Call for getting together over a cup of coffee or send me an email at                                                            stop-compromising@nextstagesolutions.com

Dog Day Afternoons

BrunsliSmallMy dog Brunsli is not fazed by the hot and humid weather, she just sleeps it away in the cooled house! Hope you are staying cool! Lots responded to my Lemonade request and it has been great to catch up with so many. It is still hot enough to have Lemonade, so don’t be shy….

This has been a summer of many distractions and also points to pause. Europe with its Brexit, multiple terrorist attacks, Deutsche Bank possibly in need of a bail out and overall currency fluctuations. This may indeed affect your business if you are doing business in Europe.

Here we are in the middle of the US presidential campaigns. It is not politics as usual……or is it?

Last week I attended the funeral of a client and dear colleague, Kevin Gosnell. Kevin was the CEO of T&K Asphalt Services, loving husband of Kathleen and father of three handsome sons. He died of ALS after a 15-month battle. What is so remarkable about Kevin is that once he was diagnosed with the incurable disease, he pulled out all plugs and decided to use his leadership skills from running his company and the Vistage group we shared, and bring the fragmented medical community together to pool funding and speed up research through ALS One with the hope to eventually have a cure. Take a look of the videos and support this great cause. Kevin is a hero in my eyes in how he took is death sentence public and made an incredible difference in a very short time. RIP Kevin and healing thoughts to his family.

Life intertwines with business as we all know. I am sure you are looking for the balance the way I have and figuring out where to draw the line. Take a moment these last few days of summer to reflect on where you are, what is good and what is possible to change.

Have you taken a closer look at the internal and external risks of your business? Most internal risks you can actually eliminate. What succession plans do you have in place?

Externally, mitigating risks for your business can be tricky, but being aware of the potential economic risks and implementing some buffers into your financial plans is a good strategy to consider.

Here is a blog post that may help you get started
https://nssblog.com/2015/11/09/de-risk-your-business/

Want to have a conversation over lemonade call me at 781-929-9125.
In the meantime, stay cool, Rudi

NSS Launches CEO Mini Series

Spiral

A 3-part mini series for CEOs and Business Owners in how successful business leaders have grown their organizations.

Each of these programs is by invitation only!

Accelerated Growth Demands Critical and Innovative Shifts

Access ideas from CEOs and learn how they achieved accelerated growth from implementing the right infrastructure to effectively identify and develop new growth opportunities.

Sign up Pre-registration is required. Sign up for all 3 or 1 at a time.

PART 1: Building  an Organization that Can Thrive in a VUCCA* World  ( *Volatile, Uncertain, Changing, Chaotic, Ambiguous)

Thursday, January 21, 2016 12noon – 2pm at the Harvard Club, Back Bay

Learn about the importance of linking strategy, leadership, learning,  and accountability to create an organization with maximum flexibility to deliver positive results in changing environments. Come hear how 3 corporate leaders built organizations that have thrived in change and created lasting value, by getting the right people and getting them to do the right things at the right time.

PANELISTS:

  • Roger Berkowitz, CEO,  Legal Sea Foods
  • Pat Sullivan, CEO,  Game Creek Video
  • Dennis Slutsky, Former CEO,  American Dryer

Moderator: Andy Snider, President of Snider Associates

PART 2: Tomorrow is Here: Profitable Growth Requires Critical Assessments Tools for Effective Strategy Execution

Tuesday, March 29, 2016 12noon – 2pm at Waltham Woods, Waltham

Hear from successful CEOs in how they shifted their focus to achieve growth from implementing the right infrastructure to effectively identifying new growth opportunities. Join us to learn more in how CEOs have embraced qualitative and quantitative practices to address demands critical for future growth and longterm value creation.

PANELISTS:

  • Charlie Storey, President,  Harpoon Brewery
  • Kevin Young, President,  Mondi Group USA
  • Randy Nunley, CEO, Odyssey System Consult. Group

Moderator: Rudi Scheiber-Kurtz, CEO of Next Stage Solutions

PART 3:  Addressing the Challenges of Succeeding the 21st Century

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 12noon – 2pm at the Lanam Club, Andover

Approaches that worked in 2000 are not enough to succeed in 2016.  Learn about techniques that the most advanced companies are using to achieve extraordinary results and make their organizations more adaptive.  Panelists to be announced.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL 617-449-7728

Sign up

Goldilocks | Fits Just Right

The Goldilocks Syndrome – Fits Just Right?

By Rudi Scheiber-Kurtz, CEO of Next Stage Solutions, Inc. – 617-449-7728

Maybe the business model at Next Stage Solutions (NSS) I pioneered in 2007 has been too early, I don’t think too late, but I am hoping it fits just right for your needs today!!

Image result for goldilocks three chairs image free

The knowledge economy demands simple solutions to complex problems.  As a team of executives at NSS we are upending the traditional models of consultants and temporary workers.

Today’s lean management team wants to cap their costs, keep agile and are in continuous improvement mode.  Having the ability to change on a dime, you need a faster, lower-risk and flexible talent model that gives you a competitive advantage.  I am not talking about administrative temp work, I am talking about senior level professionals who bring a specific expertise to you when you need it.

With small and midmarket companies in mind, I created a talent model for your needs.  It is my hope that we are part of a micro trend in how to access high-level expertise on-demand and prove our effectiveness is palpable to having skin in the game.

Our niche market is where finance, operations and strategy converge.  Your executive team will go through ebbs and flows, in fact your business will too, so accessing professional talent when needed and as a variable cost, expands your boundaries of success.

This type of independent talent is a bit of a different breed.  We bring diverse and innovative ideas to the table. We see it as a responsibility to discuss the difficult stuff with you, problem solve and support you with the necessary changes and implementations.  Contrary to common believes, we are deeply engaged with our clients and take great pride in finding together the right solution for each challenge. We are not in between jobs, we choose the independent route with the right clients.  

We also don’t tell you what to do, we work with you and your team, let you come to your own decisions and hold you accountable for the actions you committed to so you can get to your next stage.  Working with multiple clients keeps us in the know, current of market trends and innovative in tackling your challenges.

Another piece I have added to the NSS model, is how we work internally as a team.  We empower each other and this collective knowledge has an exponential affect serving our clients in a myriad of ways. With NSS you work with senior level professionals, unlike the juniors of a consulting firm.  We also don’t give you a report full of suggestions and then leave you in the dust.  NSS helps you integrate and implement the changes, offloading some of your precious time.  We are good at it and have done this many times over.

I can tell you with confidence, that we dramatically lower your risk when you work with us.  We can be your Champion in a new product launch, an acquisition integration or a particular transformation phase.  You are the one who sets the dial up or down, gets an initiative managed, implemented and integrated without making a major capital investment.

Of course you are concerned about sensitive information and difficult situations.  As senior professionals who have been on your side on executive teams, we bring our sensitivity and work diligently on your side. We will be glad to sign a confidentiality agreement.

I know that the Executive-as-a-Service Model is an emerging market, and we may be a little ahead of ourselves.  Larger companies are starting to see the value in bringing in expertise when needed.  Axiom, a company that offers 650 temp lawyers to nearly half the Fortune 100 has shown billing of over $100million in 2012 according to a Harvard Business Review article “The Rise of the Supertemp”.  Larger firms have begun to access independent professionals with great success.  Why not you? We want to bring it to you, the small and midmarket business.

Knowing that this talent model is available to you, you may want to try your new product launch or acquisition sooner.  Tapping into this pool of expertise, or Executive-as-a-Service, can position you way beyond the competition!

Throw out the old habits, the traditional and make way for innovative solutions that match the 21st century demands to new, dynamic and innovative solutions. Find the right talent at the right time so you can achieve success through simplicity within the complex world we live on.

This type of talent offer is a new way of thinking. Access senior level intellectual skill set, just not permanently.

Give us a try.  Have a cup of coffee or take a walk with us and get to know us.  We want to learn from you and what holds you back in engaging expertise on-demand.  How do you access special skills when you need it and with minimal risk? Do we Fit Just Right for your needs!

617-449-7728

Finance your Growth Now?

Is it a Good Time to Finance your Growth?

We think so. Accessing the capital markets for future growth before interest rate increase makes sense.

My dear friend and colleague Debra Drapalla, SVP of the Middle Market Lending Group at Webster Bank shared the following with me. Keep in mind that her middle market lending group focuses on companies with $50-$500M in annual revenue.

“Presently, there is an abundance of capital available in the market by banks which are sitting on large reserves from the Fed’s stimulus programs to thwart the Great Recession.  If a middle market company presents a sound business plan for their financing needs, they should receive very competitive proposals from banks for both interest rates and credit structure. It is definitely a buyer’s market for bank loans during this stage of the economic cycle.”

If your company falls below the $50M revenue range, it can be a daunting task. The smaller your business the harder it gets to access reasonable funding and convince the lender.

According to the Pepperdine Report for Q2 2015 on Private Capital Markets, 61% of companies with $5-$50M in annual revenue will be looking for debt financing from a bank. Of those, 39% are projecting that this will be difficult.

PepperdineAccessing the right-sized capital at the right time is a balancing act and requires adequate time.  I created a chart for you below that might help you identify the approximate stage with a sample of capital markets available to you. The smaller the business, the more difficult it is to raise capital. It is so very important, that you can de-risk your inquiry for capital to the investor by providing solid and realistic numbers and you may have to provide a personal guarantee. Having a strong sales history and being on a fast track also helps.

Capital Market Chart                                                                                                    We  know that interest rates will be raised, some speculate as early as September. The US economy is starting to show signs of strength and hopefully will lead us toward faster growth. What happens when the interest rate is raised? Things that it will affect will be Cost of Borrowing, Effect on Prices and Plans for Marketing. This will also affect your vendors, so allow for some elasticity in your forecasting. You might want to revisit your strategy and business plan and evaluate whether you have the proper outlook and risk criteria in place.

Let me emphasize the importance of size of your business. The larger the annual revenue, the lower your Cost of Capital (CoC). The market views it as less risky. Public companies will enjoy an even lower CoC and gain more trust in the market, as they typically are run more efficiently. More on that in another blog!!

However, if you are in the $5-$50M revenue range as many of our clients are, you may benefit from working with a trusted advisor like NSS who can guide your through these complex preparations and transactions. We can provide you with alternative options you may not have thought about, such as:

  • Mezzanine debt
  • Subordinated debt with warrants
  • Leveraged asset-based loans
  • Secured trade credit

This of course also depends on where you are in the process. NSS tailors its approach to your needs. You may want help with the preparation, connections to the right lenders, negotiate the best terms or all of the above.

Listen to our RudiTuesday video on “Access to Capital” for additional tips in how to prepare.

Rudi TuesdayTake this opportunity and act on it now before interest rates increase significantly. Securing the appropriate financing now can give you a competitive edge so that you can expand, grow and bring on the right talent.

We also developed a funding guide and check list for our clients to properly prepare for a lender meeting. We will be glad to provide this additional resource so you can start on your deliverables. Sign up here for a copy and we will be glad to send it to you.

Begin to work on that list, let us know if you need help, so that at the end you have a greater chance of locking in a strong financial round.

So where might you be in this process? If you are not ready, you are not alone, the majority of businesses we work with do not have the internal resources or time to have all the ‘docs’ lined up! Start today with the conversation of how much money you need to raise, the timing of it and the financing options you should consider. Decide where you are in the process and give us a call if you need help!

Where in the Process

In conclusion, it is a buyer’s market and a great time to access capital. Larger companies have easier access to the capital market. Smaller companies can fundraise successfully too, so consider closing the funding gap today and remember, first impressions are lasting.

According to lenders, companies are generally not prepared. You can change that statistic!

Contact us at 617-449-7728

CFO Coaching & Mentoring

CFO Coaching & Mentoring at NSS

CFO Image

You have heard a lot about how the CFO position has become more complex and demanding over the years. Let’s also acknowledge, that a typical midmarket CFO oversees different parts of the finance spectrum. Sometimes they are called Controllers who do CFO level work and sometimes it’s the other way around. So for our point of view, let’s define this position as Head of Finance in your company.

The Head of Finance is often a person who has been with the organization for some time, and has enjoyed a number of promotions including a title promotion from Controller to CFO acknowledging the increased transactions associated with the business growth. More employees are added, additional markets entered and products introduced, and the financial management expectations become more and more complex.

The challenge for a growing business is you must now consider an operational and results driven CFO who is capable and has the time to discuss your growth opportunities. Ideally, you want your finance department to provide a valuable service to the organization, rather than be seen as an isolated department that provides results/numbers only. One who embraces walking the floor, talking with sales and operations and helps them problem solve with specific issues. The compliance and fiscal responsibilities are a given, delegated and with oversight by the CFO.

Has your Head of Finance kept up with professional development and courses to handle the increasing demands of their job? In all fairness, things get so busy and besides, an evolving CFO is not often asked to participate in key decisions and apply their respective business insight. The CEO or Business Owner is very loyal to that Head of Finance and typically wants things to work out.

Understanding and accepting that loyalty is the key reason for stability, NSS has developed a program to mentor and coach your existing Head of finance or CFO. Our program is unique in how we work with the existing CFO and allows for true on-the-job training and shadowing.

With our coaching and mentoring support, we emphasize the transition from being a technical expert to becoming a business leader, partner, and advisor. We have worked with CFOs and senior finance leaders who, just like you, needed an experienced, friendly and non-judgmental voice to get them to the other side of the financial spectrum.

Being at the top is lonely not just for the CEO but also for the CFO. Professional development for CFOs is typically geared towards the compliance side of finance.

This is a great opportunity for you to augment your CFO’s capabilities and offer this customized in-house and hands-on approach over a short period and get an important strategic program completed.

The NSS program incorporates a skill-set matrix methodology and an in-depth evaluation of your finance department’s capabilities. Both are critical components if your CFO is going to become a more active partner in the growth of your business.

Our well received coaching incorporates the project objectives, expectations and timeline with you and the executive team and is executed by the CFO with the assistance of an experienced NSS Growth Advisor with over 30+ years’ experience.

Please watch our Rudi Tuesday on Mentorship and give us a call to discuss our Coaching and Mentoring support further.

RudiTuesday Mentor

We are the only peer-to peer CFO group out there helping CFOs become more strategic and forward-looking. We work in a non-threatening, collegial way and are result driven to help your CFO be an effective partner to you and your business.

Staying status quo is not an option. If your incumbent CFO or Head of Finance cannot give you the decision-making support you need to grow and keep a competitive edge, then you are compromising the value of your business.

Call Bob Weber, Managing Director at NSS at 617. 449. 7728. He oversees the NSS Coaching and Mentoring program.

Meet the New NSS Team

INTRODUCTION TO SOME NEW FOLKS

We have been busy and making some positive changes at NSS.

  • We moved to our new HQ in Burlington in January
  • We launched our new website in March
  • We expanded our core team this Spring

Click on the short videos below to be introduced to each of our core team members.  Enjoy and Share with any CEO and Business Owner who would benefit from meeting us!

CONTACT US TODAY!  WE ARE READY TO HELP TURN YOUR CHALLENGES OF TODAY  INTO OPPORTUNITIES FOR TOMORROW.  CALL ANY OF US AT 617-449-7728

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