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Have you ever wanted a founder who is also an investor to peel back the real challenge of investor alignment? I've been looking for two years for such a person. It's hard to find folks like this who will talk honestly.  And Greg Shepard is one of them. Greg is the co-founder and CEO of BOSS Startup Systems, an open-source methodology developed to empower entrepreneurs. Greg has built and sold 12 businesses in BioTech, TransitTech, AdTech, and MarTech, is a recipient of four private equity awards for transactions between $250M to $1B and has appeared in Fortune, Entrepreneur, The New York Observer, The DEAL and Thrive Global.In part two of our interview, Greg and I discuss the red flags of the 'bad faith investor' or simply an investor deal-hunter who is not the investor at all. Hint: think of all the young kids in Patagonia vests at Expo West. Your Host: Dr. James F. Richardson of Premium Growth Solutions, LLC www.premiumgrowthsolutions.comPlease send feedback on this or other episodes to: admin@premiumgrowthsolutions.com
Have you ever wanted a founder who is also an investor to peel back the real challenge of investor alignment? I've been looking for two years for such a person. It's hard to find folks like this who will talk honestly.  And Greg Shepard is one of them. Greg is the co-founder and CEO of BOSS Startup Systems, an open-source methodology developed to empower entrepreneurs. Greg has built and sold 12 businesses in BioTech, TransitTech, AdTech, and MarTech, is a recipient of four private equity awards for transactions between $250M to $1B and has appeared in Fortune, Entrepreneur, The New York Observer, The DEAL and Thrive Global. In part one of our interview, Greg leans into the whole topic of investor/founder alignment, how thin it is, and how to understand how institutional investors think when they approach you with big smiles.  Your Host: Dr. James F. Richardson of Premium Growth Solutions, LLC www.premiumgrowthsolutions.comPlease send feedback on this or other episodes to: admin@premiumgrowthsolutions.com
Enjoy a clip from the Audible version of Ramping Your Brand on why focus matters so much when scaling a consumer brand AND getting it to grow well into the nine figures. It’s short and sweet. Enjoy!Your Host: Dr. James F. Richardson of Premium Growth Solutions, LLC Premium Growth Solutions.comPlease send feedback on this or other episodes to: admin@premiumgrowthsolutions.com
This episode is based on one of my most popular, recent blog posts.  In it, I explain the problem that arises in the nine figures if founders built a well-timed business primarily using sales and trade techniques. Getting to $100M is getting easier and easier on the back of paced distribution and superbly timed product design, in part because inflation means you don’t have to sell to a lot of repeat consumers to generate that kind of money. Learn from Skinnypop’s surprising stall-out.Your Host: Dr. James F. Richardson of Premium Growth Solutions, LLC Premiumgrowthsolutions.comPlease send feedback on this or other episodes to: admin@premiumgrowthsolutions.com
The last gasp of the easy-money tech venture era has been heard. There are still investors though who want to isolate the latest thing, overfund it, and blitz scale to glory. In this episode, I explain why most consumer brands have category limits to acceleration and scaling that new technologies do not. Those are cultural limits deep inside our brains and not easily altered. Altering these assumptions literally takes time.  Your Host: Dr. James F. Richardson of Premium Growth Solutions, LLC www.premiumgrowthsolutions.comPlease send feedback on this or other episodes to: admin@premiumgrowthsolutions.com
One of the more common problems lurking at the Fancy Foods show, if you’ve ever been, is sitting at every booth in plain sight. It’s on the sell sheets of various specialty food brands that exhibit there. It is their SRPs. They’re not just premium. They’re artisanal. And they just won’t scale. Pricing 100% above the market share leader in a category is one thing. Pricing 400% above is another thing and won’t scale no matter what you throw at it. It will create a holiday ‘gift’ business though. Learn why in this episode. Your Host: Dr. James F. Richardson of Premium Growth Solutions, LLC www.premiumgrowthsolutions.comPlease send feedback on this or other episodes to: admin@premiumgrowthsolutions.com
This is a cautionary episode as the worst of the worst deal hunters and predators are out in force trying to find something to sell before interest rates spike. And those of you with boards may find individuals suddenly advocating for an exit. Don’t be bullied into exiting prematurely due to temporary market forces on Wall Street. Have a listen.  Your Host: Dr. James F. Richardson of Premium Growth Solutions, LLC www.premiumgrowthsolutions.comPlease send feedback on this or other episodes to: admin@premiumgrowthsolutions.com
The most practical thing for female founders to do in the face of investor sexism is a) seek money from female-only funds or b) learn how to negotiate a stronger impression to disarm skeptical male investors. But, in this episode, I want to share a structural solution publicly that investment firms could easily employ…if they wanted. Have a listen. Your Host: Dr. James F. Richardson of Premium Growth Solutions, LLC www.premiumgrowthsolutions.comPlease send feedback on this or other episodes to: admin@premiumgrowthsolutions.com
It’s not hard to groan at the crazy sums food/tech crossover companies are able to raise these days. Bright Farms was one of the early mega-fundraisers in the urban/indoor farming trend. In this episode, I explore what I’ve learned from publicly available data points on the surprisingly strong performance of this 11-year old business. It’s still an early-stage company, but, like Vital Farms, before it, it may wind up surprising us all in another ten years.  Your Host: Dr. James F. Richardson of Premium Growth Solutions, LLC www.premiumgrowthsolutions.comPlease send feedback on this or other episodes to: admin@premiumgrowthsolutions.com
 In this episode, I explain the history of consumer data in CPG companies and why understanding about your fans is no longer a luxury for early-stage brands intent on scaling rapidly. Yet, most early-stage consumer brands just don’t collect this info after they enter the market. They are throwing away critical intelligence they can use to iterate and optimize all 4Ps of growth. And given that your competitor is probably NOT doing this, it’s the ultimate competitive tool.  A must listen as you begin 2022.  Your Host: Dr. James F. Richardson of Premium Growth Solutions, LLC www.premiumgrowthsolutions.comPlease send feedback on this or other episodes to: admin@premiumgrowthsolutions.com
 In part two of our conversation, things get more constructive. Jeremy Smith of Launchpad shares thoughts on how brokers are better off functioning as account-specific consultants in today's world. Or as generalized retail sales coaches. He shares how he does this for clients selling into Costco, one of the more fussy and complex accounts founders will hopefully end up serving. And shares invaluable tips on how to really prepare for buyer meetings like a pro. Your Host: Dr. James F. Richardson of Premium Growth Solutions, LLC www.premiumgrowthsolutions.comPlease send feedback on this or other episodes to: admin@premiumgrowthsolutions.com
This is part one of my conversation with Jeremy Smith of Launchpad on the future of brokers. Jeremy Smith is most likely the most successful Costco broker/advisor out there. We discuss where brokering went wrong, the myths, and the false promises of bad actors in the sector. You don't want to miss his amazing sense of humor. He pulls no punches. Your Host: Dr. James F. Richardson of Premium Growth Solutions, LLC www.premiumgrowthsolutions.comPlease send feedback on this or other episodes to: admin@premiumgrowthsolutions.com
 In this episode, I ask founders to consider how they would feel if they took investment capital and then saw an inexperienced puppet CEO with a fancy resume replace them as the operating leader. Listen in to understand why this happens still and how to avoid this scenario.Your Host: Dr. James F. Richardson of Premium Growth Solutions, LLC www.premiumgrowthsolutions.comPlease send feedback on this or other episodes to: admin@premiumgrowthsolutions.com
There’s nothing wrong with having a mission unrelated to the consumer experience of a product. Could be climate change. Could be recycling. Could be supporting women’s empowerment. But, you have to decide what kind of missionary you are before you use a CPG brand to pursue it. Learn why by tuning in to this episode! Your Host: Dr. James F. Richardson of Premium Growth Solutions, LLC www.premiumgrowthsolutions.comPlease send feedback on this or other episodes to: admin@premiumgrowthsolutions.com
 Are you a ‘professional’ entrepreneur or just an amateur founder? Start-up land is full of folks new to their industry and even new to capitalism itself. The hordes of amateurs are one reason that public firm employees look down on start-ups traditionally. But, increasingly, even in CPG, there is a caste hierarchy between the pros and the newbs. Despite the disadvantage new founders face, more and more are professionalizing to succeed, very well. But the need to professionalize is more urgent than ever if you want to compete with the growing number of pros in the space.Your Host: Dr. James F. Richardson of Premium Growth Solutions, LLC www.premiumgrowthsolutions.comPlease send feedback on this or other episodes to: admin@premiumgrowthsolutions.com
 In this episode, I look back to explain why I tossed away $250,000 in billable work as I grew my own business and why my rationale is simply a B2B version of what you should be doing as you plot your own path to scale. Strategic growth requires saying ‘no.’ In CPG, you will actually have to say ‘no’ more as you start getting traction and industry visibility. That’s an irony that professional services firms rarely encounter.Your Host: Dr. James F. Richardson of Premium Growth Solutions, LLC www.premiumgrowthsolutions.comPlease send feedback on this or other episodes to: admin@premiumgrowthsolutions.com
Don’t be a fence-sitter. Don’t run your startup via laptop-as-remote control. You have to do all the right things internally or yourself early on if you want to up your chances of finding market validation and a way up the Skate Ramp. Your Host: Dr. James F. Richardson of Premium Growth Solutions, LLC www.premiumgrowthsolutions.comPlease send feedback on this or other episodes to: admin@premiumgrowthsolutions.com
CPG startups rarely want to discuss anything related to their actual topline performance in press releases or interviews. So, they often beat their chest about their retail door count. And how much it has grown. Who cares, really? This episode gives you something much more important to brag about...if you actually did anything. Your Host: Dr. James F. Richardson of Premium Growth Solutions, LLC www.premiumgrowthsolutions.comPlease send feedback on this or other episodes to: admin@premiumgrowthsolutions.com
 If you’ve read my book - Ramping Your Brand, you know I have an entire section called “Managing a Small Experiment” for a reason. This episode returns to this theme and reminds founders of why they need to think like a scientist, not just a business person if they want to grow quickly and efficiently. Your Host: Dr. James F. Richardson of Premium Growth Solutions, LLC www.premiumgrowthsolutions.comPlease send feedback on this or other episodes to: admin@premiumgrowthsolutions.com
 In this episode, I share my behavioral understanding of BigCo employees, especially those in the marketing organizations of large companies. Specifically, I warn founders to be very careful about hiring these folks straight in, despite the impressive resumes and fancy business degrees. They generally do not adapt well and move on, wasting valuable time you don’t have to waste. Your Host: Dr. James F. Richardson of Premium Growth Solutions, LLC www.premiumgrowthsolutions.comPlease send feedback on this or other episodes to: admin@premiumgrowthsolutions.com
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