TZL 1464 (web)



Welcome to the show

Early successes, failures, and significant challenges, and how a young firm navigated through them.

I n my last article, “Permission to Launch ,” I discussed my firm’s initial founding. If you think about it, anybody can plant a flag and give it a go, with little clue about what it will take to succeed. However, reality quickly sets in: the combined stress of convincing clients to give your new firm a try, recruiting staff, purchasing insurance, developing procedures, completing projects, making payroll, collecting AR, managing HR and legal issues, and ensuring you don’t run out of capital, and so on are not for the faint of heart. But time waits for no one, and the headaches quickly multiply when you launch your business. Welcome to the show!

Todd Perry, P.G.

When I think about it, the excitement of founding our firm, the adrenaline rush of winning work, solving client issues, developing something from scratch, and considering what we might become down the road did soothe the startup pains and propel us forward. We were so busy the first three years that we did not have time to look down from the high wire. Our startup adventures were many. We routinely ran up to six months behind on our monthly financials, which is unthinkable now. Our bank called us in because our receivable’s average age (over 120 days) was called into question as collateral. We developed a seven-point plan to present to our bank to quell their concerns, and it worked. I cannot tell you the exact number of all-nighters we pulled, completing

reports, conducting 24-hour pilot tests on remediation sites, or the drudgery of catching up on back office work. If we had known what it would take to succeed, we would not have thought it was possible. We made some great hires during this time, but we also learned the hard way that there are many unique professionals out there, and some will not like your culture or the demands of consulting, and those disconnects will take you backward. I really could go on and on, but here are a few key things we did learn: ■ Organization is critical. In those early days, we were as disorganized as you could imagine. If we had adopted organizational processes and

See TODD PERRY , page 10


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