Services: Entrepreneurial Growth
The five big entrepreneurial growth problems that Tompkins Ventures solves are:
The Traditional Banker Process is Often Broken
The big problem here is that the traditional banker process of connecting private equity or strategic firms to entrepreneurs and/or firms seeking growth advice and capital is often inefficient and ineffective. The inefficiency comes from the preparation and never ending updating of a Confidential Information Memorandum, the auction process lacking focus, the endless presentations and the due diligence by multiple parties. Some note that the banker process is expensive from a cost perspective, and it is, but the most expensive part of the banker process is the amount of time taken away from the growing business by the key executives of the company. The traditional banker process is ineffective as often it does not beget a transaction, but even worse, the process results in the selection of the wrong long-term growth partner. The focus of the auction tends to be the current valuation as opposed to selecting the right partner to maximize future valuation. Tompkins Ventures does not follow a traditional wide open banker process, but rather, when using bankers, does so in a very focused manner; working only with firms that are profiled for the type of investment being pursued. This focused approach increases the efficiency and effectiveness of the process and begets superior results.
The Matchmaker Process Works
When the banker process is avoided it is replaced by a process that Tompkins Ventures calls the Matchmaker Process. The matchmaker’s goal is to help the entrepreneur select the right private equity firm for the long-term growth of the entrepreneur’s business and to be an advocate of the entrepreneur’s business. The right private equity firm will bring expertise and experience that compliments the entrepreneur’s business. The right private equity firm is much, much more than just capital. Tompkins Ventures makes a great matchmaker for supply chain businesses as it has extensive experience with supply chains, bankers, private equity and doing deals. With its experience, Tompkins Ventures will streamline the traditional banker process by selecting a few private equity firms and have the entrepreneur represent themselves saving both time and money while laying the foundation for amazing growth.
Unusual Insights Dominate
The big problem here is the pursuit of entrepreneurial growth without a strong growth strategy. A strong growth strategy must be based upon in-depth company, competitive and marketplace assessments. The result of these assessments will be several unusual insights that present a clear path forward to profitable growth. Tompkins Ventures is uniquely qualified to establish unusual insights for supply chain businesses based upon its knowledge of past events and its insight into future events. The work of Tompkins Ventures, the entrepreneur and the private equity firm will provide Actionable Unusual Insights that will beget an advantage over competitors, high customer satisfaction and therefore, significant growth and value creation.
Values Are Mandatory
The big problem here is that often the private equity investment suffers the same fate of a person who, after receiving an organ transplant, due to gene variants results in the body rejecting the donor’s organ. If the private equity firm and the entrepreneur’s firm do not share the same value variants, the entrepreneurial firm will reject the private equity firm. Values that must be aligned have to do with respect, integrity, relationships, loyalty, communications, being frugal, decision making, responsiveness, accountability, and yes, even personal beliefs. Tompkins Ventures has seen some very strange marriages work well and some very “well-matched” marriages not last. No magic here, but Tompkins Ventures works hard to be sure before any documents are signed that the entrepreneur knows with whom they are partnering and values have been discussed. Bankers care about money, matchmakers care about happy marriages.
Path Forward Is Bright
The big problem here is that even with a strong growth strategy, actionable unusual insights and shared values, to shift gears to high growth will require MORE. Tompkins Ventures is focused on helping the entrepreneur do MORE. For the path forward to be bright, there must be the courage to do what is right for the business, the plans to guide the path and the execution of the plans. There must be an awareness that mistakes will be made, many lessons will be learned, and the competition will respond to our growth strategy. We must be agile, thoughtful and creative to achieve a bright path forward.