An Interim Manager Success Story of rescuing a failing start-up
Company: You Take Control
Industry: Health Care
Position held: Interim CEO
Responsibilities: Worldwide Sales, Marketing, Service, Support, Business Development
How hired: I met the founder at a conference and he hired me to come in to grow the start-up.
Company status when started: Burned thru $300K with no product, no partnerships, no channels for distribution and no cash to run the company.
Methodology used to rescue the start-up
Step 1 – Evaluated the current state of the start-up
- Who to keep, who to let go
- Who was good at their jobs including the current executives
- What did they think were the problems?
- Did they have any solutions
- Product, Quality of the product, Pricing, Reliability
- Is it a win-win for them
- Software development, engineering resources, cost of testing and QA
- Service and support, Policies
- Financial condition, Balance sheet, P&L, revenues, expenses, investors
- What did they think were the problems, would they put in any more investments
Step 2 – Put together a plan and get buy in
- Worked closely with the founder and developed a plan
- Got buy in for the plan with the executive team
- If executive team did not support the plan then we let them go.
- All the team supported the plan
- Met one on one with the team
- Presented the plan to the entire start-up
Step 3 – Implemented the plan to rescue the start-up
- Met weekly with the team
- Monitored the effectiveness of the plan
- Raised another $2.3M from new investors
- Hired a new sales team and new marketing team
- Refined our brochures and presentation materials
- Hired a new development team and new branding company
- Developed a new brand for the product
- Changed the messaging
- Launched a new web site, created new demos
- Hired my replacement CEO from Pfizer
Step 4 – Exit strategy
- In the process of selling the company
What I learned:
- Hire a CEO that is comfortable with start-ups
- Take the right amount of time to understand the situation
- Once you have decided to clean up the company do it quickly
- Play off of your strengths and minimize your weaknesses
- Act faster to resolve the problems
About the author: Steven Lund raised $40M and is the founder of 5 companies. He also was CEO/COO of 3 technology and medical companies. He closed a $3B deal for a tec firm, restructered a company and sold its assets, and he created strategic alliances that generated $20M annually in sales.
2 thoughts on “How to rescue a start-up that is failing”
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