Sometimes timing is everything. That can be especially true for those with the entrepreneurial spirit waiting to leave the constraints of corporate life or move on with yet another exciting startup idea.
Such was the case for Joseph Monahan, now Director of the Carolinas for ScaleUpOnDemand, a thriving business development consulting firm out of Charleston, South Carolina. With a background in business development for large enterprise companies, and a recent stint as an entrepreneur, Joseph was simply waiting it out for the right time to jump into his latest venture. That was two years ago.
“Douglas Johnson [ScaleUpOnDemand founder] was serving as vice president of Sales Operations for a company that was being bought out and he was doing some consulting with the CEO of the company. I was finishing up with a startup whose investor was buying a professional soccer team. Through those engagements, it became obvious that there was a need for more consulting attention to business development,” said Joseph.
So we sat down and drew up a company plan to outsource fractional business development reps. Between Douglas’ expertise in sales ops, and mine in measurable sales engagement – the prospecting that opens doors – we knew we found a niche. It was a matter of just waiting for the right time to jump in.”
ScaleUpOnDemand provides strategic direction and a framework to eliminate the most urgent threats a growing company may face in maximizing sales. They fill the gap before the client company can hire their own staff. That could mean assigning a part-time operations expert to launch measurable sales processes or making the calls to establish a viable sales funnel.
ScaleUpOnDemand targets B2B companies that sell a product or service costing more than $1000 per year in a market that has more than 1,000 prospects. That is the sweet spot for companies that need temporary help while scaling, without being so small that the founder already has a solid handle on the industry and the contacts that need to be made to make a sale.
As a company that helps other companies grow, it was important for ScaleUpOnDemand to prove they could grow, too.
Said Joseph, “If we couldn’t scale our own company, it wouldn’t mean much to tell others how to do it.”
And scale they have. Initially, the company focused on Software as a Service (SaaS) prospects but grew into other market areas through client referrals and by offering free incubator workshops.
Now they boast amazing results for clients from LA to the Carolinas, from Y-combinator to early-stage to mid-market, private equity-backed companies.
One near-term goal is to grow their staff of eight into 15 consultants by year end. Recruiting consultants in a timely manner is one of the pain points they currently experience when entering a new market.
According to Joseph, it’s a chicken or egg problem. When they start an engagement, they often have a small window to get the right associates under contract. Joseph admits it would be easier to do if their growth was stagnant with one contract starting when another one ends, but it’s not linear.
He also admits that’s a good problem to have. Joseph and Douglas know from working with client companies just how important it is to build in the sales processes and funnel measurement that result in continual sales.
“We start with a 38-point paid assessment process that explores every way the client brings in revenue. With that, we can show the client where their company has deficiencies and then we can help them initiate a go-to-market strategy,” said Joseph.
As a still early-stage startup, Joseph and Douglas continue to welcome the feedback they get after presentations, such as the recent 1 Million Cups Charlotte meetup where they enjoyed the audience interaction and continued learning opportunity.
They have discussed whether to expand into other related services but advisors have cautioned them to not get distracted from their core business. Both believe there is enough growth opportunity across the U.S. within their current model and they continue to be motivated by the work they already do.
Said Joseph, “I’m inspired by all the people we work with. They are entrepreneurial in their own right, so I learn a lot from them. [With the fractional time duration], there’s always something new and exciting, either with that client or there is a new client to jump to.”
So, timing is everything in entrepreneurial life. Whether that’s knowing when to get started or when to scale.