DEVELOPING INNOVATIVE STRATEGIES
If you need a brilliant brain to diagnose your company’s growth hurdles and give you a clear roadmap to profitability and new opportunities, I’m that mastermind.
For years, C-suite executives have told me.
“You were our best, last chance to succeed. And, we’re still here.”
Does this sound like you?
If you’re a busy CEO—of a startup, an ailing company, or a newly acquired firm in the $3 to $30 million range—at least one of these questions has been giving you the night sweats ...
How am I going to scale to $50 million?
My company’s sales are sinking faster than the Titanic … how can I salvage my clients?
How am I supposed to turn this faltering acquisition around?
How can I find the right replacements for my CTO, CFO … and maybe my CMO?
How do I turn my cash-flow concerns into a strategic advantage?
How do I make more money and spend less, at the same time?
Where do I find the right technology to run our business better and faster?
How do I get a better handle on our expenses and cash flow?
What’s the secret sauce to motivating my team who actually roll their eyes when I say ‘strategy’?
How can I become a better leader, like two months ago?
How do I communicate our new brand vision to our employees, customers, vendors and stakeholders?
How can I shift my operation to accommodate teleworking?
“Richard has worked in many capacities for large and small companies and brought them to a new level with his vision and refined execution. He possesses an uncanny ability to expand or save companies through his leadership abilities and functional expertise in marketing, sales, and branding. He’s also an extremely funny person, sharing tons of positivity and joy in each workplace he enters. He creates an atmosphere of excitement, passion and interest.” ~ Yen S.
How I Can Help Now
I’ll be your Chief Vision Officer.
With 20 years of strong executive leadership and high emotional intelligence, I turn companies around within a matter of months. Businesses hire me to engineer large-scale transformations around cash flow, operational technology and people. The results? Brands that move forward with a new sense of purpose, propelled by profitability, and the right people and processes.
I’ll reinvigorate your team.
I’m the outspoken, frank leader who’ll review your team’s performance. I’ll make sure that your firm places the right people in the right roles. One of my superpowers? Building morale, and inspiring people to get excited about coming to work everyday so they produce and get promoted.
Want me to do the talking? aka Crisis Communications.
Is your company in crisis mode? Do you need to get a big message out? You can hire me to visioneer a strategic large or smaller scale communications plan to get the word out to your customers, shareholders, employees, vendors and the public.
Let’s make teleworking and distance learning work for you.
As a virtual work and education expert, I review and revitalize your employees’ or learners’ remote experiences for the best possible outcomes. I have two decades of experience as a virtual educator, board chairman and thought leader in moving education for young people and adults 100% online to fit new needs.
Hire me to speak and teach.
Companies bring me in to keynote and offer virtual seminars on many business-building (and bending) topics. I educate about launching, scaling and sustaining business. If you’re new to the brave new world of telework, I train your managers to motivate and your employees to produce in a virtual workplace. Leading in a post-pandemic economic climate will be challenging: I talk about how to network, plan and execute in this new normal. Finally, as virtual reality, robotics and AI become much more than buzzwords, I can provide a future look at how these new technologies will affect your business model and supply chain.
“I’m the leader who provides the best chance for your company to succeed …”
Are you ready for change? I’m a rain-making CEO and Chief Vision Officer at large who’s taken on the most common issues that both global corporate giants and small business owners face … with transformative results.
I don’t say that lightly.
Companies bring me in to turn their multimillion-dollar businesses around. Private equity firms rely on me to guide distressed firms they’ve purchased through tumultuous times. Over 20 years, I’ve built a global network of more than 3 million industry leaders, business owners and entrepreneurs whom I can call on for special resources.
I can look at a business model and tell you if it’ll work or not. I’ll tell you if you have the right people in the right seats, right people in the wrong seats or the wrong people in the right seats.
When I started out in business, I wasn’t sure where my path would take me, but I had confidence in one big idea: I’d make every effort to treat my relationships with others, regardless of status, with the utmost respect to cultivate value in our company culture.
Many people measure success solely through profit and productivity, budgets and bottom lines, and goals and gains.
However, in my two decades of senior executive roles in nearly 10 industries, I take a wider role of what it means to be “successful” in business year after year: Have we improved over the previous years? Have we cultivated our important relationships with our customers, employees and vendors? Have we made a positive impact? Has our leadership and mentorship helped our team succeed and thrive?
Answering “yes” to most or all of those questions means that we’ve built a venture that’s more than profitable: We offer goods and services that make the world a better place. We create a culture where productive employees move up and thrive. We create a business model that’s built for greatness.
Don’t just take my word for it …
I stepped in as interim CEO leading two companies for a private equity firm. The result? The umbrella organization experienced its first profitable month in more than two years in my fifth month of oversight.
“Bottom line, Richard is a people guy. He took the reins during an ownership change and stabilized an otherwise shaky time at Powermax. Richard and the management team listened to us, empowering us to run our departments effectively. The company was better off for this type of leadership!”
“Richard learned our product line quickly. Then, using his experience and refreshing creativity, he launched successful ad campaigns for us. He developed metrics to measure the effects of each campaign to further refine it.
One of Richard’s greatest strengths? He always had his finger on our company’s pulse: bringing our employees together, asking for their ideas, listening seriously, asking more questions, and then developing a team consensus to move us forward.
I’d work with Richard again in a heartbeat.”
Over six months, I led a multimillion-dollar turnaround through process modification, which increased this company’s real revenue by 401% and grew EBITDA from 14% to 19%.
“We hired Richard to conduct a thorough review of our entire company. We wanted to sell the company, so we asked Richard to maximize value by turning around one of our multimillion-dollar divisions that was stagnating in sales and losing customers. In the first six months, Richard turned the division around—and it was a catalyst in the final settlement. Rick’s management and leadership style contributed to this great success. He immediately introduced a strong vision internally and externally and empowered our staff with training for a complete buy-in. Richard’s work expedited the turnaround by totally overhauling our existing processes.”
Case Study: Turning Around an Iconic Music Retail Brand on the Brink
As an iconic music retail brand headed into the busy holiday shopping season, the management team wasn’t quite in the seasonal spirit. Serious cash-flow and credit issues limited the brand from investing in enterprise technology. This, in turn, threatened the timely delivery of music gifts to customers the world over. Bottom line: This world-renowned brand was teetering.
I jumped into action, forming and executing a plan that encompassed crisis communications, public relations, and relationship management with vendors, customers, and the press.
First, I sent an open letter to this music giant’s employees, customers, and vendors to communicate the company’s next step. The inclusive messaging gave the recipients a stake in the brand’s renewed success. More than 1,000 responses flooded in, and I personally responded to each over the next two weeks.
Then, over the next 90 days, I spoke with each vendor to communicate the brand’s plan to stay solvent and cut costs. I explained the strong need to renegotiate, hold, or buy out contracts to stave off fulfillment issues.
Over six months, this iconic brand’s customer base increased by 450,000. The company enjoyed a renaissance, resulting in many new licensing deals, including from major motion picture studios. The brand also saw an increased cash flow of $750,000 within one quarter due to my deft negotiations with vendors. The immediate liquid savings allowed the company to invest in a comprehensive, six-month digital transformation that came in on time and under budget.
Subsequent debt buydowns and selling dead assets provided the balance the music brand needed for a business model change. Over the longer term, the company saw substantial savings on its renegotiated contracts and terms. This jump-started a successful invention of the company, which had been losing multi-millions, into a profitable, reinvigorated brand.
“I’m delighted that you led our revitalization. I can’t think of anyone better suited to set the vision and high expectations for integrity, outstanding customer service, value, and commitment to customers that re-established this iconic brand.” Rushton
My Transformation Highlights:
Overhauling an ailing brand’s operations: Transformed a previous $2 billion iconic retail brand, with 3 million SKUs and 200 stores in 21 states, into an eCommerce powerhouse by implementing a crisis management plan and a brand model strategy that integrated new technology, resulting in a cash-flow uptick within months.
Dramatically increasing a brand’s fans: Led a team that executed multi-channel lead-generation campaigns to increase a music brand’s customer base by 450,000 eager buyers in six months.
Launching an eCommerce platform shoppers love: Conceptualized, planned and executed an original niche model in the eCommerce and direct marketing retail space. A Wall Street Journal survey of retail experts and average shoppers named this site in a list of favorite consumer shopping sites, alongside Amazon and eBay.
Turning businesses around on the regular: Led a multimillion-dollar initiative for a brand that dramatically increased real revenue by 401% and jumped EBITDA from 14% to 19% in less than one year.
Sparking economic growth and change: Founded a Startup Grind chapter in partnership with Google for Startups, connecting my local entrepreneurial community to more than 3.5 million entrepreneurs in 125 countries.
Negotiated many deals in the tens of Millions.
What it’s like working with me …
Ethics and Loyalty. These are mandatory in succeeding on every level. Unfortunately, I have left positions that did not pursue these values.
A risk-taker. Daringly intuitive. A resourceful rule-bender. Flexible operator. Creative optimist. A stimulating influence on people.
A visionary who pens your innovative plan to get “there”—and inspires others to come along for the ride.
When your business is in distress, you need a positive self-starter who can troubleshoot your unique situation, generate novel ideas and deploy them swiftly.
Here’s my three-step process for transforming businesses from the inside out, working with you, your management team and staff to make it happen.
Evaluate your company’s “now” and do a deep dive into its inner workings on a broad scale, to quickly spot inefficient procedures and policies:
Immersion into your company, industry, competition, and trends
Understand your mission statement and vision
Meet the management team and staff as a group
Hold one-on-one discussions with senior leaders
Review your current technology tools
Identify your operational processes and reporting capabilities
Examine your current, detailed financial reports
Review departmental processes and reporting
Understand the customer base and their needs
Identify external vendors and relationships.
Create comprehensive plans and systems to solve your organization’s problems and accelerate success in these key areas of your business:
Product lines and services
Product and service delivery model
Marketing plan and reach
Sales lifecycle and processes
Customer service and support
Management and reporting tools
Cash flow, including vendor terms, and accounts payable and receivable.
After analyzing all of your organization’s functions, build long-term plans to achieve your goals. In partnership with your management team, I lead the efforts to transform your business.
Launch process changes
Setting proper Data Key Performance Indicators
Developing a reporting process
Jump-starting ongoing mentorship and training, to develop employees into managers, and then executives
Communicate your new vision on an ongoing basis internally and externally
Leading flexibly, as we continue to evaluate processes and progress
Continually review competitive analysis and product offerings.