What Makes the Professional Founder Different

What Makes the Professional Founder Different

Every year hundreds of new consumer brands ship their first cases to retailers or 3P online fulfillment centers. Most will never make it to even $500,000 in trailing annual sales (i.e., gross company sales).  

They will struggle in what I’ve called the Death Funnel. Fundamental issues of being a de-leveraged company take most players down at this stage. I’ve been working with a female founder in the Death Funnel recently, as part of a commitment to help under-represented groups diversify what is still a shockingly white male domain.  

It’s become clear to me that the burden of any founder new to CPG today is that of professionalization. There are so many hobbyists and wannabes in the Death Funnel that it is tough to stand out.  

The folks that DO stand out have one particular behavior in common: they have moved beyond the initial cocky passion of launching and have become deeply analytical and methodical as they Ride the Ramp.  

This means that they themselves learn how to analyze key datasets from distributors, SPINS, and others. And they ask objective questions about their fans so they can discover who among them holds the keys to scale.  

Most importantly, these are founders who actually create annual plans that keep them accountable to aggressive revenue goals. The revenue goal itself, even without a detailed plan, is better than nothing. When you fail to hit it the first time, you have a missed target staring at you that can trigger a diagnosis of your business decisions.  

If you want to learn how to put together a professional strategic plan for exponential growth, I have a quarterly resource for you.  

On Friday at 9AMPST, I’ll be taking the first cohort of 2021 founders through my Riding the Ramp Strategic Planning webinar.  

It’s still not too late to create a 1-page plan for 2021. 

I hope you can join us!  

Dr. James Richardson

[email protected]