The Return of PE Is Coming Later in ‘23

This is an excerpt from Episode 90 of my podcast Startup Confidential, which goes live with new content on the 1st and 15th of every month.  We are witnessing a temporary lull in private equity and V.C. investment in consumer brands. It won’t last, in part,

An Excerpt from Ramping Your Brand

My award-winning, best-selling business book for consumer founders still sells every day. If you haven’t grabbed a copy, please consider it. Here’s an excerpt that might tempt you to grab a copy. “The Power of Focus, or the Law of Frito-Lay Ironically, there is another critical law

Do Your Investors Have the Right Time Horizon?

On a webinar hosted by Gary Hirshberg in May, Wayne WU of VMG Partners pointed to a common problem before the pandemic. “[Brands chasing a pre-determined exit] are generally not the best brands to invest in because … they haven’t focused on surprising and delighting consumers.

Know Your Cash Burn Before You Ship Your First Case

Given the supply chain costs post-pandemic, the flame-out threshold may have actually lowered since the research that went into my book. Not sure. Many entrepreneurs think they have the next Big Thing. You kind of have to believe this to push through the unceasing firehose of

Let’s Replace Trade Shows With True Industry Events

The face-to-face social bonding aspects of trade shows stand out to all of us as the most irreplaceable feature of the trade show. But do we need after-parties and cocktail events to move our businesses forward? Really? How many warm relationships become 'hot' after 10

Tips on Working with Branding Agencies from a Pro

"How we first communicate with the world is the work we do with a branding agency" TJ McIntyre, CEO of Bobo's What are the core functions of a branding agency? Packaging and brand identity (Logo, trademark, characters/mascots, color schemes, and other brand symbolism) are the

Three Steps to Finding A Great Package Designer

Folks new to the industry often get shocked when they start uncovering how much some design firms will charge to re-do their package graphics, essentially. A considerable strategy fee (for what?). Some kind of brand/visual identity fee (OK). A whole lot per UPC/SKU (penalizing a

Why You Should Consider Normal Bank Loans

By the time private equity is ready to invest in you (>$10M trailing), you should already have an intermediate, if not veteran, understanding of CPG finance, route-to-market options, etc. You probably are already competent enough to persist. You just need to take the team’s discipline

Time is Your Most Abundant Resource, So Use It

It’s not uncommon for new consumer brands in retail to get caught up in a B2B mindset where founders unwittingly outsource sales strategy to brokers. Then, they’re basically managing the package graphics supply chain and a co-manufacturer. This situation describes at least ¾ of the businesses