What Makes Us Different?
Simply put, we believe that Klarian’s business model is built on both our intimate understanding of the dynamics of a growing family and other entrepreneurial businesses and our founder’s philosophies about providing professional services. This approach leads to what we believe is our “special sauce” – Diagnostics. Although we possess well-developed skills in finance, operations, planning, strategy and project management, we understand two critical things – that it is vital to understand the problems that you are solving before deciding which capabilities to deploy and that, because of their entrepreneurial roots, our Clients’ needs are so diverse that there is no way that we can maintain internal capabilities that will address every concern we diagnose.
Most of our supposed “competitors” do not take this approach and, therefore, end up addressing less than the full problem, overcharging for their services or both. There are many professional firms that purport to serve “entrepreneurial businesses,” but we earnestly believe that Klarian Capital Group supports entrepreneurship in a way that fundamentally distinguishes us from these supposed “competitors,” whether they are larger providers whose business model is not truly focused on smaller businesses or smaller providers whose business model does not reflect a true understanding of how smaller companies evolve and the true nature of the challenges they confront.
Our founder and Managing Partner, Dave Lesser, has built a professional services firm around the lessons he learned as a partner at one of Chicago’s preeminent law firms, Katten Muchin Rosenman, which enjoys a unique reputation for serving the interests of entrepreneurs. Specifically, David examined how and why his law firm struggled to balance its infrastructure investments geared toward large clients with the most sophisticated of legal needs with offering efficient and cost-effective services to smaller clients. These lessons have shaped Klarian’s approaches to addressing our clients’ needs as well as our decisions about investments in infrastructure. In of these areas, we always are guided by maintaining flexibility in both the solutions we can provide and cost, empowering us to serve the entrepreneurial marketplace with focus and efficiency.
Simply put, other providers of consulting and financial intermediary services to the “middle market” take one of two approaches, each of which constrains their ability to serve entrepreneurial clients effectively. Some, which say that they are willing to take on smaller clients, have invested in infrastructure that really is geared toward serving larger clients with needs that are more complex and work-intensive than those that our smaller middle-market Clients encounter. Investments in things like downtown office tower rents, complex software and significant support staff actually constrain these firms’ ability to provide smaller middle-market clients with the right services and the right people at the right cost.
Others that do maintain a “smallness” that appears suited to an entrepreneurial client frequently confront a very analogous issue. Their smallness is based on a very narrow skillset, which promotes bias in defining the client’s challenge and the appropriate solution. A smaller firm driven by its principal’s human resources expertise will see an HR problem and find an HR solution, without regard to sales, fulfillment, balance sheet structure or overhead management. A provider driven by its principal’s technology expertise will see an information systems problem and offer a technology solution, failing to address the client’s understanding of what to do with the information once it is available A professional whose background is in sales and marketing will identify revenue generation as the problem and could well ignore a company’s challenges is either processing orders or managing overhead.
As they evolve, smaller and middle-market companies require a broad range of services as they evolve. Many of these needs leverage essentially the same core skill sets - financial analysis and planning, strategic analysis and planning and project management. Our approach to Entrepreneurial Services is to "take these tools out of the toolbox" in a manner that is tailored to the particular needs of a given Client - as, when and how the needs of the Client’s business dictate. With this approach, we have been very flexible in the way we serve our clients and we have built long-standing relationships with our clients based on trust and mutually gratifying experiences.
Call Us!!! Thus, whenever you encounter a challenge, we encourage you to call us for a short, complimentary consultation. We are confident that we will be able to provide you with insightful analysis and a valuable perspective.
Entrepreneurial "Skill Sets" and "Blind Spots."
Simply put, the prototypical entrepreneurial or family-owned business has been built around classic "founder’s skill sets." Most frequently, these founder’s skill sets are based on some technical, creative or sales and marketing related expertise, combined with a healthy dose of entrepreneurial spirit. Consequently, most entrepreneurial and family-owned businesses lack financial, strategic and operational expertise commensurate with these core entrepreneurial skills. This is particularly true of those companies that are growing and, therefore, undergo a series of "transition points" that present financial, strategic and other managerial hurdles that their management teams have not previously encountered. For most smaller and middle-market businesses, it is impractical to acquire the skills appropriate to meet these challenges through hiring high-priced full-time management team members.
This is where Klarian Capital Group enters the picture. We are able to complement these classic founder’s skills with appropriate financial and strategic capabilities on an outsourced basis, as and when the entrepreneurial venture requires them. Beyond this, we’re able to do so on a relatively cost-effective basis because we understand the financial needs and capabilities of entrepreneurial ventures and we carefully manage our overhead in order to assure that our services will be financially accessible.
So Why Is Klarian Unique Among "Entrepreneurial Services" Providers?
There are many professional firms that purport to be "entrepreneurial services" providers and serve the "middle market," but we earnestly believe that Klarian Capital Group supports entrepreneurship in a way that is unique. Simply put, most providers of business consulting and financial intermediary services to the middle market prescribe to their clients the menu of services that they offer - narrowly defined financial intermediary services such as business brokerage or loan brokerage, narrowly defined consulting services such as succession planning, turnaround management or process enhancement.
Our mission, however, is not to be a business or loan broker or a highly specialized consultant. Doing so would be fundamentally inconsistent with our mission of truly serving the entrepreneur. Each entrepreneurial company is unique, having been built around a different foundation of core skills, and key weaknesses, and having evolved in its own individual way. Consequently, each of our clients requires financial, strategic and managerial advice and support at different points in its evolution and in different ways. Because the services offered by other firms that claim to be entrepreneurial service providers typically will be of value to a business only at a specific juncture in its growth or development, those firms are very limited in their ability to assist companies on an ongoing basis, achieve an intimate knowledge of their clients’ goals and operations and develop long-term relationships of trust with the companies, their managers and their owners.
The broad range of the very "Financial and Strategic Services" and "Entrepreneurial Services" that smaller and middle-market companies require as they evolve leverage essentially the same core skill sets - financial analysis and planning, strategic analysis and planning and project management. Our approach to Entrepreneurial Services is to "take these tools out of the toolbox" in a manner that is tailored to the particular needs of a given client - as, when and how the needs of the client’s business dictate. With this approach, we have been very flexible in the way we serve our clients and we have built long-standing relationships with our clients based on trust and mutually gratifying experiences.