From a tired professional to enthusiastic Entrepreneur: Our interview with Banking Professional Daniel
While most sales representative in banks would like to give you proper financial advice, when using their respective services; it is a fact that the bank policies restrict them from doing so. All the policies are designed to be in favor of the bank and individuals are usually left with little protection. In this scenario, what would you do if you wanted to help the public? Would you consider opening up a separate practice.
So, we reached out to one professional who did this very thing. Read through if you would like the know the story of Daniel Feiman from Build it Backwards, a professional with more than 18 years of experience in commercial banking, and why he started his own venture.
First of all, we are honored to interview such experienced individuals, who have guided hundreds of companies through their ups and downs. We feel that your experience has a lot to teach the young entrepreneurs, who often lack the financial background of running a company.
However, let us begin at the start. What prompted you to leave your lucrative banking job and start your own management consulting and training firm?
I had become increasingly frustrated with the restrictive rules of commercial banking & wanted to make a bigger positive impact on my clients. The only way to do this was to make the leap. I took everything I had learned and put it into my new venture.
About the choice for the name: Build It Backwards, does it represent a special philosophy that you started with?
Not really. In fact, this actually took some time to develop & required a push from my advisory board before I was ready to commit to the name. It is the way we work with clients but I hadn’t really systematized it until then. We teach the clients to dream of their idea long term outcome, horizon, or as we call it their Vision. From that point we work backwards to today to create their success roadmap. It works better than anything else I have seen.
Did you have to face any difficulty in setting up the business? How did you overcome it?
Of course, doesn’t everyone? The biggest difficulty for me was the realization that running my own business was significantly different from working for someone else. Everything is dependent on me; revenue; management & decisions.
To overcome this, I started by talking with everyone I knew in business about what I wanted to do with & for clients. I leveraged my teaching (Corporate Finance at UCLA Extension) into some speaking opportunities that led to consulting gigs. Then I sat down & drafted my first strategic plan; from that a marketing plan & implemented them both.
What I learned was General George Patton was right, “A good plan violently executed right now is far better than a perfect plan executed next week.”
Generally speaking, how important is it to have proper financial setups for startups? How do they benefit?
Proper basic financial statements are critical for planning (cash flow in vs. cash flow out =…) & managing any business. Without these how do you know if you are successful? How much to charge? What is a fixed vs. variable expense? How much capital you need to invest? What your return is?
You can only measure your financial success in dollars. Your financials are as important a tool as any other in your arsenal.
Lastly, there are many entrepreneurs out there who have difficulty in implementing their brilliant ideas. If you were to give them one advice, what would it be?
Plan your work & work your plan.
Perform as assessment of your skills & interests vs. what is needed in the marketplace. Then be completely candid & ask yourself: Can I fill an unfilled need? Can I fill a need better than anyone else already is? Do I have a new product/service that enough of the market will actually pay for?
Everything will cost at least twice as much as you plan; it will take twice as long as you know it will to generate revenue; not all your receivable will be collected; and this is the good news.