There’s an “Oh, shit” moment that Mike Krupit likes to talk about when he’s talking about entrepreneurs and their trajectories.
It’s that moment when they realize, OK, I have a $500,000 company and I need to get to $1 million.
“They see the chasm,” Krupit said, “and they wonder, ‘Am I going to get across it?'”
That’s where Krupit comes in. Since last summer, the veteran entrepreneur (he’s on his eighth startup, IntroNet) has taken on a new role: business coach. He offers one-on-one coaching, peer groups and a new “business workout” program, which launched this week in Philadelphia and Baltimore. He focuses on companies that are post-revenue and working on gaining traction, tech and non-tech alike.
We talked to Krupit about some of the common themes and mistakes he’s seen with founders through his work.
- Goal setting. When founders are faced with the issue of making that jump from a $500,000 company to a $1 million company, goals are important, Krupit said. “The first few years are often chaos. You think you know where you’re headed, but you don’t. Goals ground us.”
- Financial discipline. “The vast majority of entrepreneurs don’t know money,” he said. “They don’t look at their books. They don’t follow a budget. No one knows what a balance sheet is.” He tells a story about one founder who, when he looked at his books, realized that the two revenue streams he was least focused on were the most profitable. “How can you double your revenue if you don’t know where it’s coming from?” Krupit said.
- Strategy. “The first couple of years you’re opportunistic. You get lucky and that’s important. You can’t plan luck.” But strategy is “all the things you need to do to ensure success in the absence of luck.”
- Time management. There’s the common refrain from founders: “I work too many hours.” Krupit says he does too and that’s why he has a business coach of his own. (All he’d share was that she isn’t based in Philadelphia.)