Hintergrundgrafik

insight

Stuttgart 29.03.2016

Made by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. The founders of Fordings are not new to the start-up scene. In 2010 they founded a niche recruitment company without any seed capital and a shoe string budget of 10.000EUR.

In the meantime, ORSON is on expansion course and is expecting to grow by 60% this year. Within the framework of ORSON, the management were able to create new products to help other companies sell their services within R&D by offering an extended sales bench, designed at acquiring complete internal development projects for professional service companies. This model took off and is still being expanded today.

There are many reasons why start-ups and small companies do not fail, however in our opinion, the biggest challenge for all start-ups and small companies is the growth and balancing of cash flow combined with reaching further markets. Marketing is often frowned upon as a high risk and expensive and "something we can do when we are big enough." Sales is often approached with a certain laissez faire such as finding sales partners or distributors who can be successful but carry products as a catalogue product, or perhaps the acquisition of an old customer from a previous business relationship or the thought that the product will magically sell itself online.

Naturally there are plenty of examples where the luck has been on a company’s side, and the product has been made at the right place and at the right time, however for the majority of start-ups, and SMEs sales is the “be and end all” of your future as a company.

The problem is that many start-ups and small company managers are not sales oriented, the thought of approaching customers and pitching their products and services is scary, cold sales is out of the question. This is why many hope to sell their products over distributors and partners. Our experience is that the day to day idea of business partnerships seldom work, simply because the companies do not share the same vision.

Some start-ups hope that by getting an influential investor on-board, the investor can help sell their product over his / her network like on television programmes such as the shark tank or the dragons-den where the investors compete among themselves to promise start-ups how they can get their products sold.

In addition to this, investors want to know when ROI is reached and will generally want to take a larger share of equity away, allowing them to be bought out of the company at a later stage. We are not against investors. In many cases, especially where a certain amount of product development is necessary, investors from certain industry segments are invaluable. However, many start-ups and SMEs have very mature products with good USPs, and with some effective sales, marketing and sustainability strategy could mix up the market that they are in.

Our experience however shows that often companies have not really carried out an extensive market analysis, often the USPs are similar to those of the competition and just stating that you are cheaper is not always the golden egg.

Sometimes it is important to SPIN the USPs and create a scalable marketing and sales strategy that supports the product portfolios to reach as many of the aimed consumer groups as possible. The aim of Fordings is to help the companies we serve to look at the best USP to be an empowerment of their customers. Empowering people to have the ability or decision making capabilities which until previously were not available, this will go a long way into the successful pitching of a product. In addition to this we focus strongly to see how to make products scalable in order to hit the largest possible consumer segment. We also ask the question, what will the competition do and try to constantly scan the market and speak to customers about their wishes to help engineer these into the development within our customers.

The Fordings model has been designed to help start-ups, SMEs and angel investors by taking a large portion of the risk on their shoulders. Especially for start-ups and small companies Fordings offer success based consulting where nothing is paid until a substantial turnover has been made. This means that Fordings do not just offer the consultation, they implement it as well and offer a multi-channel sales mix allowing the customers to get on with what they are best at, namely the further development of their product portfolios. The management believe that only a success based model or part success based model really encourage the ideal of partnership to work to its full extent

Fordings believes in ethics and morals, no cutting corners, transparency of communication and if necessary turning business down if it will affect the sustainability of a company or its reputation.

Matthew Joehnk, co-founder of Fordings says “If we would have had a service that offered us product and sales consultation on a success basis when we started our first company, we would have jumped at it and it would have made the first years much easier for us. I am sure that more products would be successful if start-ups and small businesses had the opportunity to get help in their product, sales and marketing processes without the risk of investing in a white elephant.”

We get excited when we see small companies get noticed, where they are able to create good business relationships with key market players and most of all, where the success is sustainable. We want to share the visions with our customers, we want to celebrate when they do well and share the pain when things do not go to plan. We believe however with our strong understanding of sales and pitching of products, that we can add high value added solutions to our customers and help them get results high above their expectations.