“Larry has been invaluable to our company.  Since joining our management team, Larry has stabilized our financial and business practices and has helped us manage cash flow and profitability better than ever before.  His involvement has given us the ability and opportunity to grow the company with confidence.” 



Per Casey

President and CEO

Tenrec Inc.




“Larry has substantially improved my company’s bottom line.  Having him on the team helps me sleep better at night.



Hau Lam
President & CEO

Too Much Work, Not Enough Financial Results?

The “Business Success” Program can change that for you.

As an owner of a small, closely held business, you are working harder than you ever thought possible. Some mornings you wake up and wonder “why do I keep doing this…” facing the constant stress and demands of running a business but without the financial results for all your effort and risk.

Do you feel like you need to do something different to reach your company’s potential? But you don’t have anyone who really understands you or can help.

It doesn’t have to be this way.  Are you are committed to taking your company to a higher level of success?  Do you have a company that is serving a legitimate need in the marketplace and have customers that regularly validate that your company offers something of real value?  If so, solid financial results are within reach!

Routine business decisions can be made in an unemotional, logical way based on relevant information and analysis. Tough “bet the company” decisions can be made with appropriate analysis and guidance from someone who has faced similar decisions before, greatly improving the odds of success.

The most common problems we see in small and medium sized businesses are:

  • The owner/general manager and their team are working very hard but never seem to make substantial, clear progress toward financial objectives.
  • Lack of consistent profitability and cash-flow that constrain the company’s ability to invest in ways that can take the company to the next level.
  • The owner/general manager often feels overwhelmed with the volume and intensity of the day-to-day demands of the business. This often leads to “sub-optimized” decisions, or decisions that require substantial “thrashing around” before the decision is made.
  • Lack of confidence in business decisions due to lack of information and insight or experience.
  • Days are usually spent reacting to immediate issues rather than resolving the highest impact issues and strengthening the company in ways that can break the company’s performance through to the next level and beyond.

The way it can be:

When your hard work pays off and you are making clear progress towards financial and other business goals then it all becomes worth it.

  • Refinements to the business model and incremental improvements to operations can make dramatic differences in profitability and cash flow.  The hard work becomes less difficult.  Success feeds success.  Then you have real momentum and what seemed like distant dreams become attainable.  You are still working hard but the work energizes you and you can now face the days with confidence and enthusiasm, as goals become reality.
  • Improving cash flow allows you to make needed investments to take your business to the next level. The decisions change from “do we have enough cash to cover this?” to “is this the right investment for our company”?
  • The business owner no longer feels overwhelmed when routine, lower impact work is delegated and decisions are made for the right reasons using sound, objective reasoning.
  • Decisions are made with more confidence when relevant, timely information and analysis are available as needed.
  • Your days become less reactive and you’re able to impact the longer-term success of your company. The virtuous circle continues. The days no longer feel like you are on a treadmill, running hard but never really getting anywhere.
  • Creative, engaged problem solving support from someone who has been there before… and has solved many of these problems enables you to focus on higher impact issues.

The proven approach we use that consistently works:

Larry Willeman of WSP Inc. brings skills and knowledge gained through 25+ years of successful business experience while working in and with some of the top technology companies in the Pacific Northwest.  The secret to success is to take this vast skill set and apply it to solving the problems of your company.

The process we use with small, privately held companies is to support the management team over an extended period of time. This is not a quick fix program where we impart some brilliant business secret(s) to you and you are forever successful.  This is sustained guidance on an ongoing basis, fully committed to the success of both you and your business.  It is a combination of teaching, mentoring, and hands-on work, often in the role of CFO for your company.

We have found it works best to have active involvement in the company no less than monthly, but preferably on a weekly basis, with some amount of on-site work.  Typically there is a set block of time each week that we’re focused on your company’s success, often on-site and/or involved in management team meetings.

Initial Phase of Work

The initial phase focuses on understanding the current health of your organization including:

  1. What are the longer term objectives for your company? These may need to be defined and/or clarified.  What is the desired ultimate outcome for the company?
  2. How are decisions currently made? (ie data based decisions vs “gut feel” based decisions, methods for achieving buy-in on decisions, understanding the longer term implications of decisions)
  3. How complex or simple is the current approach to managing the company? Is the degree of complexity appropriate for this size of company, serving this customer segment?  Will this management approach “scale” to support where the company is trying to go?
  4. What financial information currently exists and how accurate and useful is it for supporting the decisions the company faces?  How much of the information is historical vs forward looking?
  5. What is your “business model”? How do you add superior value to your customers while making healthy profit margins?  How does the company determine prices charged to customers?
  6. How strong are the players on your team? Do incentives exist for team members that align individual’s goals with the goals of the company?

We deliver a plan of attack for the highest impact issues that must be addressed first.  We include an assessment of the company’s strengths and weaknesses and areas of greatest risk.  We also take a hard look at whether your company has a high probability of achieving high return on investment from our services, or whether there is a more effective way to address your company’s needs.   We mutually agree on the engagement model going forward.

A byproduct of this phase is often “low hanging fruit” that translates into immediate improvement in profitability and/or cash-flow.

Second Phase of Work

The next phase is focused on strengthening the way the company operates.

This often includes improving the accuracy, timeliness and relevance of the financial information needed to manage the business. This phase also focuses on refining and improving how the precious resources in the company are allocated to making the company successful.  Priorities get refined and tested for alignment with the short term and longer term objectives of the company.  This phase could include initiatives such as: implementing a new pricing approach; adding high value add-on services; focusing on the many parts of effectively managing cash-flow etc.

In this phase we have to be careful to make real, positive change but not degrade the strengths of the company.

Continuing Phases of Work

From there we essentially “peel back the onion”. The following phase or phases focus on continuous improvement of the company’s operations and fiscal management, refining the key variables that strengthen the company and establish solid momentum towards the company’s objectives.

We do not require a long-term contract. The vast majority of our customer relationships are long-term, not because of a contractual commitment, but due to ongoing contribution to the company’s success.

Benefits of the Business Success Program

You will have hands on help from someone who has faced and solved many of the challenges you face.  We come in and “peel back the onion”, determining the highest leverage points that we will apply instincts and skill to solve.  We bring 25+ years of knowledge and experience, in many cases learned the hard way so you won’t have to.

  • In most cases, the stress level of the business owner goes down dramatically as the course of action becomes clearer.  Decisions and actions are taken with a much higher level of confidence.
  • Substantial improvements in profitability and cash-flow.  This may sound like its too good to be true but it’s really just the result of hard work, focused on the right priorities, doing business the right way, carried out over time.  We have a roughly 80% success rate which typically includes substantial improvements in profitability, cash-flow, company valuation and operational competence well beyond any time prior to our involvement.
  • A clear understanding of the critical business leverage points and success factors. Small businesses nearly always have a few critical leverage points that have a large impact on overall success of the company.  We make sure these points are understood and give them the high priority needed.
  • Stronger, more effective relationships with service providers, lenders, and other business partners. We have experience building and managing relationships with bankers, lawyers, CPAs, commercial real estate brokers, vendors, etc.  Relationships with key business partners need to be built and maintained.  As your business gets stronger financially, and the clearer you can communicate how your company will succeed, relationships become easier to develop and are more likely to have substantial mutual benefit.

Is the Business Success Program right for you? We are only able to take on one or two new clients each year so it is critical that each of our client relationships succeed.  We find that the following attributes are needed for success:

  1. Are you serving a market that has real potential for growth? The probability for success is much higher when your company is serving a market that is growing or changing substantially. Do you have products or services that take advantage of these changes?
  2. Does your company have a solid revenue “engine”? Many companies have not reached the level of revenues needed for success.  But if you have happy customers and an approach to providing them value that make sense relative to the amounts they pay, you have the basis for a solid revenue engine.  One that may need to be tuned up a bit but ultimately will be the foundation for the success of your business.  If a solid revenue engine does not exist in your business, then we may not be able to help you.
  3. Are you open to change? The one scenario that never works is when a company is so entrenched in their way of doing business that they cannot make needed changes.  To be successful we will need to change some business patterns.  We all have our weaknesses, but in almost all cases the business will need to change habits and approaches.  If you are not ready for those changes, this may not be the right time to work with us.
  4. Are you committed to doing business the “right way”? Are you committed to upholding high ethical standards, providing superior value to your customers, providing meaningful quality employment to your team?  Are you committed to striving for the highest level of competence in your organization, learning and growing the corporate intelligence as the company reaches higher levels of success?
  5. Is your company in the less than $20M in revenue? This is our “sweet spot”.  We find changes are easier to make before companies become large (aka elephants).  The company has reached a minimum revenue size that often can benefit substantially from increases in revenue while taking advantage of “economies of scale” as the company grows.  Plus, we’ve found this size of company is more fun to work with.
  6. Are you ready to start enjoying your business again? Running a business is hard work but it can be fun, exciting, and rewarding.  Isn’t that the main reason you started the business?

If the answers to these questions are yes, and you would like to learn more about how we can help you, please contact us to discuss your situation. When we talk, we’ll have a conversation to learn about your needs, objectives and priorities and determine whether or not a more in-depth exploration is called for.

If there appears to be a fit we will set up a complimentary “Business Review Session” to discuss more detail about your current situation, what you would like to achieve, and how we might work together.

To get a sample of the issues we work with companies to improve, read the article “9 Financial Mistakes that can Kill Your Business”. Click here to get free access to the article.

The first step in working with us is to contact Larry Willeman directly and request a complimentary “Business Review Session.” Just go to this page for details.