WHO WE ARE
Sundial Ventures is a Venture Capital firm that invests in and partners with small and mid-size businesses experiencing growing pains. We provide our portfolio companies unique guidance when implementing, and overseeing operations to keep pace with rapidly growing and scaling organizations.
What You Do
You’re an entrepreneur. You recognized an opportunity, took the risk, worked hard and built a successful business. You have proof of concept, are profitable, great employees and you’re ready to launch take things to the next level.
But managing growth has been a challenge….and you know where the pain points are. They’re the areas that aren’t your core competency, the stuff you find boring like bookkeeping, payroll, reporting, scheduling and HR…. the back office stuff.
What We Offer
We love the Back Office, it’s our front office. Leveraging technology we implement operating infrastructures that increase productivity. Efficiently executing back office tasks is our strength and passion. We share this expertise and enthusiasm with our portfolio companies.
Sundial Ventures make strategic investments in companies that need to revamp and subsequently outsource back office systems and processes. Investment amounts range from $20k-$50k via software and services.
We are not passive investors nor financing consulting fees. We are equity and operational partners assuming modest risk with anticipated rewards. Our Investments of services and expertise are aligned to the success of the venture. Deals can take the form of equity, royalty, or commission.
WHAT WE LOOK FOR
Sundial Ventures will consider a variety of investment opportunities, however, we plan to focus on companies with the following attributes.
- A consistent revenue model with profitable track record.
- Talented and dedicated management/ staff.
- Responsible and honest culture.
- Ability to adapt to change.
- Potential to virtualize operations.
- Demonstration that improved back office efficiencies will facilitate growth and profitability.
Building a scalable and sustainable business is Nirvana for many entrepreneurs. In reality, very few actually achieve it. The reasons are many and vary from market issues to internal obstacles. Content business owners often perceive growth as too difficult or risky- meaning the status-quo continues.
In most cases however, growth is achievable with organizational focus, discipline and investment in the business technology infrastructure.
Sundial Ventures has extensive experience in developing the systems, processes and culture to support a successful growth strategy.
We engage at a practical level, partnering with the client organization to support and execute on the agreed upon objectives. Your success is our success.
The objectives are detailed into a multiyear plan that charts the journey through a number of well-defined initiatives. Investment requirements, terms, and expectations form a set of management metrics and milestones that can be monitored to track progress.
The strategy and initiatives are then incorporated in to the incentivization package of the management, staff and investor teams. This ensures all stakeholders in the organization are aligned to delivering results.
What we do
Our input varies depending on the venture. Our core competency and primary area of engagement is typically the revamp of back office accounting systems.
Specifically, we utilize QuickBooks and integrating third party software that solve complex pain points such as:
- Time and attendance,
- Ecommerce integration,
- Order processing,
- Automated bill-pay,
- Scheduling and
- Billing systems.
Other technology infrastructure upgrades may include:
- Adapting standard communications platform,
- Optimizing website,
- Introduction of CRM,
- Migration to mobile and cloud computing,
- Outsourced HR and payroll functions.
What we also do
Sundial Ventures has a vested interests in your success. As business minded partners our background and experiences give us unique insights and abilities to prompt discussion, provide guidance or rely on our vast network of professionals in the following areas:
- Develop clearly articulated growth strategies (ie: Stay on Target)
- Create practical timelines for execution.
- Identify staff/management milestones for accountability.
- Monitor metrics to ensure strategy is performing.
- Explore brand extensions .
- Embrace market visioning. (ie. What’s next?)
- Evaluate vertical vs. horizontal business directions.
- Application process for bank loans and lines of credit.
- Evaluate buy vs. lease and debt vs. equity financing options.
- Business plan writing and development.
- Inventorying Intellectual Property
- Compliment plans with financial modelling, scenario planning and sensitivity analysis
- Scan market for potential targets and assess attractiveness.
- Provide transactional support for acquisition and subsequent integration.
- Develop investor marketing materials.
- Manage the fundraising process with institutional investors.
Recruiting & HR:
- Help find and hire optimal employees.
- Retain your talent with benefits and retention programs.
HOW WE DO IT
We subscribe to several business adages that serve as guiding principles in both our approach and what we expect of our portfolio companies.
“Keep it Simple”
A solution that addresses 80% of the problem and implementing it fully is preferable to a solution that addresses 100% of the problem but can only be implemented partially.
“What You Put in is What You Get Out”
Also known as “garbage in / garbage out”….Coming up with a great plan only works if the structure and HOW company culture are ready to embrace the effort and learning curve. Thus, engaging the right members of the client team and ensuring they are targeted and incentivized to deliver the plan is an important driver for success.
“Get Ready to Work”
We recognize the constraints of the organization to ensure any recommendations are realistic and can be implemented. We spend time socializing within the organization to ensure that the management team not only buys-into, but feels a sufficient level of ownership to present the plan to staff; and sign-up to be measured long-term by the performance metrics included within it.
“Cost vs Benefit”
We believe that building a successful, executable strategy means working closely with the client organization rather than as a separate team reporting to it. By engaging fully in the business, we can best execute our deep knowledge of systems and work flow.
“Put your Money where your Mouth is”
We believe our investments and approach gives entrepreneurs a straightforward value proposition when considering a strategic relationship with Sundial Ventures. We are not passive investors nor financing consulting fees. We are happy to be judged and rewarded by the qualitative outcomes of our efforts.
Who we are
Managing Partner, Stephen M. Smith earned his CPA in 2002
Originally from Albany, NY, Smith graduated cum laude from SUNY Geneseo (State University of New York) in 1999. He started his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York City. At PwC, Smith worked with hedge funds, broker-dealers, private equity firms, and private banking clients in the capital markets and finance industries. Smith then served as controller of a mid-sized manufacturing company in New Jersey. When entrepreneurial aspirations called, Smith founded Controllership Solutions LLC in 2005. A Quicken©Expert and certified Advanced QuickBooks© ProAdvisor® Smith consults with individuals with assets over $50 million, and companies experiencing double-digit growth into the tens of millions in revenue.
Smith is a high-energy, highly motivating individual with strong interpersonal, organizational, and presentation skills. He masters deadlines and manages multiple projects. He has honed these skills through a variety of diverse educational, work and travel experiences. While working in Walt Disney World, Yellowstone National Park and London, England and traveling throughout 20 countries in Europe and Asia, Stephen has developed tremendous insight and appreciation for the art of communicating with diverse people and places in various circumstances.
Smith is uniquely qualified to assist businesses navigate growth. Awarded the prestigous Top 100 ProAdvisor by Insightful Accountant magazine (for 5 years running) Smith has successfully implemented 250+ QuickBooks implementations to process 100’s of millions in transaction value. As a Quicken Expert he has helped individuals reconcile over $2 Billion in personal net worth. He excels in assisting companies with organizing and understanding their financial numbers, as well as analyzing future financial implications. Smith is a valued resource to entrepreneurs needing assistance when navigating the growth of their business.
What We Don’t Do
We do not access public/private markets and are not offering or soliciting any investments to the general public.
Why the Sundial?
Sundials have been used for millennia to track time. Seemingly simple devices, in reality, sundials draw upon the complexities of nature and our universe to quantify time. As mankind progressed, more clarity was required and accuracy was improved.
Sundial Ventures utilizes seemingly simple software, technology and business fundamentals to improve accuracy, efficiency and productivity. This results in efficient, productive and profitable enterprises poised to grow and scale.
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