The CEO’s Right Hand, Inc., (TCRH) a New York-based consulting firm, is broadening its services in line with what has been an organic and steady growth in demand for its outsourced professional services.
Founded in 2015 with a mission to provide emerging businesses with financial expertise, primarily by staffing chief financial officers, the firm is now positioned as a consultancy of financial, accounting and tax-related resources, offering a bench of financial experts critical to operating a business. “What we’re seeking to do is take the on-demand CFO service, including strategic advisory, and provide a host of financial services, including cash flow and expense management, modeling, reporting for board of directors, and valuation, as well as AP/AR, monthly/quarterly and annual close reporting, capital management and capital credit negotiation,” says Eric Menke, a veteran investor and advisor who joined TCRH as a partner in 2017. “Having proven the effectiveness of the outsourced CFO model, we realized that there’s a tremendous opportunity to provide additional services in the same platform.”
The sweet spot for TCRH in this endeavor is the field of small- to mid-sized businesses, enterprises with annual revenues between $5 million and $50 million. The firm is not industry specific, and the goal simply is to support companies that critically need professionals dedicated to the C-suite functions but don’t have the bandwidth, the bench, or the budget to employ such roles full time.
Menke is no stranger to the ins and outs and needs of smaller businesses. He counts more than 25 years of experience as investor, advisor and business owner. He founded Growth Capital Management, an investment firm in San Francisco that builds and grows startups and small established companies. He was also a founding partner of Champlain Capital, a $148 million private equity fund with a bent toward lower middle-market companies.
TCRH, in broadening its services, is looking to deepen existing partnerships and reach new entrepreneurs, but the firm makes it clear that the core objective of this initiative is to take on the business of running a business, which will allow its clients to focus on their passion and concentrate on what they do best.
“We realized we can take a lot off the business owner’s plate; think of how much more productive and inspired you can be,” Menke says. “Ultimately, the mission is to be a resource—for an entrepreneur just starting out or for a more established company—for them to see the value that we can provide in helping sustain their growth over time. Whether it be crafting a strategy that they can’t be defined or redefining a strategy so they can implement it immediately, we’re aiming to be the voice of reason and to help them get to where they want to be.”
TCRH itself has seen growth over the past few years. Founded by Chief Executive William Lieberman, who has held various C-level leadership roles in his career and also serves as a mentor to entrepreneurs, the firm has entered what can be characterized as “an implementation phase” in its evolution. “The first two years you’re establishing yourself in the market, and the third year you step into implementation and execution,” says Operations Manager Julie Devincenzi. “I think we’re certainly there. We’re at a point where we’re re-defining our messaging based on the needs of our client-base.”
Devincenzi, who counts more than 15 years of experience in business and education, adds that as TCRH grew and as clients progressively saw the value it added, an increase in demand for deeper involvement and additional services came naturally. “The need simply presented itself,” she says. “Clients would say, you’re already working with our financials, can we now translate that into a bigger picture? It’s been very organic.”
Bearing that out is a case with e-Drive Retro, a startup based in Finland that converts iconic classic cars into high-performing electric vehicles. Heading into launch, e-Drive tapped TCRH to provide strategic and financial advisory services. TCRH jumped in and developed an integrated financial model, an investor pitch deck and an investment agreement, among other materials. The relationship developed as e-Drive ramped up. TCRH, for instance, continued to work with management and built a comprehensive plan for sales agents and a sales pipeline management tool.
“TCRH has been a tremendous resource since e-Drive Retro’s inception,” says Michael Richardson, founder and chief executive of the startup. “They helped us determine our business strategy and translated that into a financial model we’ve been able to use for the future of our company. They were quick to come up to speed on what we do and how we’re unique, even traveling across the Atlantic to test drive our dynamic cars. They are truly trusted advisors, who desire to help business owners grow their ventures.”
Rising demand is one thing propelling TCRH to expand its services, but the landscape of the market has also come to create an environment more conducive to realizing the firm’s vision—namely, outsourcing is much more of an accepted way of running a business, and advances in technology have made possible working across platforms, and across geographies, seamlessly.
“More people are taking on more temporary work, more companies are able to take advantage of this incredible breadth of resources out there,” Menke says. “We are a firm that has properly curated, screened and developed a bench of experts that they’re ready to be deployed—for a day, a week, a month or a year. It’s a great opportunity for small companies to gain the experience and the team of people.” For instance, a small enterprise logging $5 million revenue can, in a matter of days, tap into TCRH’s industry professionals and have a chief financial officer, a controller, a director of financial planning & analysis, an accountant and a tax consultant on the phone.
“Technology has become much more efficient and robust,” Menke says. “You can really have the benefit of feeling that someone is in the office right next door to you, streaming a video conference in high quality.” Utilizing off-the-shelf tools to facilitate communications with clients, TCRH can leverage resources across the country. In short, the marriage of the two trends—better technology and the proliferation of the gig economy—comes to benefit small businesses that now can access professionals in an efficient way.
The vision of TCRH is straightforward: to serve as management’s right hand and to do so as a one-stop shop. It is to maximize value to its clients, and by stepping into expanded areas of business substantiated by its solid team of experts, the firm looks to be well on its way to writing that story.