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Why Your Business Needs A Profitability Roadmap Now

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A financial advisor once told me, “I don’t work with a client unless we begin by creating a financial plan.” To me, this makes perfect sense. No amount of industry expertise, no cutting-edge financial instrument, and no clever tax dodge is going to deliver desired results unless it is put in the service of a clear, well-considered objective. (After all, it’s no coincidence Stephen Covey’s Habit #2 from the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is “Begin with the end in mind.”)

Of course, the universal entreaty, “I want to be rich!” isn’t enough. Heck, we all want to be rich. Knowing this, a good financial strategist first considers the client’s means, health, lifestyle, risk tolerance, and, yes, his/her personal definition of exactly what “rich” entails. Does the client want to retire early or continue working until no longer physically able? Do they want to leave a large chunk of money to their children or arrange to spend every last dime before shuffling off to the Great Beyond? Does the client want to buy a private island or simply pay off their home mortgage? 

Only after these factors are known and a strategy developed can the real work of financial planning begin. To this end, my team at BlueprintCFO, in working with mostly privately held middle market businesses, won’t collaborate with any company unless we begin by creating what we call a “Profitability Roadmap.” Analogous in some ways to the traditional “financial plan,” it goes much deeper and is more complex. 

How so? Our Profitability Roadmap involves virtually every aspect of a business, including the following: 

  • The business model
  • Value proposition 
  • Organizational structure 
  • Employee compensation 
  • Capital investments and expenditures 
  • Sales and marketing activities 
  • Accounting 
  • Tax planning

Our Profitability Roadmap dovetails nicely with our company philosophy, which is to always look forward, as evidenced by the recent Forbes profile of us entitled, When The Economy Reopens, Let’s Create Our Best Future Yet. Ultimately, we want to create a strategic “blueprint” from which you can build a future for your business that is solid, secure, and capable of strong, steady growth. 

Now, let’s discuss what this looks like in practice. After a series of thorough interviews with corporate stakeholders, including the management team, other employees, customers, shareholders, major suppliers, and even potential new clients, we lay out a clear vision of your company’s short-term (months), median-term (years), and long-term (decades) goals. This exercise inevitably leads to introspective discussions, including a series of back-and-forths resulting in a three-to-five-year vision. We also cover critical initiatives about how to get to this vision everyone can agree with and get behind. 

From this vantage point we synthesize the Profitability Roadmap. Unlike traditional roadmaps plotting routes in mere two dimensions, ours takes us into virtually every aspect of a company’s activities, with a particular emphasis on three areas most vital to long-term profitability:

 1. Customer Acquisition, Growth, and Retention. 

This involves taking a hard look at where a company’s advertising dollars are being spent, how marketing is being managed, and how customers, once acquired, are being serviced. We’ve all heard it’s five times more expensive to acquire a new client than it is to serve an existing one, so we make sure investments made in customer acquisition are protected by an equally aggressive approach to customer service and retention.

2. Operations.

This involves not only providing A-level customer service (see above), but refining development, manufacturing and distribution/delivery with a constant eye on profitability. (More about this in a moment.)

3. Money Management and Shareholder Value. 

This covers everything from capital acquisition to cashflow management, accounting, and cost control. 

 As so many small-to-medium-sized businesses ($5M-$50M in annual sales) are founded and run by entrepreneurs, the profitability imperative is still often a tough sell. People with “vision” tend to focus on the work and on the product, believing the old adage that if you “build a better mousetrap, the world will be a path to your door.” 

Yet, without profits, a business cannot survive, let alone thrive. And as Michael Michalowicz, author of the book Profit First notes, profits are not necessarily the outcome of a good idea or even back-breaking effort. “Profit is not an event, it’s a habit,” he writes, noting that “Small, repetitive, continuous actions, chained together, build momentous momentum.” In addition, Henry Ford once said, “The business of a business is making a profit.” Unfortunately, this is sometimes a far-away concept, even for a hard-charging entrepreneur.

At BlueprintCFO, we create profitability roadmaps to ensure those small, repetitive actions, chained together, do occur, and are performed in the service of a clear, articulated cause. The result: profits provide the means for growth and better lives for company employees and customers alike.

If greater, more dependable profits are on your mind, it’s time to talk to us. You’ll soon learn we are a lot more than a traditional accounting firm. Our focus is on the future, not the past, and we’re skilled in helping aggressive entrepreneurs make sure their dreams succeed. For more information on how to create your biggest future ever, email me at [email protected] or visit www.BlueprintCFO.com to learn more.

Brian Farley

Chief Financial Officer

Brian Farley is an experienced financial advisory who has worked with over 100 companies, entrepreneurs and business owners over the past thirteen years as a fractional CFO. As a CFO, Brian acts as a change agent for his clients. With extensive experience in manufacturing, consumer products, construction, and high tech, he is quick to assess issues and implement necessary financial disciplines to support a diverse clientele ranging from $10 million to $3 billion in annual sales.
Before becoming a fractional CFO, Brian was the full time CFO for three different companies over a fifteen year period, including Composites Unlimited, an aerospace manufacturer of OEM galleys, windscreens and dividers, ultimately acquired by Encore Aerospace. Brian also served as CFO of O’Neil Product Development Company, a manufacturer of wireless technology products, and The Gick Companies, a consumer products company. Brian began his career in public accounting at Squar Milner, CPAs.
Brian earned his Executive MBA from the University of California, Irvine, and previously attended the University of California, Fullerton, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting.
Doug Poor

Doug Poor

Controller

Doug is a seasoned controller with nearly 10 years of professional experience. He has worked in a diverse range of industries such as aerospace, automotive, construction, non-profit, public accounting and other professional services. He is an active Certified Public Accountant.
As for his education, he was an honors graduate from Cal State University- San Bernardino holding a Master’s degree in Accountancy and a Bachelor’s in economics. As a fun fact, prior to joining the Blueprint team he had just completed a solo 2 month backpacking journey with destinations primarily throughout Europe and Southeast Asia. When he is not traveling or deep in a spreadsheet, you’ll likely find him on a hiking trail in Orange County.
Jim Downes

Jim Downes

Founder & Chief Financial Officer

Affiliations:

  • Registered Certified Public Accountant
  • Association for Corporate Growth
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
  • Certified Turnaround Professional
A veteran outsourced Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and financial advisory, Jim Downes has served business owners and management teams for over 20 years. He has worked with more than 200 companies, specializing in fractional CFO activities and as a CTP (Certified Turnaround Professional).
Jim began his career as a Certified Public Account at Plante Moran CPAs, the 14th largest CPA firm in the US. Beginning as a part-time CFO before becoming a full-time Vice President, Jim helped launch his first outsourced accounting client, Urban Science, an automotive technology/consulting firm in 1985. During his tenure, the company grew from less than $1 million to over $50 million in annual sales, winning the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2001.
Jim founded the Acumen Group, committed to providing part-time CFO services and financial advice to middle market and privately held businesses in 2001. In 2007, he joined BBK, an international turnaround consulting firm as Director. During the Great Recession, he positively transformed numerous businesses facing financial distress and severe cash shortages.
Jim relocated to California in 2009 to open BBK’s Los Angeles office. When KPMG acquired the company in 2014, he was named Director of Restructuring and Turnaround Services for the West Coast. At the same time, he also became a nationally certified turnaround professional (CTP). Recently, Jim completed the training to become a Professional Implementer of the EOS (Entrepreneur’s Operating System). Jim is certified in Revenue Science and the CRO Thinking methodology through his training with the Revenue Game LLC.
Jim’s unremitting passion for working with business owners seeking to build great companies led him to open Blueprint CFO in 2019. A forward-looking strategist, Jim and his team provide a competitive advantage over typical CFOs. Leveraging data, they go beyond the numbers to make their clients ever more profitable.
Piero Broccardo

Piero Broccardo

Chief Financial Officer

Piero Broccardo is a Blueprint CFO with over twenty years of experience in the technology, transactional software, consumer product, and private equity-backed industries.

Prior to joining the Blueprint team, Piero served as the CFO/COO of SYSPRO USA. In this role, Piero's responsibilities included policy development, financial system development, strategic planning, and financial forecasting.
Over his twenty-year career, Piero has held key senior financial leadership roles including fundraising, developing pricing models, and SEC reporting.

Piero holds an MBA in International Business and Finance from Pepperdine Graziadio Business School, and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from California State University, Fullerton.
Rob Shishino

Rob Shishino

Chief Financial Officer

Rob Shishino is an experienced Chief Financial Officer with over thirty-five years of senior finance and administration management background, leading private manufacturing, distribution, service, and venture capital companies.
With experiences leading human resources, payroll, risk management and information technology efforts, Rob has helped manage fast growth companies through recessions and reorganizations, acquisitions, and sales, including orchestrating the sale of a partner-owned company to a private equity sponsor, who retained him as CFO and grew the company through six subsequent acquisitions.

Rob has developed several strategic, cost-improvement objectives and initiatives over the course of his career, teaming with sales and marketing leaders to build economic support to successfully commercialize new products, manage new product development projects with R&D leaders, provide financial models for project go/no go decisions and collaborate to minimize project costs, better manage inventories, and develop effective cost accounting and inventory management systems.

As a CFO, Rob's areas of expertise include cash and resource management and planning, debt and equity capital sourcing, mergers and acquisitions, business exit strategies, key metric dashboard development, systems selection and integration, planning and budgeting.

Rob earned his MBA from CSULA, as well as Bachelor of Science degree from UCLA. CPA Certificate No. 45333E. He is a California native and resides in Orange County with his wife of over thirty years.
Mitch Federman

Mitch Federman

Chief Financial Officer

As a CFO with extensive expertise across many operational disciplines including finance, human resources, systems and processes, Mitch Federman has broad business experience ranging from small and mid-sized firms to VC-backed Silicon Valley software companies selling large software solutions to Fortune 500 companies.
Mitch received his Masters of Business Administration from Pepperdine University after earning a Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Arizona. For over 25 years, Mitch has held a Certificate of Financial Planning. Skilled at helping companies build the necessary foundations to profitably scale their businesses, Mitch is a highly accomplished strategist with a record of improving margins and driving businesses to long-term success. He has served as a fractional CFO for five years. Among his many notable accomplishments, Mitch co-founded a digital marketing agency in 2010, where he led finance and operations and ultimately sold the firm to a NYSE company.

Mitch is an expert in automating and streamlining processes to reduce risk and cost. He is a keen analyst, adept at assessing company performance and developing forecasts, models and dashboards; he is also an exceptionally skilled communicator, proficient at forging and developing key relationships. The following are areas of focus on many of Mitch’s engagements: corporate finance and accounting, strategic planning and business modeling, financial reporting and KPI development, revenue analysis, sales operations, and financial planning, analysis, and budgeting.
John Bradley

John Bradley

Chief Financial Officer

John Bradley is a strategic CFO with 25+ years of experience helping owners, presidents and CEOs achieve their strategic goals through transparent financials, key business data insights, performance benchmarks, and operational partnerships.
With a successful track record for helping companies grow and maximize profits, John has extended his expertise to start-ups, high-growth businesses, turnarounds, and private equity-backed companies in the distribution, e-commerce, manufacturing, licensing, SaaS, and retail industries. Over the course of his career, John has worked with a diverse clientele ranging from small to Fortune 500 companies, formulating clear strategic roadmaps.

John's extensive financial expertise includes strategic financial planning, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, data analysis, inventory sku rationalization, contract negotiation, securing credit facilities, modeling, KPIs, item profitability, operations, purchasing, HR and customer service. John received his MBA from the University of Southern California (USC), and previously earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Economics from UCLA.
Matt McKane

Matt McKane

Director of Accounting Services

Matt got his start with reporting and analysis while managing a local skateboard shop. He wanted to provide his employees with daily goals and metrics so he taught himself Excel and built an interactive tool. Matt’s regional manager saw this and suggested a future career in accounting.
Three years at California State University, Fullerton later and Matt entered into the world of public accounting. Leaning on his retail and customer service past, he left public accounting and started his 6-year journey in consulting. During this time, Matt has served clients in a variety of industries including: manufacturing, construction, professional services, health & wellness, restaurant, retail, and non-profit. His passion is to provide his clients with reporting, analysis, and guidance that helps them achieve their near and long-term goals.
Kevin Bihan-Poudec

Kevin Bihan-Poudec

Director of Data Analysis

Kevin Bihan-Poudec is an experienced data analyst with over seven years of experience across companies of various industries and sizes, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.
With a wide range of analytical skills, Kevin is proficient in using data visualization tools such as Power BI and Tableau. What Kevin finds most rewarding about his work is the ability to provide insights that will help companies make the right decisions for business improvement and growth.

Kevin’s native language is French, and came to the United States in 2011 after graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology from the University of Technology in Béziers, France.
Thuy Pham

Thuy Pham

Controller

Thuy Pham is a self-motivated individual who is passionate about helping business owners manage and grow their financial well-being. She enjoys building financial models and creating easy-to-read reports to guide her clients in their business decisions.
Thuy started her journey in the financial world in a tax office doing clerical work. After graduating with an accounting degree from California State University, Fullerton, Thuy began her career at an outsourced restaurant accounting firm. While there, Thuy was immersed in the restaurant industry, strengthening her knowledge in GAAP, financial reporting, and other accounting capabilities. In her next chapter, Thuy worked at another outsourced accounting firm, this time focused on several industries including beauty and healthcare products, food and beverage, fitness studios, and salons. With her collective knowledge in various industries, Thuy hopes to help all of her clients here at Blueprint achieve their financial goals.

Bruce Wu

Senior Accountant

Bruce Wu started his accounting journey when he was an undergraduate at California State University, Fullerton, with a vision for finding a professional role that would make an impact in the field of business. During his last semester, Bruce found an opportunity to work as a part-time staff accountant, where he learned how to apply his accounting education knowledge to the financial success of a chain restaurant.
After graduation, Bruce decided to further develop his career through a new role, this time in an outsourced accounting firm. As a full-time senior accountant there, Bruce led recurring month-end close procedures for a variety of businesses, performed detailed financial reviews to deliver accurate accounting data, and interacted with clients on their specific financial needs.
With a strong foundation in financial reporting and business applications, Bruce goes above and beyond in his new chapter at Blueprint CFO, utilizing his accounting expertise to help businesses succeed in their industries.
Heather Thompson

Heather Thompson

Accounting Manager

Heather is an experienced Accounting Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the accounting industry. Heather first entered into the accounting world with a role at a post-production company in Los Angeles and a property management company in Irvine.
These accounting department roles helped her gain experience with dealing with all functions of accounts payable, project accounting, account reconciliations, and loan schedules. Heather received her Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from California State University, Fullerton (CSUF). While she attended CSUF, Heather was elected Treasurer of Delta Zeta, allowing her hands-on leadership experience in accounting and finance, along with working collectively with a team to achieve a joint goal. For the last 4.5 years, Heather has worked as a consultant, deepening her experience in managing teams, month-end close, and financial package preparation and presentation via Excel, PowerPoint, and Fathom.
Carly Scheuer

Carly Scheuer

ACCOUNTING MANAGER

Carly grew up in a family of Entrepreneurs. Her grandparents owed a retail store in New Mexico and Carly grew up watching her dad own several businesses. Carly was always intrigued by what he did, and Carly worked with him whenever she could. Carly have great memories listening to him talk business around the dinner table.
Carly knew that she wanted to follow in his footsteps and left for college with the intent of studying business. Carly's absolute love of math led her to the accounting field, and it has proven to be a perfect fit. While Carly was in college studying Accounting, she started working in customer service. Not long after Carly was given the opportunity to fill in for the Accountant; this gave her a taste of the field and she was convinced this is where her career would lead her. Carly have worked for several retail manufacturers over the last 10 years and her love for accounting continues to grow.
Anna Morrell

Anna Morrell

ACCOUNTANT

Although Anna never intended on working in the finance industry, her first job out of college led her to her career path in accounting. However her decision to pursue accounting came as no surprise considering it runs in her blood from a family of accountants and bankers.
Anna graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a bachelor’s degree in Literary Journalism. Since her time in the finance industry, she returned to her alma mater for an Applied Accounting Certificate. Anna’s experiences in the lending and bank world have provided her with the necessary background to understand the inner workings of a successful and growing business. She has worked with clients in a variety of industries including: health and beauty, fashion, retail, manufacturing, and professional services.
Marlo Madduma

Marlo Madduma

Accountant

A graduate of Cal State Fullerton, Marlo Madduma served as a volunteer tax preparer during college and worked multiple jobs. His first industry role was at a mortgage lender, where he maintained the company’s books. This ignited his passion for accounting and how it acts as a language for understanding the health of a business.
Now as an accountant for Blueprint CFO, Marlo hopes to help clients connect to their businesses on a deeper level. When Marlo is not working, you can find him either spending time with family or playing sports.

Haley Stern

Communications

A communications executive and the founder of Haley Stern Communications, Haley Stern works with coaches, consultants & C-suite executives, serving as a sounding board, a trusted advisor, and a thought leadership & communications development resource. From communications strategy to opportunity curation, business development to podcast production, Haley believes in developing professional partnerships that elevate, educate and connect.
​In 2019, Haley earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Vermont's College of Development & Applied Economics, where she studied Public Communication & Community Entrepreneurship. Before transferring to UVM, she began her undergraduate education at Chapman University's Dodge College of Film & Media Arts, studying Public Relations, Advertising & Journalism. After graduating, Haley continued her education through New York University, where she completed the Summer Publishing Institute in 2020. In 2021, Haley returned to the University of Vermont to complete a professional certificate in Leadership & Management through the UVM School of Professional & Continuing Education.
Dan Stromberg

Dan Stromberg

Chief Financial Officer

A senior finance and business strategy leader with over 30 years of experience, Dan Stromberg has a track record of implementing efficient accounting and planning processes and providing valuable strategic insights to business partners in Fortune 100 brands, mid-size-public companies and privately held firms. Dan utilizes his broad professional skill set to help clients create sustainable value through development and execution of profitable growth strategies.
Through his various financial leadership roles, Dan brings to Blueprint an extensive background in strategic finance, including P&L, balance sheet and cash flow planning, deal modeling, M&A due diligence and integration, and board and investor reporting, as well as direct management of all accounting, reporting and control functions. In addition to his technical finance and accounting expertise, Dan has in-depth knowledge of end-to-end supply chain processes including sales & operations planning, direct & indirect materials sourcing, inhouse & external contract manufacturing, 3PL freight & distribution and global inventory management. Dan has a reputation for being a trusted strategic advisor to executive management and for working side-by-side with sales & marketing, R&D and supply chain teams to solve problems and improve business performance.

Among Dan's career highlights is his successful launch of an enterprise-wide profitability improvement initiative at a large medical device company, transforming the entire end-to-end supply chain, and driving a ten-percentage point increase in gross profit margin. To ensure timely project execution and delivery of cost savings, Dan installed a rigorous performance tracking process allowing management to maintain sharp focus on strategic programs while continuing to address regular day-to-day issues and priorities.

Dan earned his MBA at California State University, Fullerton and previously received his Bachelor of Science in Finance from California State University, Long Beach. A lifelong Californian, Dan enjoys running and mountain biking in the Orange County foothills.
John Khamis

John Khamis

Chief Financial Officer

John Khamis brings over twenty-five years of experience to the Blueprint team as a talented finance and operational leader. His strategic and innovative approach to creating financials and operational-based solutions has yielded proven and sustainable results for his clients. Coupled with his passion for financial performance and collaborative nature, his proactive leadership has been a staple to his success.
John's broad expertise stretches across various business disciplines, including; financial analysis, strategic planning, budgeting, financial forecasts, acquisitions and due diligence, capital debt financing, valuations, human resource, CRM implementations, culture transformation, general operational management, GAAP accounting, SOX compliance, and SEC reporting.

Before joining Blueprint team, John served as Vice President at The Irvine Company, leading the operations, financial services, business systems, and customer engagement teams with the primary focus to automate, streamline and scale operations to support a rapidly growing customer base. He also served as Chief Accounting Officer and SVP of Finance for NWP Services. John began his career with Ernst & Young and spent seven years in the audit & assurance business services practice. While at Ernst & Young, he serviced a diverse portfolio of clients, specializing in global and national technology and real estate companies.

John earned his MBA from the University of California, Irvine's Paul Merage School of Business, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy from the University of San Diego. Additionally, he is a licensed CPA.

Mario Abad

Controller

Mario is an accomplished accounting professional with over twenty years of experience in industries ranging from manufacturing to construction.
Mario graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a BA in Economics. He then ventured into the world of corporate accounting in a manufacturing firm, starting out as an AR assistant, entering cash receipts, filing, and assisting with miscellaneous projects. Mario worked his way up into a staff accountant role, allowing him to gain exposure to the general ledger, bank recs, account recs, financial statement analysis and presentation, etc. He realized that he could provide even more value to companies with an advanced business degree, so he went back to school to obtain his MBA, from the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine.
While the MBA provided Mario with excellent theoretical knowledge, he realized he wanted to apply this knowledge in a practical setting. He continued his quest for this application in construction, with a stop along the way in the field of distribution. Mario rounded out his accounting knowledge by learning everything he could, from process-oriented functions such as payroll to project-oriented functions like implementing ERP systems.
With his depth of both knowledge and experience, Mario has assisted various companies by implementing appropriate accounting infrastructures and installing accounting best practices. Mario is excited to continue to provide this value moving forward in his work with Blueprint CFO.

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