This is the 22nd in a series of business tips from industry leaders that Enterprise Times has interviewed.
Enterprise Times recently interviewed Grant Halloran, CEO of Planful. Halloran shared his vision for Planful. “Our vision is to be a global company. We’re going to stay in our space, in FP&A and continue to modernise the user experience for hundreds of thousands of corporations out there that are desperate for what we provide.”
Halloran is an experienced CEO, having led and founded Orbis before he landed the job at Planful. Enterprise Times asked him what was different about joining a PE-backed firm and what tip he could offer someone doing the same thing.
“Couple of things. The first thing and this is just something that I embraced from day one. I decided to have complete transparency with my team and my backers, our owners and sponsors at Vector Capital. The first tip is to be very quick to own, recognise, acknowledge, and share problems. To have this mindset that your investors and you and your management team are together to solve problems.
“We would spend a lot of time talking about the issues and our problems that we need to fix, and a problem is defined as something we’re in a current state that will not manifest the vision and the goals that we want. We would define them and then very rapidly collaborate with our investors around that. Then we kept a really good alignment with them, and that’s something that I embraced wholeheartedly. Share awkward news quickly and openly is another tip I give to people. Be very, very fast to share bad news, and be slow to share the good news.
“Then something that we had to get better at, that we learnt. A tip for someone coming into my situation is to focus. Focus intently early on at instrumenting the business so you get as accurate a forecast as you possibly can. If you can’t forecast well, it’s really difficult to judge that you make the right judgments and decisions in the business, and course correct.
“Make sure your finance team and your department leaders are collaborating around that to create really good instrumentation and models so that you can forecast accurately. Then you’ve got to keep working at it, and you’ve got to keep getting better at it. Once we got good at that, it helped us to figure out where there were pockets of opportunity that we hadn’t seen before. It’s been a powerful learning.”