- Partners with more than 25 years of experience doing Business in Brazil and South America
- Involved in more than 30 start-ups and numerous business deals
- Collaborators with extensive hands-on experience
- Deep industry experience in several areas
- Strong network in Brazil, South America and Sweden
- Solid track record
- Office in São Paulo, the gateway to South America
MORE THAN AN ADVISOR
We believe in being more than an adviser, so we:
- put ourselves in the clients’ shoes, and make sure they are happy.
- prefer working as long-term partners, instead of just providing services or selling projects.
- focus on execution, to unlock the full potential of the business
- value hands-on business experience, as nice reports are no guarantee of tangible results.
- align our incentives with our clients’, by sharing investments, results and risks.
I participated in two startups during high school and continued with my first international startup before going to University.
Over the years I have taken part in approximately 30 startups, as an owner, consultant or employee. I have probably made more mistakes than most…and for this I am very grateful as I have learnt many valuable lessons. This is a selection of some of the best practices I have discovered. Many of them seem obvious, but frequently we forget to apply them.
Johan Fager, Founding Partner of Kazamax
Assemble the Dream Team
Some companies don’t give adequate attention to recruitment and to building up the right local team. Certain executives actually recruit the first persons they find and then hope they will “pick it up as they go”.
Best Practice: Recruiting the right people is a key task when starting a new business. When you have found the individuals, you should dedicate considerable time to building a well-functioning team, developing the team members, and keeping them focused and motivated.
You know what to do, but can´t get it done fast enough. There are obstacles, lack of resources, changes, etc., getting in the way and consequently the results come in below expectations.
Best Practice: Execution is not only about taking the “to do” list and start ticking off the items as fast as you can. All involved need to be aligned to the objective and the way forward. The team must be committed to the end result, having fun, working together, have the required competence and adequate resources.
Setting Up for Success
Some companies work and try hard, but never get decent results. This might be due to an inadequate setup, with limitations in structure, resources, people, prices, etc. making it hard to move forward.
Best Practice: Any business needs the right setup to succeed.
Make sure you have the essential components in place to be able to compete effectively, such as price, product, local stock, promotion, delivery times, distribution, etc.
Throw away the Gantt chart
You have a plan for the startup, but things are running late, while the costs are ticking away. Plans are often sequential and based on traditional methods such as Gantt charts, which give a false sense of control in a quickly changing environment.
Best Practice: Planning needs to be flexible, based on priorities, done as a team, with constant re-planning and continuously incorporating what the team is learning. Methods like Agile or Scrum helps the team move along at a much quicker speed during the startup.and motivated.
Sell, Sell and Sell!!!
Why aren´t we making the numbers? Operational and administrative issues seem to steal too much time from business development. Management and salespeople are spending most of their time in the office.
Best Practice: Review your daily activities, prioritize and ﬁnd ways (outsource, delegate, postpone, eliminate, etc.) to have enough time for sales activities. When you have found enough time, defend that time as if your life depended on it (because it does), while pushing your sales cadence and your sales pipeline.
Focus on the Essential
There are so many things to do in a startup and multitasking normally becomes the reality. When trying to move 10 tasks forward at the same time, you will probably finish 2 tasks, while 3 more items are added to the list.
Best Practice: Prioritize and identify the truly essential activities, then solve them one by one. Multitasking slows you down and must be avoided in order to make progress on the most.
Know your Customer
Yes, we all believe in the importance of customer focus and we say things like “The customer is always right…even when he is wrong”. Nevertheless, for many companies’ customer focus has not been properly understood or implemented.
Best Practice: Take it to the next level. Identify how your client sees the business, their goals, what they value, main concerns and which are their key purchasing criteria. Then build trust and help the client move towards his goals (while you move the sales process forward).
Watch Your Back
Some companies don’t have adequate control of their operation, accounting, risks and legal issues. This is easy to forget when focus is on growing the business, but the consequences can be massive if risks are not managed.
Best Practice: Make sure to set up a basic Governance process, controlling the main risks (Tax, HR, Legal, etc.) while also reviewing Business issues on a regular basis.