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By Stefania Aulicino

Do you spend your time focused on growing your company’s best future? Or are you really relegated to just focusing on today’s immediate needs? Is there a tug of war between short term cash flow and long term big profits? Between survival today and quantum leap success tomorrow? It’s the business builders’ challenge.

What is your passion-driven growth? Consider your revenue today; what is your profit margin on your current level of sales? Now, project out 5 years capturing all your best profit making opportunities. What is your revenue out 5 years from now? What is your new profit margin? Is it 1.5x, 2x or more bigger than today? So, what’s holding you back?

3 Stages of growth. You are a successful business owner with a passion to make a difference in the world. You had a salaried job, but you saw a better way to serve your clients. Your commitment to excellence drove you to break out. You are a special breed- a business owner, ready and willing to build a future only you could see. Your reputation, integrity and laser focus is paying off. Your innovative products or services delivered better than you promised and word of mouth has resulted in raving fans who encourage others to buy, because your solution is that important to them; sales and profits followed. You remember with fondness stage 1 of the passionate entrepreneurs’ growth stage: Passion dictated every decision. The team culture was cohesive. Such a pure message and experience in the marketplace fueled the early years of the company’s growth. Instinctively, at stage 1 you pursued a passion-driven growth strategy.

Then came the terrible 2’s- the 2nd growth stage. When your business gets to about $3 million in sales you start to experience serious growing pains. You won’t know this at stage 1 but in that range of $3 million or so, if you have not thought it out and put in place the elements you need, you will start to experience a serious problem –you are at risk of losing your focus, your passion, your control. During this stage of the terrible 2’s, to support your growing client base, you invest in infrastructure; hire staff, invest in technology and equipment. The company becomes a hungry child, and you are forced to take on any business that helps offset the cash flow demands of your growing organization. The problem at Stage 2 is a cash-flow driven growth strategy which puts you in a terrible position for getting cash on your terms- you are at risk of losing control.

Accepting a cash-flow driven growth strategy over a passion-driven growth strategy takes a company that could be massively successful and makes the business owner struck at a plateau. To be controlled by your access to cash is never good. Fortunately, it’s never too late to make a change. The good news is that no matter where you are, if you are at $3 million, or you have persevered under incredible stress and duress and you are now $10million or even $30million in revenue, the good news it’s never too late to put the critical elements in place.

At stage 3 you are at a critical juncture for your company. Will your passion and vision dictate your future, or will the bean counters dictate?

Ask the BANK “We’ve dedicated all our personal credit and assets to the bank to support the company. We can’t get any more credit; our personal guarantees are to the hilt. If the bank would lend us money to grow, we would not be having this conversation! But it is clear we will not get to our goal with our current bank.”

Ask other people “I’ve tried to get other sources of cash many times. We are inundated by low level consultants, merchant banks and advisors. They promise the world – demand fees up front and then run. We’ve been burnt too many times. The sources they come up with want too much ownership and don’t even offer the amount of money we really need to make the difference. My trust is spent.”

There are 2 worlds: the 98% vs 2% 98% of business owners operate in a world where getting cash to grow means they have to beg. 98% of business owners operate in a world where getting cash to grow means giving up the thing they value most, after their dream for their company…. the autonomy to operate as they see fit: Control. Yet 2% of the business owners operate in a different world and actually get large sums of money to grow their company and keep control- of their ownership and their destiny.

What is the difference? The difference is the Missing ELEMENT. It takes a different approach to get a different outcome. The missing element is Control: Not just money to fuel your future: Cash And Control to meet your company’s present needs, foreseeable growth needs, AND the growth you have yet to envision!

98% of business owners can ONLY get cash if they don’t care how much they have to give up for it. If you want to get money and keep control, you need the MISSING element- Control and I’m the only one with a system to show you how to do it. It’s time and market tested. It works for $5 or $10 or $25 million of institutional private debt and/or equity; and it works for $50,000, $100,000, $500,000 or a million of debt and/or Angel funding.

You see I’m different from others you have dealt with in this arena. Has anyone else ever offered you access to cash that keeps you in control to grow the future you want?

Who is Stefania? Like you, I am a fellow business owner; a visionary; an entrepreneur. So, I speak your language. After personally experiencing the pain of losing control of my first company to investors, I spent 15 years on Wall Street learning everything I needed to know about how to get cash and keep ownership control, as an undercover business builder. My 2 takeaways are:
• only ownership control assures your ability to determine your future
• Value is in the eye of the beholder, so the highest valuation is a confirmation you have identified the best source of funding- one that sees your future and values YOUR ability to get there (regardless if the source is debt or equity).
I share what I learned for myself with fellow business builders like you, so you don’t have to practice on yourself; I am a make it happen coach, from discovery to delivery to driving your optimum success.
Unlike others in this industry, we are not silo-ed in just the analysis, or just the strategy: nor just one kind of money. I am both a growth strategist and funding expert because growth and funding are integrally related so we consider the gamut of funding (from bank to non bank debt, equity both Angel and venture capital or private equity);We are not quick in and out: ours is a relationship to ensure your success. Unlike national brand name firms, you don’t get wined, dined and sold by the gray haired Managing Director with the rolodex, only to have the 25 year old analyst show up, who has only questions, and no answers, diverting your time from building the value you intend to sell: you deal with me and my 30+years of successful business building. I only work with people like you- who have a BIG future. My clients operate in a wide spectrum- high tech, low tech, service and manufacturing. I select only a handful of clients who are really focused on achieving their full potential and grow our own clients. I succeed because they do. The Cash And Control System works for all kinds of money.

Do you really want to pursue your passion to build the business you know is possible? What’s holding you back? What are the key obstacles? Time? People? Money?
 Not enough information to make confident decisions: a fear of making the wrong decision;
 fear of loss of control- fear of outsider influences;
 insufficient resources to capture all your best profit making opportunities; to hire the best talent.
The 4 stages of the Cash And Control System, measured in days, address all these issues:
DISCOVERY includes the analysis and strategy of your choices and options of cash and control to meet your current growth needs, your foreseeable growth needs and growth you have YET to envision.
DESIGN-package your FUTURE value to monetize with customers, vendors as well as funding sources.
DELIVERY- 2 phases of resources that want YOU in control:
-cash with no fees: we always start with low hanging fruit including non-bank debt, bank debt, non-equity and Angel equity.
-Cash with fees: Venture Capital and institutional debt and equity, only when appropriate for your next level of profitable growth.
DRIVE- maximizing your passion-driven profitable growth, faster, safer than you thought possible.
The result is Cash And Control for the company you know is possible.
Each of the 4 steps has their own outcome, time frame and price. At the end of each you are in possession of all the information you need to take action on your own, or you can take advantage of my expertise. Based on your experience of the outcome at each step, you control the process, with confidence.

98% or 2%. There really are 2 worlds:
• conventional or unconventional
• normal or extraordinary
• average or rare
• reactive or pro-active
• cash flow driven or passion driven
The future is your choice: which world do you want to operate in to grow your business?

98% without my help
98% of business owners struggle despite their passion, and a market that wants more of what they have to offer; they are profitable (on paper) but can only get funding based on yesterday in a collateral world which is insufficiently to finance their future, a future which is much much bigger than their past.
98% let the bean counters decide their growth options;
98% don’t hire, or invest in technology to become more efficient- work is stressful, disorganized;
98% are not building on all their unique strengths to profit from all of their best profit-making opportunities;
98% allow cash flow growth to dominate and put their culture at risk, their innovative reputation begins to slip.
98% of business owners don’t even recognize huge profit-making opportunities that pop up every day, blinded by their lack of confidence of the funding to make them real.
98% practice on themselves. The title of “serial entrepreneur” is not necessarily a complement. On average, the visionary founder/ successful business builder has already failed 2 times before, having put all his/her effort, time, reputation and family at risk –and failed twice, before….if they are luck … succeeding with a third company. Check the details next time you hear about an “overnight success story”!

You can make your cash flow problems go away if you just stop growing! The only reason you need cash is because you are investing in new hires, software, and technology to position your company for that future in the twinkle of your business builder’s eye. You are top heavy for today, as the bedrock for building that future. But to feed that infrastructure today, you cannibalize that future—just for the moment– you rationalize to yourself.
98% suffer the curse and the blessing that no prudent business owner will exceed their cash flow, so they stop nurturing their passion-driven growth, all together.

Where do 98% of business owners look for help?
CPAs, experts at documenting the past, are history-focused;
Investment Bankers are current focused: what is your current EBIDA?
Lawyers are experts at risk- aversion.
In contrast, as a fellow business builder, I know you intimately personally and professional. I have worked with business owners over 3 decades-in booms and busts.

You see I’m different from others you have dealt with in this arena. Has anyone else offered you access to cash that keeps you in control?

2 % with my help. 2% of business owners actually get large sums of money to grow their company and maintain control. This 2% access the power of the missing element: control, to be able to get the money they want to grow the business of their dreams. My clients and I chose to operate in the quantum leap zone. My clients are in the 2% world where they get cash on their terms.
The 2% that have free time to think strategically, to see and prioritize their best profit-making opportunities.
The 2% that attract cash that WANTS them in control and liberates their passion–driven, future growth.
The 2% that pursue their best profit-making opportunities to:
• expand geographically to reach more clients nationally and globally
• introduce new products and services; selling more to existing clients and capturing new ones
• invest in additional technology for greater efficiency (to do more with less)
• increase capacity, with the right talent and equipment, to address new demand being uncovered.
These opportunities are not wishful thinking because now you can access the right resources to build upon your unique strengths which include:
• the excellence of your team/management
• loyal and repeat customers
• an excellent reputation in the marketplace
• proprietary and/or highly efficacious product/service

Clients tap my expertise to access the missing element- Control. When the Missing element – Control- is in place, you can pursue your passion with cash on your terms so you are no longer at odds for today vs. your true vision. You don’t have to sacrifice your future to stay in business near term. You can do what is best for today, and have the right resources to methodically implement for tomorrow. Your vision is the guiding force, the team is empowered, your customers are clear on your expertise and want you to succeed. As you maximize revenue today, you are well positioned to accelerate your growth to tap and leverage the full force and potential of your business concept. My clients get cash on their terms: Cash And Control: You Can Have Both. That’s why my clients achieve their 5 and 10 yr business strategies in 2-3 years. They live in the 2% world.

Clients tap my expertise for getting cash that wants YOU in control. It’s a 4 step process, measured in days.
But I don’t expect you to suspend disbelief, so I provide you a FAST experience of it: Step 1 provides you the entire game plan, based on your unique situation. While it takes 3 days of my time it only takes a few hours of yours. At Step 1 you can immediately execute it on your own, or take advantage of my expertise. The future is your choice, and I am here to make sure you get the Cash And Control you deserve.

Stefania Aulicino, president of CapitalLinkUSA ensures business owns get cash to keep control of a bigger, more profitable company, faster, safer than they ever thought possible- in any economy. Become a magnet for non equity and equity sources to fuel your growth. Explore our tools, solutions and consulting options tailored for different growth stages and different budgets: