Jonathan Gass, the Founder and CEO of Nomad Financial, grew his company’s revenue from $485,000 in 2014 to $3 million in 2017, a 519% increase.
Nomad Financial provides complete tailored finance solutions for high-growth companies.
In this interview with Eversprint‘s Malcolm Lui, Jonathan shares how he and his team accelerated their high value sales by:
- Focusing on the New York City and Boston markets.
- Expanding their service offerings.
- Generating referrals by delivering high quality service at a fair price.
Malcolm Lui: Welcome to the High Value Sales Show of Eversprint.com. I'm Malcolm Lui, the Managing Member of Eversprint, and today we're speaking with Jonathan Gass, the Founder and CEO of Nomad Financial, a provider of complete tailored finance solutions to high-growth companies. Welcome to the call Jonathan.
Jonathan Gass: Great to be here
Malcolm Lui: Jonathan, you grew your company's revenue from $485,000 in 2014 to $3 million in 2017, a 519% increase. Before we talk about how you grew your company so fast, can you briefly share what your company does beyond my quick intro, and how your company differs from the competition?
Jonathan Gass: Yes absolutely happy. Dive in a little bit so you know first of all I appreciate being here. And you know the intro spot on to elaborate a bit further. No Matt works with clients through three key areas. We provide accounting bookkeeping services we do tax and tax advisory and then we also consult for businesses as their CFO through a Taylor finance group. Our clients range in size given the very large variance of services we provide. Our clients range in size from being the smallest just getting off the ground and needing tax support all the way through preparing for exits and our consulting and tax teams are ensuring that they're maximizing their value as they do that. But I'd say that overall our sweet spot of clients we work with have just started to raise institutional money or they're bit into it and they're starting to build and scale operations for that growth and they recognize that their financial operations are not quite ready for that stage of the business and they'll bring it to us as professionals to support that piece as they begin to scale
Malcolm Lui: We share. How big these companies are in terms of revenue or in terms of investment size that they received
Jonathan Gass: Yeah. Ignoring the kind of like the low and high end of the range I think most most declines we work with have raised anywhere from three quarters of a million dollars a million dollars on the low end of the high end. We have clients who raise an extra one hundred million dollars who are growing at quite a different pace and whose operational needs are different. But I'd say that if you if you're to build a bell curve of where our clients fall I'd say you'd see the most between having raised five and twenty five million dollars
Malcolm Lui: And what kind of revenue with these companies have at this juncture.
Jonathan Gass: Yeah. Some some are pro revenue they're building a product that isn't quite being monetized yet and then you'll see on the other end you'll see companies that you know whose revenues do exceed you know tens of millions and then over a hundred million dollars. But I think again our sweet spots probably where the revenue is you know is real it's an excess of seven figures and probably the eight figures this is where we typically see our clients
Malcolm Lui: Ok. Now the clients you looking to work with here especially the pre revenue ones you don't consider them obviously you don't consider it too risky to work with but there there's a argument that maybe if you focus on ones that have more revenue and a more of a proven product that has market acceptance that then the risk of the clients not paying you would be much lower. What's their take on that
Jonathan Gass: Yeah. So I think it really depends on the type of business it is the space they're in and how they plan on financing and growing that business right. There are definite businesses where it makes sense to work with and we do work with highly profitable companies that are are focused on on profits and selling off of on profits. But then you will find companies that have developed products that haven't quite figured out their monetization model. But given the space around whether it's consumer facing this consumer facing technology for instance where they're trying to build a large moat there it's you know they're scaling fast. They're raising a lot of venture capital support that growth wherever we do I think that the supposition is that the thesis behind the structure the company is that they're going to be a flip monetization on later but for now their biggest focus is on growth and Shiva and things such as network effects or or brand recognition
Malcolm Lui: Right. And I imagine by working with these smaller companies one in 10 or one in 20 are going to really nail it and then it will grow rapidly and you'll participate in that growth as well.
Jonathan Gass: Absolutely not. And to be clear they're not using all of our services right at a smaller company may only be using us to stay up to date on the tax compliance and possibly doing accounting bookkeeping whereas the larger clients the needs and support providers much deeper much much larger
Malcolm Lui: Right now can you share a bit on what the three drivers were of your growth when you went from four hundred eighty five thousand dollars in 2014 to three million. Three years later in 2017
Jonathan Gass: Yeah. So that first year is pretty much our are truly first year in business. We've been open a number of months before that but we're focused on getting off the ground and you know we really started building our brand in the New York City market which is where we're headquartered and where I've spent now over 13 years focused in the New York City texting. My partner has a has a similar background experience. So we started really going out and taking our relationships and focus on how do we support these founders who need financial support. How do we support investors whose portfolio businesses need it and you know it's a lot of early on as a lot of doorknocking emailing texting attending events right. Doing the little things that you know when you're bigger you might not always do the same way. But early on it's the it's the Africa put in a really start to start getting off the ground. But you know I would say in terms of drivers you know what you probably see for us are geographic expansion and service expansion or to the bigger ones. Most of our clients initially were based in New York. We now have that office in Boston. We've also had team members who have been in other cities. At one time or another working with companies and our clients now not only are are across the US but they're also international companies that have opened up American operations need support as well.
Jonathan Gass: So I think that's that geographic piece. And then on in terms of service we initially launched we're just this year doing the CFO consulting practice and then we added accounting in that first full year and then we've later added on tax a couple years after that. So we're able to continue to find ways to add more value to our clients and support them and additional additional methods that they will find the market to be unsuitable for their needs. And you know there's a lot of things like go into that but you know for us we know we came into this launch Nomad is is a place it's all these pain points for founders who know they need to find support but didn't know exactly what they needed and didn't know what it should cost did not much time to take. We wanted to add transparency and simplicity that process for being all support this piece of the business while they focus on products and the other pieces that you know there are other operational pieces they need to make sure are are being executed well in order to support the growth that they want. So those are probably the two the two biggest ones. And then the third one is you know there's a level of organic growth right hiring another sales person to further develop our relationships providing high quality work that generates referrals back to us. These things all kind of play off each other.
Malcolm Lui: Right. Got it. Now can you talk a little bit about geographic expansion now. Is that limited by having boots on the ground where your clients can see the people or are you able to work virtually and your clients can be anywhere.
Jonathan Gass: That's a really great question. I think that traditionally people saw businesses either where you're focused having on an inside sales force where all your salespeople sit in one room they're doing a lot of phone calls out of emails it's inbound they're not having go meet people in person many of your outside sales where people are you know boots on the ground in those markets shaking hands and I think it's a little bit more blurred than it used to be. We definitely are skewed towards the boots on the ground on the sell side. We do believe this is a relationship business. And early on in any relationship we do think Face Time matters. But you know a lot of the work we do is remote. It's not only more efficient for our team to do. It's more cost effective for our clients. And you know a lot of times you get past a certain stage of the work and it's just easier to do that. But being able to see people face to face definitely matters it's a trust business. And so while technology is facilitated. A path in which we're not always there in person where you can have a distributed workforce you know we we are our team is primarily in the New York office but our consulting team is always balancing clients that despite having a tech in place there is something we set about about that that you see people eye shaking their hand sitting in a room with them and be a little get worked on and you know at a faster speed because because you're working with each other in the same physical space
Malcolm Lui: So right now you're in New York. You don't work in Boston. What other areas are eating working where you have boots on the ground.
Jonathan Gass: Yeah I mean at different times you've had people in L.A. and San Francisco and I think we'll you know we'll be back there a certain point where we know we continue to. Invest in those in those markets you know. But our strong are built quite the moat around New York in the space ran and in Boston the team we have in Boston as well and really support that ecosystem. And I think we'll you know geographically be able to kind of invest more into those markets us as we grow. But you know we've been trying to be you know more recently lost appears to be more thoughtful about what geographic growth looks like in being all test different species around that. Whereas before I think we're a little ambitious and you know got you know found salespeople in different markets. But you can run into challenges where you have a salesperson on an island. The teams out there it's just a little bit more challenging.
Malcolm Lui: Right and so the boots on the ground are just salespeople or also have account managers and or consultants as well.
Jonathan Gass: So in Boston for instance are our tax teams primarily based there. And so for us that's you know that allows us to develop deeper relations with the clients there they're getting to see those folks face to face along with our salesperson that is there in our business it's really hard. You don't have a traditional sales team where one person's closing the sale and then they're handed off later to an account manager to run. There's so much trust being built initially in relation being initially built by the sales people that we actually aren't you know we focused on keeping the same person involved. As a salesperson and a commander throughout the life of the relationship along with Wall deliveries happenings that way the clients still going back to the same person or team they have that trust in relation with if they're upset about something or if something were wrong or even to just pass along good news when you know when they're really happy we get it. Have that salesperson go back and sure share that positive news and positive feedback back with team
Malcolm Lui: Ok. So in Boston you have a tax team of a salesperson you're based in New York so I assume you have a lot of boots on the ground there. Now you said briefly L.A. attempts to scale that you mean does that mean that you have people there at one point in and currently you don't
Jonathan Gass: We had salespeople and we've had some consultants who on our consulting team on our our CFO consulted team. We've had those markets at different times but you know as we've seen one of the things that happened for us is that our model shifted to where most of our CFO consults a team we've moved in-house although we do have some exceptions but we personally move the team in-house that such that a wave a little bit from having the consultants remote but it's still something we do opportunistically. And then we've had salespeople in those markets as well who have helped us go in develop really key relationships and then we a lot of times we've been able to support those relations and in the long run from New York. But I think at times it will make sense for in time it makes sense for us to go back into those markets and reinvest in them as well.
Malcolm Lui: Right. I was just from looking at your total revenue. You had so far and you haven't done the numbers I imagine you've got to have a lot of opportunity still in New York and Boston alone before you really expand too much further.
Jonathan Gass: Absolutely. And I think that was one of the one of the decisions we made was let's we should definitely focus on going deeper in New York. It's a farm. It's a far higher hour I'd put our time effort here than focus on other geographic markets. I think you know we wanted it. We didn't want ignore any kind of low hanging fruit in those markets. But in terms of real investment it makes a lot more sense to focus in New York right. It's a gigantic market. There's a lot going on here. There's
Malcolm Lui: Yeah
Jonathan Gass: A lot of businesses both startups and small small living sized businesses that we can work with
Malcolm Lui: Yeah yeah. Another company I recently interviewed they chose to start with the New York market as well. And they know it's super competitive but the opportunities in New York are just enormous.
Jonathan Gass: Exactly.
Malcolm Lui: Now for your second driver service expansion but Mitchum out at finding more ways to add more value to the founders of the companies. How do you go about finding new ways to add value.
Jonathan Gass: Yeah you know the easiest ways listening. Funny enough right. A lot of times you don't. It's not that hard to see what's needed you know a good example of what led to nomad was I was the first head of finance and business development you know when I left I started working with founders and you started seeing the same themes. They knew they needed financial support but they struggled they struggled with finding the right help they'd have a board member who would they need help with modeling the ordering might tell them oh you should find a controller and the controls actually role you need for that. And so as I gotten more of all these companies I said OK these guys needs to stretch strategic support from financial expert and that's what led us to launch you know mat but suddenly you know to be a really good CFO you know that your companies need accurate financials. And when we are testing different options the market some that we're more heavily tech based or off shore and based we tested some where they are like service space but they're kind of mom and pop shops. We just found the demand insufficient. We're like well we can't do a good job.
Jonathan Gass: What does a good job look like and what would that look for our clients. And that's what led us to hire our first accountant and then she'd build up a pretty significant team supporting clients for that. And you know in the in that accounting space you knew that there's you really get accounts out there but you look at either the Big Four or the Big Four folded in terms of these accounting firms that want to touch the day to day accounting they specialize in tax and audit and valuations and the day to day accounting is just not on the radar they're not built to support that kind of work and their prices aren't reasonable. If that's your you're trying to get done that makes that all make sense. Their business model makes complete sense for what they're doing but that leaves these companies on the cold. So we said OK let's add that for county and then what we started seeing was the same issue for tax. We wanted to handle tax our clients off of their tax needs to companies that do it ourselves and all other firms we worked with as they got bigger and they got more successful the minimum filing fees that they did want each year to be a relevant client for them kept growing growing higher and moving up.
Jonathan Gass: And so you suddenly have these really attractive series A Series B companies know but they're filing fees might only be 4000 or 5000 on the year and that's not enough to be on the radar of these bigger firms or at the same time they would be for those bigger firms because they say oh here's a growth opportunity but now you're the smallest clients okay. The least important client from a revenue basis to these much larger firms. And so we had a choice we either hand them off to these one off CPA folks whose work or quality we couldn't really trust or were going to do it ourselves. And we've reached a point we said let's do this ourselves. We can provide this better. And so I think when you start to listen and see the needs that your clients are experiencing sometimes you'll you'll help fill those needs in by finding other search service providers that are out there and doing quality work. And sometimes you'll decide that the best way is to do it yourself.
Malcolm Lui: Right. So what do you think will be the next service that you'll be adding that you're seeing people ask for that. The founders it
Jonathan Gass: It's a great question. I think I'll give way to that quite yet. That's stuff that we're not we're not doing ourselves. Lisa we're not taking a market. But I do think there's ample opportunity space for ourselves and for our competitors to you to figure out how to grow and provide additional service to what we're doing. I think the biggest trends though that are driving this in many ways is technology you go back 30 years. You needed to have an account full time in the office working their way through your financials and even 10 to 15 years ago. Even the software was still locally based on a on a server. And now you have for the last five years all the accounting is done in the cloud. You're using additional peripheral services that plug into that software such as expensive by your bank account feeds or plug in the accounting software so it as you know it adds a lot of enablement to driving efficiency within the process and suddenly I don't need a full time person. And I think that's driving a huge part of what's allowed this. You know these services that we provide in that our competitors provide to continue to grow and flourish. Right and it makes it more enticing for a company to go I don't need 70 full time doing this quite yet. Right. I'd be over. I'd be overpaying if I hired a full time CFO so early. And I'm far from exit and it doesn't. You know based on responsibilities I want to give them outside of just finance it doesn't make sense.
Malcolm Lui: Right. Exactly. For the third driver you talk about organic growth. Talk about how you hired a salesperson talk about referrals. Can you elaborate elaborate a bit more about the organic growth and what you might have done to help stimulate that
Jonathan Gass: Yeah. You know nothing matters in terms of trying to go after organic growth. If what you're promising on your sales process doesn't align with what you deliver. Right. So let's start there. Right. The key is ensuring that you're providing a high quality service as you promised within the cost expectations of what you've set with your clients. And if you do that those clients will walk round and be positive influencers for you. They're gonna tell the people about how they're successful and who helps them and who is helping them. And you're one of them right. So they'll recommend the lawyer they use to get their country off the ground and then negotiate contracts. Want to talk about the financial services firm that has provided key support both strategic and operational. Right. And they'll talk about the marketing firm that help them figure out how to grow and spend money effectively. And so you know if you go in and you don't deliver you know what's the point of hunting referrals when that person can't stick their reputation on the quality work you're going to do. Right. That's what we call it. Right we were for our clients to focus all the time when they need support from other places. And I you know my team is not going to take both their individual our company brands and my own personal reputation you know on a provider who we don't trust.
Malcolm Lui: Right
Jonathan Gass: And so it's all about the work. And if you do good work right at a good price or call it a fair price that means the immediate expectations your clients they're going to be happy to tell people about you
Malcolm Lui: Right. Okay got it.
Jonathan Gass: Because
Malcolm Lui: In
Jonathan Gass: I mean everything comes in there's still some work to do that continue to drive those referrals in your business right. There is there is a an outgoing piece of activity you have to take in but you know it doesn't. That won't be effective if you're not doing good work.
Malcolm Lui: Right. You also mention when you're sharing the drivers by hiring a salesperson you talk more about the your thoughts about hiring a salesperson and perhaps maybe the marketing you executed as well to help support the salesperson
Jonathan Gass: Yeah I you know I think for us early on the key was finding somebody to handle the different pieces of sales which is a challenge when you're bigger. Right when you're much bigger firm or company and you're doing sales you're really carving up the different pieces of a sales organization. You have someone who goes out there and is going to attract leads you have a different person who may be screening those leads for for ideal clients and then you have someone who's going to focus their time on closing those leads. But early on when we are really tiny firm and just getting started you know the first salesperson I hired who was you know who was really wonderful for us his name was deep Cattrall and you know he could handle a number of different factors he's very good at developing those relationships and filling the top his funnel and he did his own outbound marketing he does on outbound e-mails all the way through being able to close you know in different pieces of that I would come in and support him to to make sure that we were getting things through the final and across the line. So it ends up that way. He didn't think he was on an island but I think the key for us early on was having some of that role as we've grown and we've been able to kind of bring in a lot more inbound clients through all the other hard work we've done over the years. Right. My biggest focus is ensuring that the people that are myself people are really strong closers right and we've used different methods for getting the leads and conversations but if they're not strong closers for us the investment in the first piece isn't worth it.
Malcolm Lui: Right. You talk about what you're what you've done so far to generate leads that the sales people
Jonathan Gass: Reviled I mean I've. We've done so many different things. You know I think there's traditional things in the space that you know you read about and still you know still lead you in the right direction. Right. Everywhere from hosting events and seeing on panels as a way to display expertise all the way through you know your your allowance attending a lot of events being in the community being at the same events as other founders and decision makers who will help decide on who they bring on when they need the support is an important piece the legwork to get those to those out the door and then we've leverage different service providers and technologies to process our outbound strategies along with investing in content to folks you know to ensure that when people are looking for services like our own that they find us
Malcolm Lui: Right now. I did a little bit of the checking out of your paper kit campaigns and your CEO activity. I didn't see a lot on that front Either. My tool is totally wrong or you're using a different domain for or both. Now are you doing much paper stuff right now in SC or
Jonathan Gass: Not much on the paper click on the SVOD side we have we have you know invested in content and developing it. Some of it is the more truthful means some of it. We will try to stay ahead of the curve on on social channels that get in front of the right folks eyes and it's kind of a reminder along with using email campaigns. I think there's always more work we could do we've done a you know a strategic session ourselves on where we want to do for 20 19 as our our next step on driving and driving that. But on the paper flip side We've know we've done tests a couple of our partners and to date it's really been hard for us to see you know the way that we would we'd expect on the spend we are putting into it.
Malcolm Lui: Yeah. Paper click is challenging me at the very beginning. I think you need to enter with a mindset of If you're buying data right to learn what's working what's not working
Jonathan Gass: Absolutely. I think the funny thing for us is you know if you know we were in e-commerce play and we knew that the volume and the market size for the kinds of people we've gotten sell to was a massacre like OK I'm I'm selling for you know shopping no parents right there's 40 million parents in the U.S. or twenty five I have no idea the number is right. So I don't know. Nobody listens and quotes and it's like oh that's a huge market I large. You know where you might run test against tens of thousands of people knowing that when you find out you can later optimize for you know for those millions of parents are out there right. And that's why a lot of consumer businesses do raise capital is because eventually they start to figure out are seat gains or sell TV's and go to market and spend against that. I think the challenge for us is when we start to carve up the actual targets that people we go after the list isn't so large that you can continue to advertise things effectively. Right. They're only so many founders of companies that fit our profile or CFO or controllers who are looking for services like ours that we know after a lot of times market is not the most effective channel to reach them remarking ubiquitous.
Malcolm Lui: Right now can you share what your profile is of the founders and CFO and CEOs that you're targeting
Jonathan Gass: Yeah I mean it's it's there I think to go back to the beginning of you know of our interview it's it's those companies who have you know raise enough capital or have generate enough revenue to make sense for us that they can afford. The bulk of our services right if you're just you know if you're just using us for tax return is not quite ideal if you're going to use us for some level of adviser on tax and accounting and possibly our our CFO consulting then starts to make more sense and so know you're looking at these these folks out there whose companies have a right size and scope for us right versus where you start to look at service providers are much much larger than us who work with much larger businesses and take on different pain points. Those businesses experience our team currently serves
Malcolm Lui: Right. So you said before that the list of these people just isn't that big. How big a list are you talking about here. Is primarily in New York and Boston every hundreds of people really
Jonathan Gass: Yeah I mean I think if you if you will like for example if you're to look at Founders you've raised a seed a series a or series B over the last two to three years in New York and Boston you know you're talking into the single digit thousands
Malcolm Lui: Okay
Jonathan Gass: Right. That's that's dot your target list there.
Malcolm Lui: Right.
Jonathan Gass: I think our target list can be bigger than that but you're not you're not talking tens of thousands of companies here
Malcolm Lui: Yeah I totally understand
Jonathan Gass: Our goal and our goal isn't you know there are people in our space you know whose goals are to go after every little tiny initial client right you know if you decide to you know to start a company or start a small business maybe it's just do you consult on your own and you go to soc doc to create your LLC and that's on using like 1 800 accounts like 1 800 pounds they're trying to offer every little scrap a real piece and they want to you know get a little bit of modernization on everybody right. And then they're talking millions of business owners who exist every year. You start a business and you know 50 percent of businesses won't be around in five years. Right. That is not. Our target our target market right. Our target market to the folks who have a clear path of growth and they're not just gonna be a one or two person shop but they really want to grow something significant and grow their business and they know that they need support and expertise to get their
Malcolm Lui: Right. But hard to quantify that at
Jonathan Gass: Yeah.
Malcolm Lui: The very beginning right.
Jonathan Gass: Yeah. There are some but you know we did an exercise like when I before I started nomad both my partner independent of each other did exercises to assess the size of the market and how big the opportunity was in New York alone where we were starting to say is it worth doing this. And we confirm for ourselves it was worth doing. And that was with data five after single down in New York City Market was smaller. So it made sense for us to do it. And over time we've not confirmed it was a good decision.
Malcolm Lui: Right.
Jonathan Gass: You know I think you don't think 5000 list is one of those pieces of confirmation you know. But at the same time we're always looking where does our you know where is our next range of growth come from. How big can this be and how do we get there
Malcolm Lui: Right now earlier in the conversation you mentioned you and your partners did a 2019 strategy session but can you share with us about your 2019 plans
Jonathan Gass: It's a it's a good question. I hadn't thought about coming on here what what I don't want to share. I think the big things for us that were always constant thinking about don't give us an overarching theme that we know now that we think about when we set our strategy sessions. There's two sides it for us this is a business and precludes a business based on human capital. There is going back to I think some things we talked about already what do our clients need right. Where are there additional ways for us to leverage our expertise and add value to what our clients are already doing. There are churches or folks who could join our team and lend their expertise. All right. Where are those and where are those companies that we should be focused on right. Are there additional markets that we should be thinking about. I think that's one piece of it. And also what needs are changing our dynamic right. If you think about you know finance teams of 20 18 leading 20 19 like there were some tax law changes that affected a lot of companies right in making sure that we were prepared to support those companies is a big part of that. And then I think the other side of the equation is a company where human capital is what you are right I don't I don't have a product right.
Jonathan Gass: My people leave. There's not like a product left behind right. They're providing service is what's what. You know what makes Nomad the most exciting place for them to work. What is providing them the growth trajectory that they want to be on. Personally professionally within this space. And those are themes that we have to think about too. Right. Because if our team isn't happy and excited and motivated to come to work every day right then we're not going to deliver good products and fulfill those needs for our clients. And I think part of the beautiful thing was as you grow over time as you get better at identifying talent you get better attracting good talent. If you're doing it the right way and you know for us building a an amazing culture where people to work is a big part of that and we're continue to do things I think we're gonna have a very large quantity of what examples we're going to have a very large offsite for our team and the focus on that is connection and team more so than you know strategic strategic vision and improving operations right. We have other moments and things for that works where we have a constant process to discuss those pieces. But you know if you're not investing in people right now you're you're doing something wrong.
Malcolm Lui: Right now are there any numbers that you're comfortable sharing with us at this time like percentage sales growth looking to target percentage number of additional clients you like to onboarding along that front
Jonathan Gass: Yeah it's a good question. I think one thing that we always say is you know we think that we're always looking for a pretty significant growth rate. Every year it gets harder. Write your your baseline you know in the equation of growth right. The larger denominator gets the bigger your numerator gets support 20 30 40 percent year over year growth. Right. But I think given where we are in our size and what we think we could do we're always concerned that right. Right. Something like 5 percent growth would be your view would be incredibly disappointing for us
Malcolm Lui: Yeah. Yeah I mean given the relative size of your market. I mean huge opportunity still in New York and Boston alone.
Jonathan Gass: Exactly.
Malcolm Lui: So the key share what challenges what obstacles you need to overcome to achieve a company like a growth rate of 20 to 40 percent or so revenue wise
Jonathan Gass: Yeah it's a really good question. Right. You know one is the type services are providing how those dynamically changing you know really good example for us was you know last year you know one big theme was you know the block chain and ISOs and you know they offer different coin offerings and you know part of being a service leader was making sure that we could we could cover those businesses. And so we the chance of one of our clients to perform you know along with an auditor we helped a client and a technical accounting firm we helped to Klein get through one of the first audits of a firm that had done both venture capital raised and a coin offering and get them through this audit where you know there was not there and I was in say there wasn't a lot of written rule sets that we were following an audit history there is none right. And so part of it was a really amazing opportunity for our team to kind of growth the process and take this on and take on this challenge of making sure we got this client through the the audit. But if you were simply narrowly focused and trying to do the same thing over and over again you may miss some of those opportunities as they pop up right. And so you've got to keep an eye on on market trends and where where are what industries are growing and where are the new opportunities that people are going after. And that's a big deal. And that's you know looking externally clients but also internally right. You can't grow if you're not using the right tools right. You can't grow if you're not doing the work efficiently efficiently for clients and you can't you know and that they can't trust that you're using the best products outperform them and that your team's trying to do it.
Malcolm Lui: Right. So what are the challenges you face in acquiring new clients for 2019
Jonathan Gass: I think the challenge is you know they never really away because you know it's just the speed and size of which you acquire them. You know as probably sure my my sales team knows right. You know you're great. We set a goal we achieved it. What's the next goal. The great thing is I have an awesome awesome sales team they love. They love having the next challenge in front of them and they love you. You set up yourself that target they're going to go gung ho for it and that's you know it's really an amazing thing when you have a team like that. But to achieve it we have to get you to find ways to attract the right clients to help them grow and to show them the value that we can provide not just in the immediate pain point they're solving but what comes next. Right what's the next things we can do for them. I think you know elongating the relationship with clients through the value provide is part of that right. That can drive. That's that's a driver for growth but also continue to ensure that you have your team has the capacity to take on right as a service rider.
Jonathan Gass: You can't just sell right. So I think that's got to be a clear thing. There's no such thing as just a sales organization right. When you have a tech product whether you've two clients an attack or million clients that may not change all right. But as a service provider we have support that client growth by hiring and training and onboarding really exceptional people and our team right now is exceptional. And the one thing that is a thing that all founders should know they haven't learned already is that really good talent wants to work with really good talent and if they feel like they're in a place where people don't share their ambition and their goals and their drive doctors say they're very long right. And and so you know that's that whole cultural thing we're talking about earlier is making sure that people find that their work environment is a great place to be that they're challenged and there are other people who share that drive and passion with
Malcolm Lui: Right. How about on the market. I know from what you shared before. Sounds like you are willing to experiment test out different marketing channels. What marketing channels are you theme testing out this year.
Jonathan Gass: Yeah I think you know it's a good have one thing that we never talked about earlier was also how do you there's marketing that's the marketing done digitally and that's one form of marketing. But as you know I think that some of these brands like him is going to test too right. They grew really factor when that's a consumer brand but they really effectively by going off line. Right. You know if you I think you know you walked into certain urinals at bars you'd seen advertised in a paper advertising in front of you right they thought they were really thoughtful about how they would acquire their customers and for us you know nothing beats meeting somebody face to face developing that relationship with you know with a handshake and a conversation and not a hard pitch not a sale but just you know just invest in that person and their success and knowing that that's all you care about is you know what's one of the things that are important for us to go back to your question. So I thought of that that other aspect of like how do you bring in clients. You know you've a choice right. That could mean you either spend more time meeting people and getting you know getting the right the right spaces or at conferences those moments cause those are effective drivers who bring in clients to create those moments. Right. I think that's a marketing channels you know effectively create those moments to get people together in the right places to meet the right people as opposed to just being a passenger on the ride. You're actually the driver of that experience and then you know the other piece for us will be hopefully find you know some of these Tesco possibly for us. We continue to play more and more capital them because the math is favorable to our LTV verse versus our CPA spent
Malcolm Lui: So in terms of the marketing channels that you're thinking about checking out testing out. You mentioned conferences and as being a venue for meeting people is off the channel. The thing about going to the deep Bronner this mother channels
Jonathan Gass: I think.
Malcolm Lui: At the
Jonathan Gass: So yeah I think you know we've always done that and I think it's about how do you how do you do it effectively. Right. I think if you know there's you know there's a time if you go back far enough and a growing ecosystem like New York where you know people were really hungry for knowledge and so they were turning a lot of different panels to you know as the ecosystem grew up. But now that you have a much more robust and grown up ecosystem I don't think for instance you know hosting some of these events quite attracts the people right way the same way the same way I used to and getting the same people around. And so you're finding there's a lot more events and so people saw it as an effective channel and a lot more. Everybody suddenly hosting events. There's professional businesses around it. And so something go OK. This is harder right. If I those have been it's harder to get a hundred of you know a hundred of the right targeted people in the room. Right. So you say OK that's not a good use of my time or money. Let me figure some other parts. Right and so those are you know there's the the the channel itself there's also how you attack that channel
Malcolm Lui: Right. Okay. So any other channels that look interesting to you that you haven't yet explored.
Jonathan Gass: Yeah I would say that the last thing on that is there's channels that I want to explore as the CEO and the leader of my company. But there's also the ones that I want myself seem to feel open to explore the ones that excite them and the ones that get them that get them the most energized for the space right because it's one thing for me to direct them and having take on certain things and some of the things will fit within their natural skillset or some things I need to support or another person to assume support. But ultimately if they're really excited and jazzed about something they will do themselves find a way to make it happen to execute at a high level. They all they all interact. Right. And so it's one thing for me to be excited it's something for me again to go back to that theme of Listen I brought up earlier to listen to my own team members and listen to what they think is excited where their final results and then sit supporting them and reinvesting and doubling down in those areas.
Malcolm Lui: Right. Okay. Have they mentioned a channel. That sounds pretty interesting that you haven't gone deep in yet.
Jonathan Gass: I think we're still for this year we're still in some early early phases of what we want to do and some tests are running. I think that's kind of our theme for that team I challenge I put it running for Q1 was let's find some additional challenges that you guys are excited about that we think will work and we see how they do and then based on that we'll we'll adjust our budget for us the year
Malcolm Lui: Very cool. All right three questions for you. Say you set a goal for the weekend leave New York City. You're on a freeway that's moving and you have a billboard that's out there that people only have six seconds to see what would be your billboard message
Jonathan Gass: That's a great one. You know it's funny we've gone through a few quick. We've gone through a number of different elements over time and I think you know it's where we used to be I really like you know I know this was a quick answer what we used to be was you know you focus on your business we focus your math we a really quick one do you like that. Way back in the day. What do you think now that we've refined our message around you know that we're a sort of a you know a store leaving are the leading financial services provider for high growth companies this is really who we are it's what it is and it's not sexy but it's who we are. Right it's a reactive reputation and what people need that we're going to come to.
Malcolm Lui: Right. OK. And two last questions. And you talked about this before but maybe you can recap again. Who are your ideal clients and what's the best way for them to reach out to you and your team.
Jonathan Gass: Absolutely. So our ideal clients are are companies that have either raised or are in the process of raising or close to raising confessional institutional money or they've grown profitable enough without having to raise outside money to their business to the point where they're scaling and they need some financial support in terms of scaling understanding how to do the right way what systems they need get in place what expertise do they need to bring in-house that they haven't had a leverage yet and the way they get in touch with us is twofold. They can visit our Web site w w w dot nomad financial dot com And on that side there's a forum to reach out to us. You can also email us at info at nomad financial dot com and you'll get in touch with our team there.
Malcolm Lui: All right. Fantastic. Why the name nomad financial.
Jonathan Gass: Good question. I'd say it's actually a double entendre. So the company itself we launched when we signed paperwork we're in the lobby of a hotel that no longer exists. It's actually now been replaced by another hotel if anybody's in New York City. It's the I think it's the James now it's where the Scarpetta has moved into is where the lobby used to be and it was in it's in the Nomad neighborhood. And so part of it was a geographic connection to New York and the city we were in we launched but we also love the idea that you know our our people are nomadic in nature we don't work full time for our clients we're in and out based on our needs. And so it felt like a very appropriate aim for us
Malcolm Lui: All right. Thanks for joining us today Jonathan and sharing how you accelerate at your company's high value sales
Jonathan Gass: Absolutely Thanks for having me.
Malcolm Lui: We've been speaking with Jonathan Gass, the Founder and CEO of Nomad Financial, about his company's rapid growth. For interviews with other fast growing, high value sales companies, or to learn how we can accelerate your firm's high value sales through automation, visit Eversprint.com.
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