Number of Employees: < 10
I'm Chris Benjamin, the CEO of Chris Benjamin Consulting. After years of working as a controller and in technical accounting, I wanted more. I wanted to be able to work with several companies and help them solve their problems. Hence, the birth of my own consulting firm.
I focus on 3 services as a startup consultant:
Financial plans, Business Plans, Private Placement Memos. The technical, 1 time projects you need completed in order to move on to the next steps.
Part Time, contract CFO services. Once you launch, ongoing support as your virtual CFO. Use me as needed, and avoid having to hire a full time money person.
Raising venture capital. I use my contacts in the angel & vc worlds, present your company, and see if we can find your company the capital it needs to grow.
Partnering my expertise & drive to help out new and upcoming companies with your needs, we can accomplish amazing feats.
MBA Degree - Unversity of WA
BA Degree - Simon Fraser University
I couldn't be any more passionate about the start up community. Over the years as I paid my dues in the corporate world, I moved towards smaller and smaller companies, until eventually ending up as a CFO for a dot.com in their first year of operations. I had a taste and knew this was the life I wanted. The start up life. Fine tuning proformas until 2am on Christmas Eve (yes, this is true). The 14 hour days. The weekends. The ever changing business model. Chaos is the norm, and you either have it in you or you don't. I personally love it, and bringing my experience with larger, public companies to the start up environment, I am able to round out a management team nicely. Take a few visionaries, a few MBA's, a whole lot of passionate people, and you can really make something great happen.
Unfortunately, not every start up is at the point of having all the pieces of the puzzle. You have the idea, and you are the visionary. The problem is numbers aren't your expertise, and you don't know how to take all the great ideas and put them together in a concise plan to act on. You need capital and don't know where to go. Or you need someone whose been around the block to bounce ideas off of. This is where I can help.
I received my Undergraduate degree at the University of Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, B.C., Canada in 1993. During this time I also studied and passed the exams to be a licensed stock broker in Canada. Shortly after, I moved to the United States, and began my career as an accountant, ultimately becoming the Controller for several firms. Along the way I worked for both public & private companies, large and small, all the while doing minor consulting on the side. Early on I took the Series 6, 7, and 63 exams to become a licensed broker in the United States as well, as the capital markets were of interest from the start. In 2006, I received my Masters degree (MBA) from the prestigious University of Washington, a top 20 MBA school.
Wanting to focus exclusively on startup ventures and using my experience, I formed Chris Benjamin Consulting LLC officially in 2006 and left the corporate world to pursue my endeavor. Originally focusing on financial aspects - forecasting, growth, revenue generation, I realized that in working with clients I had a much more vast and broad exposure to the world of startups than I realized. I began working with people who had a great idea and the abilities to make their idea work, but needed someone with experience to guide them along the way. As such, I now am involved with all aspects of getting an idea into a solid business plan, launched, structure growth, and implement the best capital growth strategy (IPO, Venture Capital, M&A, etc.). Nothing could be more exciting than seeing a company that really has potential make it.
The list below represents a summary of the services I provide, and how I can help launch your startup. Contact me, I'm ready to help you launch.
For a description of the startup process and what is involved on a conceptional level, see my blog posting: The Path to Launching a Successful Startup.
Having a fine tuned business plan in place provides a roadmap for your company, forces you to answer the tough questions about your vision, and gives you a written document to share your vision with potential investors, employees & business associates. I can help refine your current plan, or build you a plan from the ground up. A typical plan will touch on the following aspects:
- Executive Summary
- Business Model
- Market Analysis
- Growth Strategy
- Management Profiles
- Financial Information
- Exit Strategy
Financial forecasts give you insight into how successful your business will be financially, including profit, break even, cash flow, etc. If you are pursuing equity investors, financial projections for at least 3 years will be required by the target investors. Typical projections will include the following:
- Profit & Loss Projections for 3-5 Years
- Year 1 Balance Sheet by Month
- Year 1 Cash Flow Statement by Month
- Capitalization Table
- Time line
- Break Even Analysis
- Best Case/Worst Case Analysis
Private Placement Memos (PPM)
For companies looking to raise capital from private investors, having a PPM in place will facilitate the investment process. (Also referred to as a Reg 504D). A private placement memorandum is the document that discloses everything the investor needs to know to make an informed investment decision. This includes:
- The offering structure
- The share structure of the company
- SEC disclosures about the shares being purchased
- Company information
- Information on company operations
- Risks involved with the investment
- Management information
- Use of proceeds
- Information on certain transactions that could affect the investor
- Investor suitability data
- Subscription agreement which is the actual "sales contract" for the shares of stock
Startup Capital Funding
I assist companies with finding credible investors, typically Angels or Venture Capitalists. Due to the volume of startup ventures who need assistance finding capital, this service is only available to clients of mine who I am assisting in other capacities, such as business plan drafting, financial forecasting, PPM creation, or as a virtual CFO. I want to create lasting relationships with successful companies, and focus my efforts on a select few rather than a wide spectrum. Note there is absolutely no guarantee funding will be found, and I caution all startups against anyone who tells you otherwise. Typically the process involves:
- Determine the Valuation of Your Company
- Creating Investment Options Preparing a 1 page Executive Summary
- Locating suitable investors (angels, venture capitalist, other)
- Negotiations with investors
- Finalizing Funding
Virtual, Part Time Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
My ultimate goal in helping startups is to grow them to the point of needing a CFO. I work with only a few startups at a time, helping fill the CFO on a virtual, part time basis until they grow to the point of needing someone inhouse, full time. Typical CFO duties I provide are:
- Ongoing CFO Support
- Month End Closing
- Financial Reporting & Analysis
- Accounting System evaluation of options, recommendation & implementation
- Annual Budget
- Assist Principals with decision making
- Provide an Owner sounding board for the decision making process
- Business Structure, Registration
- Decision on best business structure (sole proprietor, LLC, Corporation, other)
- Filing the necessary paperwork to create your company legally
- Obtaining any additional license & permits needed
- Business Model
- Viral Marketing
- Process Creation & Documentation
I work with the true visionary entrepreneurs of America. Dot.com's & Web 2.0 companies are who I typically work with.
Service Provider Company Name
Chris Benjamin Consulting Location
Phoenix, USA Category