Today we’d like to introduce you to Daniel Feiman.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Well, to start at the beginning, I began hand-making skateboards when I was 12 years old. It seemed like a great way to make a little money while having fun. What I did not know about business was “everything”, The skateboards that I was selling for $10, cost me $11. You know how that ended up. But I learned a lot; about both running a business & about myself.
Fast forward to 1996. After careers in manufacturing, marketing & commercial banking, I became frustrated at not being able to make a meaningful difference with my clients, so I founded Build It Backwards, but that was not the original firm name. The original name was so long & meaningless that it actually hurt my struggling practice. It was only after my Advisory Board backed me into a corner & demanded I changed the name to the way we work that I changed the name to Build It Backwards. The best marketing move I ever made. Everyone says, “Oh Yeah!”
We’re a strategic consulting practice. I have chosen to concentrate on 3 related areas: 1) Strategic and Succession planning & implementation; 2) Financial modeling & 3) Leadership Development/Executive Coaching. The challenge is maintaining a balance between the consulting & training segments of the practice.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Is it ever smooth? When I opened the firm we had very little direction & fewer clients. I knew I wanted to make a difference with my clients, not be “just another consulting firm”, so I dove in to understand what clients really needed. It turned out that very few were addressing the critical issues of Strategy, Finance & Leadership together. So my focus was clear; these were to be my areas of concentration.
Then there was the issue of finding clients who understood what we did, why it was valuable to them & were willing to pay for it. No easy task. I marketed; I wrote; I networked; I spoke anywhere & everywhere I could. Eventually, clients started to say yes and 22 years later, here we are.
Another challenge was the original name of the firm. I tried to get creative but failed; miserably. It was overly long; didn’t convey who we were or what we did. It had no branding value whatsoever and was hurting us in the marketplace. My advisory board kept pushing me to change the name for all these reasons. Finally, they convinced me to change it to the way we work, and Build It Backwards was born. The single best marketing decision I ever made.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Build It Backwards – what should we know?
We are a strategic consulting and training firm. Which means we go into companies, assess what their challenges are, develop solutions to the challenges, facilitate the implementation of the changes & then check back periodically to make sure they stay on track with their plan. This is consulting.
On the other hand, we get engaged to teach them what to do. We still do an assessment to determine what they need to learn, who needs to learn & how they need to learn. We build training modules, schedule the training, train them, test them & follow up to make sure the training sticks.
We specialize in working with small to medium sized companies (SME) in the areas of strategy, finance & leadership.
We are known for Turning Roadblocks into Roadmaps(SM). Or put another way, we take your challenges and turn them into opportunities for you and create your roadmap for action, metrics & results to assure success.
I am extremely proud of our track record of success with clients. When a client follows the Success Roadmap they typically earn back more than our entire fee is less than a year. So we become an investment in their success rather than a cost of doing business.
What sets us apart from others in the field is our methodology, breadth of experience, attention to detail and success rate. The client wins every time.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
The list of individuals who have helped me along my path is way too long for this article. However, suffice it to say that I owe a huge debt of gratitude to many, many people. Of particular note are my parents, grandparents, certain teachers, my wife and more recently, my advisory board. My parents taught me my basic values. My grandparents exemplified entrepreneurship.
Specific teachers/professors taught me to think; to create and to challenge the status quo. My wife (Robin) taught me to take it easy, calm down & reduce my stress. My advisory board taught me the MasterMind concept; We are all smarter than any one of us is smart.
Without each & everyone one of these people I would not be where I am today.
- Address: 200 South Juanita Avenue, Suite 312
Redondo Beach, CA 90277-3438
- Website: www.BuildItBackwards.com
- Phone: 310.540.6717
- Email: DanielFeiman@BuildItBackwards.com