Speaking Russell Benaroya - Long Bio - Stride Services

Russell Benaroya, Stride Partner

Speaker Bio

Russell began his career on Wall Street after graduating from UCSB with dual degrees in accounting and economics. Shifting his focus to entrepreneurship, he went on to receive his MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA. He has spent the last twenty years investing in private equity and as a healthcare entrepreneur, building and exiting two start-ups. In addition, he is a former Techstars graduate and a longtime member of EO (The Entrepreneurs’ Organization).

Russell’s genius zone is helping business owners achieve financial freedom. He is an experienced and strategic coach to entrepreneurs, with an emphasis in financial strategy, capital raising and organizational development. He shares his knowledge with both individual clients and groups, and previously instructed a course on healthcare entrepreneurship at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.

Russell is also a partner at Stride, an outsourced bookkeeping, accounting and HR services firm. Stride provides a broad range of back office services with an emphasis on automation and data analytics to unlock efficiency and actionable insight to drive growth and profitability. Stride knows first hand the challenges that service business owners have with finance.

When he’s not working on Stride, you can find him striding in the mountains pursuing his passion as an ultra distance trail runner. Russell currently is living in Seattle and leads Stride’s client acquisition initiatives.

5 Levers for Cash Flow and Profitability Management

Speaking Topic (2-hour in-person or webinar)
5 Levers for Cash Flow and Profitability Management

The stresses involved when profitability and cash flow are falling are significant, often at an existential level. We became entrepreneurs to build successful, long-lasting businesses. Cash flow is the foundation to sustainability, and declining cash flow and profitability can ignite organizational strife. This stress, while understandable, needs to be countered by the original reason you became an entrepreneur: financial freedom. The more money your business can earn, the more money you can invest and continue to fuel your business’ growth or use it to weather periods of uncertainty. By knowing the right questions to ask and the best actions to take, you’ll set yourself and your team up for success, and consistently be ahead of the curve.

Topics we’ll cover in this session:

  • Understanding the power of “Unit Economics”
  • Command over the difference between profit and cash flow
  • Grasping the power of labor efficiency and its impact on profit
  • Confidence in the levers that impact cash and profit
  • Tools to employ to make an impact…TODAY!

Cash is King. Improving Cash Flow in Less Than 60 Days

Speaking Topic (2 hour in-person or webinar)
Cash is King. Improving Cash Flow in Less Than 60 Days

We know the #1 rule as an entrepreneur is to not run out of money. Cash is king.
It’s pretty challenging if you have no currency to lubricate your business. Being out of money equates to being out of business. However, companies won’t grow unless they make the right investments and keep those investments working (the “flow”part of cash flow). Successful service companies understand their cash cycle, optimize it, and make decisions with conviction, supported by data, where impact can be measured. It’s bold and it’s essential when cash is king.

Topics We’ll Cover in this session:

  • Identifying and creating consistent sources of cash
  • Operationally savvy techniques to identify and use cash
  • Maximizing recurring revenue and company value
  • Methods for securing outside funding
  • Maximizing return on your labor dollars
  • Cash flow storytelling – what your cash flow says about your business

Building and Managing a Recurring Revenue Business Model

Speaking Topic (2 hour in-person or webinar)
Building and Managing a Recurring Revenue Business Model

You will not “save” yourself to success and profitability. The name of the game is growing revenue, strategically and tactically. Recurring revenue business models can give entrepreneurs better business stability that allows them to better plan, invest, and thrive. But recurring revenue models require a different mindset than project based or transaction level revenue. They also require grasping a different set of financial and operating metrics to gauge progress. When companies have a recurring revenue business engine, significant equity value opportunities exist.

Topics we’ll cover in this session:

  • What is recurring revenue
  • Various recurring revenue models and how they might apply to your business
  • The pros and cons of recurring revenue businesses
  • Understanding and calculating key unit economic metrics
  • Grasping the sensitivity of key levers like churn and lifetime value
  • Untangling bookings vs. billings vs. revenue vs. deferred revenue
  • Knowing the questions and communicating expectations of your bookkeeping service provider.

Using Financial Statements to Make Better Business Decisions

3-Hour Workshop
Using Financial Statements to Make Better Business Decisions

Deep inside your financial statements (income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement) you will find the keys to unlock important strategic decisions in your business. But it is a puzzle that needs to be teased out and formatted correctly so that the solution will reveal itself. Business owners know that the language of business is accounting but putting that into practice can be a major energy drain. In this workshop, we will work through asking (and answering) some of the most sought after questions.

Topics we’ll cover in this session:

  • How are the financial statements connected?
  • What are the top 10 financial jargon terms I need to know?
  • How quickly can I grow if I am self financing growth?
  • What is my breakeven on number of customers and revenue?
  • If I hire a salesperson, how much do they need to produce?
  • Can my business take on debt? How much?
  • Can I pull cash out of the Company? How do I know?

Management and Board Reports that Drive Action

3-Hour Workshop Topics
Management and Board Reports that Drive Action

Board reports are not just about a bunch of pretty formatted graphs with a few bullet points. When executed concisely, they act as a catalyst for smart decision making, prioritization and growth. Too many business owners are sloppy about their organization of their company’s financial information for strategic decision-making. That leads to suboptimal outcomes. If smart people are going to sit around the table and help you analyze your business, squeeze the most out of that time by having reports together that tell the real story of the trajectory of the business. When you do it well, everyone rows in the same direction.

Topics we’ll cover in this session:

  • Understanding how your business machine is running
  • Breaking down your unit economics. What they are and how to improve them
  • The ins and outs of variance analysis
  • How waterfall charts create forecast transparency and accountability
  • Facing the brutal facts of your sales pipeline
  • Assessing your environment for strategic threats and opportunities
  • Layout out an organizational design that matches strategy

Past Speaking Engagements

Russell is an entrepreneur’s entrepreneur and has shared his experiences in business and life with dynamic organizations including the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Techstars, Health 2.0, and StartUp Week Seattle. Most recently, Russell spoke for the clients of Equinox Business Law on the 5 Levers of Cash Flow and Profitability Management.

 

Testimonials

Russell led a terrific financial workshop for the Entrepreneurs' Organization and Entrepreneurs' Organization Accelerator program. The purpose was to help entrepreneurs better understand their financial statements and make better business decisions. He was able to take a topic that is difficult to present and make it engaging, fun, and actionable. I would highly recommend that other EO chapters and any organization of business owners bring in Russell to lead a session on how to get control of the financial levers of your business
Cory Levenberg
Entrepreneurs' Organization San Francisco
Russell helped me pull off the impossible - plan a last-minute full-fledged strategic board offsite complete with information gathering beforehand, in a bold move to reset strategic priorities and facilitate team dynamics. He immediately went straight to the key data, asked the perfect focused questions of management, and designed a fun and interactive day that brought the board and management together and resulted in a concrete strategy playbook that is currently being executed upon.
Holli Harris
Interim CEO, Behavioral Tech
Russell is an amazing speaker and teacher. In his session with us, he was knowledgeable and roused even the most hesitant student to join in with enthusiasm. What Russell had to teach was so vitally important, but for your typical entrepreneur (myself included), a trip to the dentist would have been preferable to having to digest unit economics. However, Russell engaged with his energy and preparation and made this vitally important topic so much for fun to learn!
Lisa Nguyen
Entrepreneurs' Organization Accelerator - Orange County
Russell was a great speaker for our EO group. He combined some humor, technical skills and strategy to take a topic that is tough for people to get excited about and make it entertaining and actionable. When it comes to finance and accounting topics for entrepreneurs, Russell is the person to call. I highly recommend him!
Ashkaan Hassan
Entrepreneurs' Organization Accelerator - Los Angeles