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Driving the Road to Business Success and Capital Funding: ForeSight™ Planning and ForeTell™ Investment Support Services Help Online Event Company Achieve Rapid Results

How to Create a Roadmap While Driving
This is what it’s like when a small company feels ready to turn its great ideas into a great business: You realize that the time to take that trip of a lifetime is here. You get in the car and start driving. The road has its share of unexpected bends and obstacles, but you’re exhilarated by the challenges and you know that this is where you should be. The view is expansive, full of exciting things to see and do. Everything is possible. You pick up speed, and drive ahead. Then you see the sign. To get past the upcoming toll bridge, you must have an accurate, detailed roadmap, describing exactly where you are going. And you must create this map without stopping or slowing your momentum.

ShoutStream, Inc. CEO, Tony Mines, understands the experience all too well. His company helps businesses reach diverse, geographically dispersed audiences by turning audio, video and web content into podcasts, virtual conferences/trade shows, and other online events. “It’s a very time- and energy-intensive operation,” he explains. “Especially at the beginning, day-to-day operations took up every moment of our time.”

When Mr. Mines realized that the time had come to pursue outside funding opportunities, he and his team knew that there weren’t enough hours in the day to clearly define ShoutStream’s business model and create a detailed business plan for potential investors. “We knew that we needed someone to ask us the right questions and help us determine where we wanted to go with the business, without getting sidetracked or distracted by those day to day concerns.”

One of ShoutStream’s other officers had worked with Annona Enterprises’ Founder and Managing Principal, Soyini Coke, and recommended that Annona Enterprises help ShoutStream. Although Mr. Mines considered proposals from several large consulting firms, he was impressed with Annona Enterprises’ flexibility and Ms. Coke’s specific appreciation for his company’s time pressures and concerns.

The Road to a Stronger, More Successful Business
Annona Enterprises offered ShoutStream a combination of its ForeSight™ business planning and ForeTell™ investment support services. The engagement began with an assessment of all of the company’s core processes, and included in-depth interviews with multiple people within the company. This was followed by a detailed, self-analysis. Ms. Coke then developed a document that outlined her understanding of the company’s business goals and what its leaders would require in terms of money, time and resources to grow.

From there, Ms. Coke met regularly with Mr. Mines and ShoutStream’s other executives to develop specific, achievable plans for growth, geared specifically toward investors. The final deliverable included a clear explanation of ShoutStream’s financials, business model, market evaluation and goals.

Destination: Powerful Business Results
As a result, the company was able to confidently pursue the funding it needed and rapidly secured a short-term sheet funding commitment. Mr. Mines believes that those rapid results can be tied back to the engagement with Annona Enterprises. “Soyini got to know our business so fast,” he says, “Whether we did it ourselves or had gone to a large consulting firm, it would have taken longer to get to the deliverables that would help us pursue funding.”

Mr. Mines notes that the engagement with Annona Enterprises delivered significant benefits that went well beyond tangible business planning and investment deliverables. “The whole process forced us to think strategically about how we got to where we were and what we’d need to do to take our business to the next level,” he says. “It afforded us the opportunity to take a look at our business in a way we hadn’t done before. We were able to recognize gaps in our infrastructure and plans. Soyini even introduced us to people with specific areas of expertise who could help us fill in those gaps.”

Mr. Mines adds, “The advantage comes in identifying our corporate direction and understanding its implications for where we need to focus most. Through our market analysis and other explorations, we identified an opportunity to have a more viable business with specific services that give us a competitive edge.”

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