Lessons from CRäKN’s CEO on Entrepreneurship in the Funeral Industry
Posted December 20, 2017
5 min read
Thanks to companies including CRäKN, there’s a great deal of innovation happening in the funeral profession right now.
That’s what Scott Mindrum, CRäKN’s Founder, President and CEO explained during an interview on BusinessWise radio alongside host Crystal L. Faulkner, CPA, CExP, MAFF.
Faulker is a CPA at MCM CPAs & Advisors and she’s also a co-host on the BusinessWise Radio show, a show that highlights highly successful entrepreneurs and companies.
Faulker interviewed Mindrum to learn more about #StartupCincy, the value CRäKN offers, and growing a business in Cincinnati, Ohio. (See part one of our show recap here.)
From the secrets to raising money as a startup to the “winning formula” for entrepreneurs, here’s the rest of our highlights from the interview.
“Do you think Cincinnati, Ohio is a great place to start and grow a company?”
Especially for high-growth, tech-based startups, Cincinnati, Ohio is a great business community to be a part of, explained Mindrum. “Cincinnati, [Ohio] is an unbelievably great spot. We have all kinds of resources…When I started my first company, I wasn’t aware of all the resources that are here in town…and they are growing every day,” said Mindrum.
#StartupCincy benefits include deep connections in the community, relationships, mentoring, great talent, meet-ups for learning and networking, access to varied types of funding, co-working spaces, and even incubators and accelerators.
“The city is vibrant, and the opportunities are huge,” explained Mindrum.
“What are the secrets to raising money for a startup?”
“[You’ve been] on both sides of the coin [as investor and as an entrepreneur raising money],” said Faulker. “If someone out there is looking for money, what are some of the key secrets to success in raising money?”
Mindrum said one of the most fundamental things any investor wants to see is passion. “Passion is the number one thing,” said Mindrum—but that passion should be backed up by a feasible and viable idea and/or concept. “The idea doesn’t have to be about money, but the idea has to be able to solve problems…whether it’s a social issue, or a financial issue, or some kind of issue that’s stuck at some hard spot.”
He’s also learned over the years that being a good storyteller is important in terms of bringing your idea to life and also pitching and explaining your idea to others. You have to be able to show the vision for the product, while also highlighting the pain your solving. “As a recovering CPA, one of the things that I struggled with is, I’ve gotten involved in very elaborate spreadsheets, and financial models. Nobody likes to read that,” said Mindrum.
The advice he gives others (and that he said he also focuses on himself) is to try to do a “BON Analysis,” where “BON” stands for Back of Napkin. In other words, how do you share and explain your idea in such simple terms that it can be described on the back of a napkin? “If you can’t explain your idea, briefly and succinctly, and model the financials on the back of a napkin, you probably need to work harder on telling your story,” said Mindrum.
“Is there a ‘winning formula’ for entrepreneurship and bringing ideas to market?”
Investors may want to see passion, but regardless if venture capital is involved or not, Faulker and Mindrum agree that a winning formula for entrepreneurs is one that combines their passion with a few other factors: “In my experience working with tremendously successful entrepreneurs, the ones that really can make a difference and actually take their company to the next level are those that combine their passion, their experience, and their ability to see into the future in terms of anticipating what their customers’ needs are,” said Faulker.
“I’m very fortunate…[and] I’m disciplining myself to focus on what I’ve been doing over the last 20 years,” added Mindrum. “In this industry, I think for any entrepreneur who can find a way to develop an interest in a passion and a niche, the opportunities to help funeral professionals are huge.”
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