Many in the industry long knew you as the face of ELAN. How did your career road lead to where you are now?
I have raised venture capital in two previous experiences and been involved in nine acquisitions or mergers and I know it is not easy stuff. The opportunity to form a luxury-focused business that can assume the leader position attracted me. Always having a metrics and numbers background first attracted me to providing benchmarking for the unmet need. During the past 15 months, we have learned of the need for a much broader set of services.
What is Bravas? Is it a buying group?
Our members support the big three buying groups and we do too. What we are offering is what the buying groups do not. The reason for sponsors’ involvement is that we will be selecting 10 vendors that are standards in the network, offered in all locations. We need strong vendor support and personal relationships to make this happen. Nine vendors and service companies sponsored the event.
Bravas is deeply involved, numbers-based, personal coaching and engaged in the individual development of these businesses. It is particularly focused on standards and less on trial and error. Steve Firszt’s system is tried and true, proven based on over 300 engagements in this industry. Benchmarking and focused action are keys to our success. Our group improved operating profit from 5.5 percent in 2013 to 11.4 percent in 2014, and there is 50 percent more improvement available to the group.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve heard from an integrator recently?
Owners are too busy to work on their businesses. They need dedicated talent to do so with them. What we do is hard work and not for every company. Owners who want to change their lives in a big way can benefit from working with us.