In 2012, Working Solutions client Ryan Farr, Founder of 4505 Meats, sought advice from a Working Solutions mentor for his rapidly expanding business. Ryan was matched with Sean Hutchinson, Founder of Strategic Value Advisors and Working Solutions Financial Mentor. Two years later, Ryan has graduated from his Working Solutions loan, obtained conventional financing, and opened a new barbecue restaurant in San Francisco! Between his many endeavors (packaged food sold in Whole Foods, his butcher shop, and the new restaurant), Ryan had created a whopping 70 jobs in San Francisco and plans to keep on growing!
We recently caught up with Ryan and Sean to talk about their experience:
Ryan: The first meeting with Sean was like a smack in the face. Sean’s point of view from outsider looking in was an eye-opening experience.
Sean: From when we first met, Ryan is well on his way to a 4-5X increase in revenue and a dramatic increase in profit. All the fundamentals are there now. It’s a great story – and it’s because of Ryan’s willingness to listen, lead, and act. My advice may have helped – but he did all the work.
Sean: Going into the meeting, I knew that Ryan and 4505 Meats had a terrific following and very loyal customers. There was a lot to like about the company and Ryan’s leadership. The business was growing fast – a good sign – but the growth was causing some challenges. We talked in detail about those challenges and the need to streamline the business.
Ryan: By taking Sean’s advice I realized that as a leader I needed to grow and focus on my skill set as a manager. I needed to focus on specific areas instead of trying to do it all.
Sean: Getting an honest assessment from a relative stranger helped him focus. I think much of what I suggested simply reinforced what he already knew.
Ryan: Last time Sean and I worked together was roughly a month ago when he introduced us to one of his peers that can help us plan our future at a higher level. I plan on staying in touch with Sean as long as I can. He has been a great resource and friend. We are just getting started.
If you’d like to work with Sean or another Working Solutions advisor, please visit our Business Advising page to find out how.