Episode #21. Forging New Relationships Between Entrepreneurs and Capital with LaSean Smith

LaSean Smith outlines a business investment partnership built on permanent capital, emphasizing long-term commitment and trust-building between an investor/source of capital and a business. The discussion covers disciplined methodologies, leadership transitions, and a unique compensation approach using Phantom Stock Shares. LaSean predicts a rise in smaller, values-based companies, and underscores the significance of audience and automation in acquiring and revitalizing brands. 

There can be a shift towards stable, smaller businesses connected to communities, challenging the trend of dominance by larger and larger corporations.

CAGR Investments: https://cagr.com/

Knowledge Capsule:

Permanent Capital Strategy:

  • There’s an investment strategy and a business strategy based permanent capital. It’s not widely used but has broad potential. It emphasizes the importance of long-term commitment by both the investor and the business. Short-term operational demands are entirely left to the business CEO.
  • LaSean Smith explains the advantages of having an investment structure that accommodates a longed shared journey, building a high degree of trust and confidence.

Operational Approach:

  • LaSean highlights a disciplined methodology to tighten business processes and leverage content-based marketing to assist companies. 
  • Small and mid-sized businesses often miss the great efficiencies available by automating processes. And they waste resources on direct sales and inappropriate marketing tactics.

Leadership Transition:

  • Permanent capital is long-term investment; it works when there is a corresponding long-term commitment of current operators.
  • Some CEOs may want to avoid continuing in the business, especially in cases where technical founders find themselves dealing with aspects like sales and marketing, which they may not enjoy. Relieving them of that burden may extend their tenure.

Phantom Stock Shares:

  • Permanent capital embraces a unique approach to leadership compensation using Phantom Stock Shares – aligning incentives by granting bonus or dividend shares that compound in value until the leader leaves the company. This helps in providing a simple ownership structure and shared incentives without diluting ownership equity for the investor.

Cash Flow and Value Creation:

  • The conversation delves into the concept of cash flow and value creation, discussing how businesses can fade over time if not innovating. Lasean emphasizes the importance of adding technology and content marketing layers to ensure longevity.

Audience and Automation:

  • The concept of audience and automation is highlighted as a critical factor in the success of businesses, especially those acquiring old brands. Engaging content marketing towards a target audience allows for driving brands through existing supply chains, reducing customer acquisition costs.