Bill Poston was interviewed on the latest episode of the Mission Matters Business Podcast with Adam Torres. Poston is the founder of The Launch Box, a business incubator that supports the launch and growth of new professional services ventures. Prior to starting The Launch Box, he was the founding partner of Kalypso, a management consulting firm acquired by Rockwell Automation in 2020.
In this episode, Poston discusses the unexpected problems that founders encounter when they start a professional services business, why he formed The Launch Box, and the qualities he looks for in founders.
Listen to the full interview of Bill Poston with Adam Torres on the Mission Matters Business Podcast.
Unexpected Problems that Surprise New Founders
Poston tells Torres that when he left his position at Deloitte in 2004 to start the management consultancy Kalypso with his partner, he worried about finding clients and employees.
“Turns out,” Poston says, “those weren’t problems.”
Kalypso grew month-over-month for sixteen years and attracted top talent.
The problems that Poston and his partner did encounter took them by surprise: administrative problems (like learning how to hire employees in other states) and problems that required skills that they did not have in house (like designing a website).
In the early days of Kalypso, Poston found himself doing everything—from brewing the coffee in the morning to building the technical infrastructure to support growth. “It was quite a challenge,” he says.
His experience building Kalypso inspired him to help founders spend more focusing on their areas of expertise, like creating value for clients and nurturing the growth of their employees, and less time on administrative tasks, like fielding IT requests. So, in 2020, Poston founded The Launch Box, an Austin, Texas-based incubator that helps launch professional services firms by providing them with capital, strategic advice, software systems, and management services.
“I don’t want founders worried about payroll systems or state taxes or IT infrastructure or legal,” Poston says. “We’ll take care of all of that.”
Essential Characteristics of Successful Founders
“It’s no different than hiring a partner into a firm,” Poston says to Torres when discussing bringing on a new founder to The Launch Box. “The hiring profile is the same.”
Poston seeks out founders who have a strong work ethic and intellectual horsepower. He also says that he appreciates founders with a “state school attitude about life”—that is, men and women who have something to prove but remain humble and refuse to take themselves too seriously.
Poston also reviews potential founders’ track record before signing them on. “If you’re successfully managing a practice today, if you have value that you’re adding to the marketplace and are serving clients well, if you have repeat business and a team that’s loyal to you,” he states, “then I think you’re prepared to be a successful entrepreneur.”
The Launch Box is a platform for starting and growing professional service firms that enables founders to focus exclusively on selling, serving clients, nurturing talent, and growing the business. The Launch Box offers strategic advice, investment capital, and a comprehensive set of turnkey services that sets founders up for success with income support and growth capital while eliminating the burdens of establishing and managing complex business systems. Learn more at https://www.thelaunchbox.com/
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