Born in the challenging entrepreneurial environment that existed after the global financial crisis of 2008, it is remarkable that Sun Capital has enjoyed the success that it has. When you get to know its founder Marc Leder however, it becomes abundantly clear that it was this man’s drive that got this business through its lean startup years.
If you are looking to launch a company of your own, you would do well to learn from this tough and gritty entrepreneur’s experiences. Here are just a few of reasons that Sun Capital is thriving today…
They moved into an under-served market
When Marc Leder and his business partner Rodger Krouse first started Sun Capital, they had no experience in private equity. Despite having underlying knowledge and drive to succeed, no existing firms would hire them in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis.
They decided to choose themselves instead. Analyzing markets throughout the United States, they found that that Florida was under-served when it came to private equity firms. While they had to hustle hard for five years to acquire a client base that would sustain their business, the abundance of targets down south made it easier to get off the ground.
They are able to find value where others didn’t
The common person has trouble finding value, as they often conflate it with affordability. Marc and Rodger knew better than this, as there were many distressed businesses that had the potential to be profitable with a few key changes in how they were run.
Whether it was bad overall business strategy, a lack of vision, or a bad acquisition in its past that was weighing the company down like an anchor, they knew that a few changes was all that was needed for most businesses to achieve an 180 degree shift in their fortunes.
There is more to improving performance than focusing on financials
Private equity firms often focus too heavily on the expenses side of the ledger when it comes to improving profitability. Sun Capital knew that changing the qualitative aspects of a business could also lead to improved results.
The issue of corporate culture is one area where this company finds the potential for massive productivity gains. Through their own internal studies, they found that a company’s culture is an excellent predictor of whether a business would succeed or fail.
By instilling corporate values that serve as a beacon for a client business to strive towards, they can then improve their bottom line without having to mindlessly hack and slash items in their expense columns.
They have embraced work-life balance
While committing to the grind during the start-up phase served Marc and Rodger well, they have since realized that continuing this level of intensity was a threat to their well-being in the long run.
In recent years, Marc has chosen to focus on satisfying his love of art by volunteering his time as director of the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation and the Berggruen Museum in Berlin. He and Rodger also support two non-profit charter schools in Florida.