Edgar Baum: Avasta Empowering Leaders To Grow Their Businesses
Avasta is a collective of insights consultants that help leaders grow their businesses. We identify our clients’ most valuable opportunities and empower them with the insights needed to attain them. We provide the market and customer clarity needed to uncover the most valuable growth opportunities of B2B technology companies.
Tell us about yourself?
Before Avasta, I was a founder or executive at several valuation and business measurement firms. Earlier in my career, I had finance and market development roles on Wall Street at Merrill Lynch and Procter & Gamble and was a co-founder of a risk and valuation software company. Since 2014, I’ve been a primary author on two next-generation business measurement standards: how to measure a brand financially from the customer’s point of view and how to measure and report on the future value of intellectual capital and intangible assets to the board of directors.
I’m on the board of advisors for two technology companies based in U.S. and Canada. I have taught the Finance of Brand Management graduate course at the University of Toronto since 2015.
I got into this line of work due to my deep passion for fellow business leaders having the proper knowledge and expertise to build businesses that drive growth and prosperity. Too often, we get stuck in using good information and methods that were made for their time, and then we try to stick present circumstances into past frameworks. I’m from the school of thought that you want to take advantage of the present to set up a successful future, so why not create frameworks that are relevant to them?
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
I would speed up the process of migrating to a leadership team structure. People want to contribute. I would tell myself to have conversations with my staff and team to see what they see about the future of the company and how they can contribute. Leading a business is very different from founding it.
What problem does your business solve?
Avasta helps leaders grow their businesses by delivering data-driven insights they are missing, the market clarity they need, and the confidence to transform their business.
We tell our clients if their strategy is executable, explain the hurdles present, and where the winnable opportunity lies – all under the context of their budget, human capital, and brand. All of which can increase marketing and sales efficiency and can allow for more accurate financial projections – creating alignment across business departments.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
The inspiration behind Avasta was a conversation over a glass of wine between MK Marsden (our Executive Advisor) and myself to explore if there are companies or academic approaches in the market already focused on using mathematics for business data to validate the business strategy. We wanted to solve the confusion around which information was helpful to make business decisions while avoiding becoming overwhelmed by irrelevant and inaccurate data that can lead companies down the wrong path. We were inspired by the fact that our methods identified solutions that no other approach could; hence we named the company Avasta, meaning ‘to discover’ in my mother tongue. This conveys that we don’t know our clients’ answers before we start but will discover the best ones due to our expertise.
This started Avasta, a collective of insights consultants that empower leaders to grow their businesses. Most business decisions are based on assumptions rather than verifiable facts and market demand. We were created to ensure that our client’s strategy is backed up by insights personalized to their company’s resources, constraints, and market opportunity.
What is your magic sauce?
At Avasta, we are an extension of our clients – we understand their business and leadership team without the biases and impediments of company politics. We are a diplomatic addition to our client’s team that gives the company perspective on where the valuable opportunities lie.
Our magic sauce is the precision and personalization of the insights we provide. We show our clients the feasible growth opportunities for their business rather than generic industry trends. This is achieved by using thick rather than big data and applying mathematics rather than statistics to identify the relationship between our client’s objectives, their financial and operational state, the wants and needs of their customers, and measurable market realities. By analyzing the intersection of this data, we get much more out of it, leaving them with more detailed, personalized insights that are actionable by the business as it is or can realistically achieve within the timelines established by leadership. This also translates to our insights being objective, accurate, and specific to our clients rather than aspirational or idealistic.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
We’re aiming to become the standard for providing companies with the clarity they need to make the best strategic decisions. We want to empower companies to reach their objectives by thoroughly understanding who their most valuable customers are and how to reach them.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Our biggest challenge so far was losing every single one of our clients and prospects in April 2020 due to Covid-19.
We changed course as a business after investing our expertise in ourselves. We’re now migrating to being an exclusively B2B business, as we brought much more value to B2B than B2C.
As for issues – we run into entrenched views companies have on how their strategy should be developed. Companies also think their internal data is accurate and good enough to lead their strategy when often it doesn’t have the insight needed to validate their strategy from a customer-in point of view.
How can people get involved?
If you are a leader in a B2B company looking to grow your business and ensure your strategy will lead you to your objectives, reach out to us to see how we can empower you. To learn more about Avasta, visit our new website at www.avasta.co .
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