Cynthia Davis, founder of The IMAJ Group, spent 25 years at large companies like General Electric, Lockheed Martin and Bausch & Lomb rising to executive leadership positions all while successfully building both a real estate investment company and a business advisory firm.
"I've always had those two aspects of business," she said. "I've always been an entrepreneur and had a couple of different businesses. I worked 25 years in large corporate businesses with an entrepreneurial heart and after 25 years, I had to get back to the entrepreneurial world."
The IMAJ Group is a specialty business advisory firm that works with entrepreneurs in the small to midsized markets. About 70 percent of its clients are in the defense industry thanks to Davis's background in aerospace and defense.
"We look at businesses from a holistic perspective," Davis explained. "During my career, I was responsible for several programs and lines of business involving due diligence and ultimate acquisition of small to medium sized companies. All too often, I saw entrepreneurs struggling in the quagmire of how to scale their business. They could grow but not be profitable or be profitable and not grow. There was limited understanding of how to build a valuable asset versus just a “high priced job.” We offer a unique and valuable way to help entrepreneurs look at different aspects of their business to see their vulnerabilities, boost their profitability, boost their ability to scale in a profitable way, increase the valuation of their business, and position themselves in the marketplace for an eventual transaction."
To support business owners and entrepreneurs gain that clarity, The IMAJ Group offers their Leaders of Distinction program titled “Transcending Business As Usual.”
"We offer this program primarily to businesses looking for growth and to those who want to position themselves in the market so their service/product/idea can be more readily heard in this crowded market space," Davis said. "Leaders of Distinction is a community that provides access to shared resources and expertise that is difficult to find on your own. When you're in this community, you're one degree away from what you are looking for. All our strategic partners have a proven track record and are recognized for both their expertise and values.”
Davis's advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to be clear on your value proposition.
"The most important thing is to be really clear about the true value your business will have in the marketplace," she said. "Be certain you know the single most valuable thing you stand for, or your service stands for and then you can monetize it. You need to be able to answer three questions: why me? why my business? and why no one else? You have to answer those questions from the customer's perspective. When you can do that, you won't worry about competitors. They become irrelevant because your voice in the market is so clear and you can get on with growing your business. Stay focused and don’t waste time, money and energy worrying about what everyone else is doing."