June 28, 2023
The Five Key Battles™
At CPC, our belief that strong, sustainable financial performance is driven by consistent success across the Five Key Battles™ is core to who we are and how we operate. These battles, waged as businesses grow and industries evolve, are never fully won and never fully lost. Our goal at CPC is to support and challenge our management teams to build their businesses so they can continuously improve in addressing these battles over time.
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
Our team has invested in more than 100 businesses and has over 200 years of collective experience. Over the course of our careers, we have challenged ourselves with questions around what makes some businesses successful while others struggle. What are catalysts and agents for positive and negative change? We began to see patterns around the successes – and failures – that corresponded to five distinct areas:
2. Operational Systems
3. Execution Capabilities
4. Customer Intimacy
5. Product Leadership
These five areas of focus became what we call the Five Key Battles (5KBs™) – an organized way to think about and address the challenges that every management team, sole proprietor and CEO faces, regardless of the maturity, employee count or market position of their business. Effective management teams succeed consistently in these areas over time, making tough decisions around them to spur change when headwinds occur. In our experience, smart long-term decision-making within the Five Key Battles™ creates the best workplaces for team members to develop personally, professionally, and financially.
THE FIVE KEY BATTLES™ AND CULTURE
Like a fingerprint or a snowflake, each company culture is unique. And while there is no textbook or playbook that can instruct management teams on how to build a successful culture, the Five Key Battles™ can offer a framework. We believe sustained success across the 5KBs™ produces a balanced approach to building a growing, durable business that consistently attracts increasingly better talent over long periods of time. We believe dedication to “fighting” the 5KBs™ helps companies identify and foster creativity, recognize and celebrate outstanding contributions, and continuously improve. Focusing on the 5KBs™ enables our teams to create an environment where every individual knows how they impact their company daily. Our teams share a common belief – that a happy employee results in a happy customer, and happy customers lead to more successful business outcomes.
THE FIVE KEY BATTLES™ AND THE PERPETUAL HORIZON
CPC is a company – not a fund – with a distinct mission to Buy, Build, and Hold™ great businesses for the long-term. We look to the Five Key Battles™ to sharpen our long-term decision making and prevent short-term thinking from disrupting progress in these five critical areas. While private equity investors begin planning for a sale shortly after closing on a purchase, long-term owners treat their resources and ultimate decisions differently. Factors such as market conditions, financial leverage, and misaligned incentive plans elevate short-term thinking over what is best for owners, employees, customers, and suppliers in the long run. The 5KBs™ provide a framework for setting priorities through the different phases of a business’s growth (or even contraction).
Combining the 5KBs™ with a perpetual investment horizon equips our teams with a framework for making the best decisions to compound returns over the long term. And compound return is, and will always be, an investor’s loyal best friend.
CPC is owned by large family offices and successful entrepreneurs that are collectively aligned around long-term decision making and wealth creation. It was formed from the merging of Curran Companies’ and C3 Capital’s management teams and seeks to deploy $600MM to $700MM into lower middle market businesses over the next five years. CPC does not use enterprise leverage to fund acquisitions, instead focusing management teams to excel in the Five Key Battles™: People, Systems and Processes, Execution, Customer Intimacy, and Product Leadership. Prior to forming CPC, the management team invested in over 100 businesses covering a wide variety of industries.