Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with David Cahill, Managing Partner of Avanulo, located in Dayton, OH, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

At Avanulo, we help companies large and small recover from crises and achieve challenging growth targets by implementing an intentional culture. Our clients are global, regional, and local. We have clients in the pharmaceutical, food, packaging, energy, insurance, plastics, metal fabricating, tier II automotive, consumer goods, transportation, warehousing, and marketing industries. We have also had clients in law enforcement, prison management, social services, and health care. Our clients span three continents.

Tell us about yourself

My early experiences came from service in the military and working as a foreign language teacher. The next 20 years of my career were spent as an HR, safety, and continuous improvement professional in large, international organizations. In 2009, my service as founder and managing partner of Avanulo began. Helping clients achieve their noble purpose is what motivates me. There is no other professional accomplishment that is more satisfying, in my opinion.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

As Avanulo grew, I developed a unique approach to improvement called the Avanulo Way that provides dramatic and lasting benefits to our clients. Our greatest accomplishment is that every organization that has ever engaged us has achieved its goal. We are proud of the bottom line impact we have. Our average benefit-to-fee ratio is $127 to 1 in the first 12 months.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Keeping the pipeline full. We are excellent problem solvers and facilitators but know very little about marketing. For the first 12 years of our history, we enjoyed a pipeline that was full a year in advance with no marketing at all. This year, we are learning the art of marketing fast, and it is a challenge. Although we are making great strides, the learning curve is steep.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Make sure you have a clear and noble purpose, a tangible vision, and rigorous values, and actively use them to guide your decisions and your behavior.
  2. Stay nimble, listen deeply to your clients and your associates, and always have a plan b.
  3. Maintain balance. If you focus entirely on the business and do not rest and spend time with loved ones, your productivity will suffer, and the one-sided nature of your being will be seen as a weakness by your clients.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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