Business ConsultingAre your competitors discussing your company in their board room? Are they up nights wondering how you're out-performing them? If not, they should be, and we can help.
WHAT WE DO: Having previously served in the capacities of CEO, CFO, department heads and entrepreneurs, our team has the collective hands-on expertise to help clients with their most complex strategic challenges. We develop tailored solutions for short and long-term goals and objectives to help them achieve sustainable growth.
HOW WE DO IT: We assess the demands of the external environment in which the firm operates, or wishes to operate, as well as the internal capabilities that it has developed, and/or can reasonably hope to develop or acquire. From those assessments we work with clients to develop goals, objectives, and the tactical competitive moves to achieve them. Whether its company-wide, or just one-off project, most every sustained undertaking requires a plan: the blueprint to build success.
OUR AREAS OF EXPERTISE:
Entrepreneurship, sales, marketing (offline and online), finance, funding, and collaboration.
Business Startup When starting a business there is much to be done, and many potholes to avoid. Let us show you how to setup, launch, manage and grow your business. The initial foundation in the set-up of a business is your starting point; without a good foundation your business venture will crumble. This foundation includes proper investigation and evaluations of the business proposal, company structure, proper filings, good professional services, and a solid business plan. Business Pipeline has experts in entrepreneurship that have launched and operated businesses in many fields; some have served in private and publicly-held companies as department heads, CFO, and CEO. The initial steps for proper business setup include:
Evaluating your idea: Before you commit any money — your own, friends, family or investors –, the concept should be evaluated. Obviously you’re passionate about it and are sure its a winner, but when time, money and energy are going to be invested, prudence requires that the homework be done. We can assist you with (a) a market study to determine if the marketplace has a need for the product/service you intent to provide, (b) what the level of competition currently is, and may be in the future (c) determining the edge you may possess to compete successfully, (d) a costs/sales/ profit margins/ and cash reserves evaluation based on existing market conditions and proforma budgeting. These are but a few examples of some of what is required, and upon completion of a full investigation you’ll have a solid business plan, marketing plan, and strategic plan.
Choosing the right business structure: There are many types of business vehicles, such as C-corp, S-corp, General partnership, Limited partnership, and Limited liability company. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. There are also certain states that are more business friendly, and/or have better tax rates. So choosing the best type and location for your business suited for your area of business, ownership and tax considerations is vital.
Choosing a business name: What’s in a name? Everything! We’ll help you select a name with recall strength and relevance, that will lend itself to branding, marketing and social positioning.
Designing your signature: Your logo, stationary (virtual or hard copy), cards, and e-signature are always your customers first impression, so getting it right from the beginning matters.
Getting a URL and Website: In the 21st century its unthinkable to launch a business without an Internet presence. Whether you should create a website, an e-commerce site, a blog, and/or a social media page(s), depends on the business you’re launching, the market you’re engaged in, and the clients you want to reach. Step one is registering a URL domain name, which ranges in cost typically from $5.99 – $9.99, depending on whether you want .com, .net, .us, .org, .biz or some other extension.
Appointing Professionals: From day one, it is smart to have an accountant on board so that your books and records are setup and maintained correctly. We can’t stress this enough. A lawyer or law firm should also be retained. Too many new entrepreneurs think “I’ll deal with retaining professionals later,” which is a HUGE error. We’ll provide you with the knowledge and criteria to evaluate the type of professionals you need, plus how to negotiate with — and utilize their services — for your best return on investment. Funding: Do you have funding required in accordance with your business plan, or do you now need to raise it through investors? Fund-raising in an art-form unto itself. There are many types of investors, investment organizations, types of investment vehicles, and lending institutions. We’ll evaluate your business and guide you through the maze of securing start-up and/or working capital. Launching Your Business: All the initial hard work is done, and for a brief moment your launch is a moment to enjoy the fruit or your labor; like christening a new ship being put to sea. Whether a public launch party, marketing splash, or a more subdued public notification is required depends on the business you have and the industry you’re in. We can help with making that determination, and project managing the event.
Audits & Assessments
A company is only as good as its products/services, the operations system by which they are delivered, the personnel that operates those systems, and the proper balance of cash reserves, sales, cost-of-goods sold, work-cycle methods and technology.
We provide highly experienced expertise in a balanced, non-biased report with recommendations [based on solid feasibility studies and project management judgment], to your senior management and/or team leader. The Assessment & Audit identifies potential disasters before they occur, and also reveals efficiency options to cut costs and/or increase revenue.
Company Assessment: A focus on your company’s ratio of sales, inventory, cash-flow, cash-reserves, and cost of goods sold, products/services.
Operations Assessment: A focus on short-term and long-term operations efficiency: systems and job functionality. A review of your company’s personnel, methods, work-cycle systems, and technology, which is achieved through;
1. Observing the existing procedures and systems using a bottom-up approach
2. Analyzing existing procedures, methods and systems to evaluate their effectiveness
3. Analyzing material and information flows
4. Identifying non-value-added tasks to be eliminated
5. Developing new tasks, methods and procedures as applicable
6. Identifying areas to improve efficiency
7. Eliminating of redundancies, outdated or under-productive technology
8. Researching and developing automated solutions as applicable
9. Designing and presenting a strategic and tactical road map to the project team/ senior management
10.Consultation of implementation of changes in accordance with the strategic/ tactical road map
Simply put, strategic planning determines where an organization is going over the next year or more and how it’s going to get there. Typically, the process is organization-wide, or focused on a major function such as a division, department or other major function.
In any contest there are winners and losers. Whether its sports or war, the winners usually have a plan of what they want to achieve, and how to achieve it. In business, this is referred to as the Strategic Plan, which we provide in three critical stages.
1. Strategic Analysis: We begin by conducting a review of your organizations’ external environment, and the internal capabilities that it has developed, and/or can reasonably hope to develop or acquire. This may include political, social, economic and technical environments, both in and outside the organization. Business pipeline experts then carefully consider various driving forces in the environment relating to products/services, sales, advertising, marketing, competition, and demographics, as well as various strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) regarding the organization.
2. Strategic Direction: Planners carefully come to conclusions about what the organization must do as a result of the major issues and opportunities facing the organization. These conclusions include overall accomplishments (strategic goals) the organization should achieve, and the methods (or strategies) to achieve the accomplishments. Specific Goals are defined to be specific, measurable, realistic, timely, and extending to the capabilities of those working to achieve the goals, and the incentive rewards for achieving said Goals for those working to achieve the goals.
During the strategic planning process planners identify or update the strategic “philosophy”. This includes identifying or updating the organization’s mission, vision and/or values statements.
Mission statements are descriptions of the purpose of the organization; they can be brief or quite comprehensive, and include a specific purpose statement. The vision and value statements may be stand-alone, or a part of the overall Mission Statement; which is usually included in the organizations initial company registration.
Vision statements are usually a compelling description of how the organization will or should operate at some point in the future, and of how customers or clients are benefiting from the organization’s products and services.
Values statements list the overall priorities in how the organization will operate; sometimes based on certain moral values.
3. Action Planning: Action planning is carefully laying out how the strategic goals will be accomplished: the tactical plan. We shall include specific objectives, or specific results, with each strategic goal. To reach each strategic goal we shall provide a set of objectives along the way — in that sense, an objective is still a goal, but on a smaller scale.
Tactics will be outlined reach each objective. Therefore, our strategy will involve implementing a set of tactics along the way — in that sense, a tactic is still a strategy, but on a smaller scale. With each objective we shall specify responsibilities and time lines; or who needs to do what and by when. It shall also include methods to monitor and evaluate the plan, which includes knowing how the organization will know who has done what and by when. An operational plan or management plan (“annual plan) will include the strategic goals, strategies, objectives, responsibilities and timelines that should be done in the coming year; these can also be created based on major functions, divisions, or departments, called work plans. Budgets shall be included in the strategic and annual plan, and with work plans. Budgets will specify the money needed for the resources that are necessary to implement the annual plan.