In my opinion, a consulting site would be incomplete without a good Resource Center. Some information has been written by myself, and some by others- but all with the intent of helping everyone understand the theories, processes, and hard skills that form the core of any business venture.

Educational Materials:

Consider this a virtual office lobby where clients can peruse a variety of cutting edge business literature from a variety of noted business educators. The masses of information have been pre-sorted for you with this list of what I believe are some of the very best books, magazines, and websites.

BOOKS:

  • “Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy
  • “Slight Edge” by Jeff Olsen
  • Jim Rohn
  • John Maxwell
  • “Purple Cow”, “Lynch Pin”-Seth Godin

MAGAZINES: Success Magazine, Fast Company

WEBSITES: HubSpot, Unbounce

7 Phases to Building Your Business:

The turn by turn roadmap of business construction. Again, with so much information available it’s really helpful to have a consolidated outline of the business building process. The “7 Phases Of Building A Business” gives an accurate and thorough overview in an easy to follow format.

  • Have they been in business for themselves before
  • If so, how many times?
  • If no, how many businesses have they worked at before.
  • Lifestyle or for profit business?
  • What is the business idea?
  • Check for business alignment. (Make sure someone allergic to dogs isn’t starting a dog grooming co.)
  • Exit Strategy (Always run business ready for exit)
  • Other benefits of business
  • Personal development aspects of business
  • Giving back

Phase 2 (Building your foundation)

  • Business Flowchart & Business Plan
  • Product identification
  • What’s/who’s the target market
  • Identify end user
    • Buyer can be different than end user
  • Identify distributor
  • Figure out the market size: TAM/SAM (Total available/served available market)
  • Competitive analysis
    • Who’s the competition
      How are they marketing to YOUR market
      Check for other businesses not in your industry that are targeting the same demographic
  • Where do we find data about that demographic

Phase 3 (The Product)

  • Develop the product specifically for your target market/demographic
  • How is the product going to be used
  • Where is the product going to be used
  • Why is the product going to be used
  • Why would they use your product versus a competitor’s?
  • Figure out the value proposition to the end user
  • Sourcing of product
    • Manufacturing
    • Component sourcing
    • Using existing technology to build your own product.
      • Looking at making a big poker chip, using a wheel as a base
    • Dealer/distributor network
    • Shipping & 3PL Shipping (Third Party Logistics)
    • Packaging
    • Identify distribution channels

Phase 4 (marketing)

  • Create value proposition to end user and different VP to different users & or buyers *Gift factor
  • Create marketing campaigns for each market segment.
  • Create materials/Marketing platforms
    • Website
    • Brochures
    • Newsletter
    • Social Media – Facebook/Linkedin/pintrist/twitter/instagram

Phase 5 (sales)

  • Sales platforms
    • Brick & mortar store
    • Wholesale
    • Retail
    • Online
      • Direct Sales
      • Affiliate Sales
      • B2B/B2C
    • Factoring
    • Terms – to/from

Phase 6 (Management)

  • Staffing
  • Leadership
  • Company Culture
  • Cashflow Management/Spreadsheet
  • Employee Handbook
  • HR (Human Resources)
  • Training
  • Internal Growth (Promotions from within)

Phase 7 (Investment)

  • Fundraising
  • Growth Strategy
  • Structuring for outside investment
  • Receiving outside investment (SEC)
  • Business valuation
  • Exit Strategy*
  • Business Flowchart*
  • Business plan*

*Intentional duplicate item

Marketing Theory:

Marketing Theory and Business Philosophy are the glue that hold all the processes together. Without understanding theory and concepts, the processes have no direction. It is imperative that we understand the core fundamentals of these more fluid aspects of business.

1-Minimum SKU with Maximum Effect (Have less products that provide maximum profit.)

2-Compatible personalities with complimentary skill sets

3- Start with an exit strategy

4-Long term vision/As your business grows, you want to be looking at what part of the business you want to run. What are your skill sets, and what to fragment off. Identify Skill Sets.

5- Care and Candor

Terms and Definitions:

I just print out this list of Terms and Definitions and tape it to my briefcase for meetings and such. Just kidding. But seriously, it’s nice to have some terms printed out. I’ve actually found many people know a lot more than they think- Just looking at this list may give good insight to what you know, don’t know, or simply didn’t know the word for.

Above the fold

Above the fold is the upper half of the front page of a newspaper where an important news story or photograph is often located. Papers are often displayed to customers folded so that only the top half of the front page is visible. Thus, an item that is “above the fold” may be one that the editors feel will entice people to buy the paper. Alternatively, it reflects a decision, on the part of the editors, that the article is one of the day’s most important. By extension, the space above the fold is also preferred by advertisers, since it is the most prominent and visible even when the newspaper is on stands. The term can be used more generally to refer to anything that is prominently displayed or of highest priority.

Branding

The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products

Buyer

A “buyer” or merchandiser is a person who purchases finished goods, for a firm, government, or organization. A buyer may or may not also be a consumer, but the two notions are distinct, even though the terms are commonly confused. A customer purchases goods; a consumer uses them.

Company Culture

The behavior of humans within an organization and the meaning that people attach to those behaviors. Culture includes the organization’s vision, values, norms, systems, symbols, language, assumptions, beliefs, and habits. It is also the pattern of such collective behaviors and assumptions that are taught to new organizational members as a way of perceiving, and even thinking and feeling. Organizational culture affects the way people and groups interact with each other, with clients, and with stakeholders.

Competitive analysis

Competitive analysis in marketing and strategic management is an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of current and potential competitors. This analysis provides both an offensive and defensive strategic context to identify opportunities and threats. Profiling coalesces all of the relevant sources of competitor analysis into one framework in the support of efficient and effective strategy formulation, implementation, monitoring and adjustment.[1]

Copy

Text of a print, radio, or television advertising message that aims at catching and holding the interest of the prospective buyer, and at persuading him or her to make a purchase all within a few short seconds. The headline of an advertising copy is said to be the most important part, and quite often a small change in its wording brings disproportionate results.

Distribution Channel

The chain of businesses or intermediaries through which a good or service passes until it reaches the end consumer. A distribution channel can include wholesalers, retailers, distributors and even the internet.

Distributor

An entity that buys noncompeting products or product lines, warehouses them, and resells them to retailers or direct to the end users or customers. Most distributors provide strong manpower and cash support to the supplier or manufacturer’s promotional efforts.

Elevator Pitch

A slang term used to describe a brief speech that outlines an idea for a product, service or project. The name comes from the notion that the speech should be delivered in the short time period of an elevator ride, usually 20-60 seconds.

End User

In economics and commerce, an end user[a] is a person that uses a particular product. A product may be purchased by several intermediaries, who are not users, between the manufacturer and the end user, or be directly purchased by the end user as a consumer. For example, the end user of a pharmaceutical product is the patient who takes it, rather than distributors, pharmacists and physicians who may purchase it in their behalf.

Exit Strategy

The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products

Hard/Soft Skills

Hard skills are knowledge, like my ability to use a computer. Soft skills are how to explain that you know how to use your hard skills. It’s you ability to communicate; make them feel comfortable with their decision, ability to create a good management team.

Investor

An investor is someone who provides (or invests) money or resources for an enterprise, such as a corporation, with the expectation of financial or other gain.

Market Penetration

A measure of the amount of sales or adoption of a product or service compared to the total theoretical market for that product or service. The amount of sales or adoption can be an individual company’s sale or industry while the theoretical market can be the total population or an estimate of total potential consumers for the product.

Marketing Platform

A platform is a foundation or base that someone has built that provides an opportunity for them to air their views publicly. In the traditional publishing world platform was used to describe a person’s public visibility or reputation and therefore how much demand there may be for their next book.

Moment of truth

While traditionally considered one point in time, these four marketing moments of truth (aka MOT) can occur over time since they involve more interaction.

  • Zero Moment of truth: Prospect recognizes need and goes online to gather information for a potential purchase.
  • First Moment of truth: Prospect has an a-ha moment when confronted with the product and competing alternatives, often in real life.
  • Second Moment of truth: Customer has bought and used your brand or product. The resulting experience (hopefully) supports your pre-purchase promise.
  • Third Moment of truth: Customer becomes a true fan and gives back to your brand with content and social media engagement

SKU

In the field of inventory management, a stock keeping unit or SKU is a distinct item for sale, such as a product or service, and all attributes associated with the item that distinguish it from other items. For a product, these attributes include, but are not limited to, manufacturer, product description, material, size, color, packaging, and warranty terms. When a business takes an inventory, it counts the quantity of each SKU.

Target Market

A target market is a group of customers towards which a business has decided to aim its marketing efforts and ultimately its merchandise.

Voice

The writer’s voice is the individual writing style of an author, a combination of their common usage of syntax, diction, punctuation, character development, dialogue, etc., within a given body of text (or across several works).[citation needed] Voice can be thought of in terms of the uniqueness of a vocal voice machine. One author may have a voice that is light and fast paced while another may have a dark voice.

Value Proposition

A value proposition is a promise of value to be delivered and acknowledged and a belief from the customer that value will be delivered and experienced. A value proposition can apply to an entire organization, or parts thereof, or customer accounts, or products or services.

nt