JeffNock

Jeff Nock Discusses the Importance of Flexible Focus for Startups

Business Consultant, Jeff Nock has demonstrated fundamental leadership qualities over the years in various positions, improving both small-scale businesses and larger corporations. Jeff Nock shares insight on the balancing act of staying focused while being flexible.

 

Jeff Nock
Jeff Nock

When you’re ready to launch your new company, things are exciting, but also there’s always the concern that maybe you’re not quite prepared. Startups have been encouraged to have laser focus, and while this is good for most scenarios, having a flexible focus is an even better idea. 

 

Instead of rigid direction, the truth is, agility has helped numerous companies switch gears within the first few months to a year depending on their traction and success. In life, things are always changing, and we readily accept this, and in business, inevitably, markets, trends, competition, and demands will continuously change as well.

 

On the contrary, if you’ve spread yourself and your company’s goals too far and wide, there will be issues with commitment, branding, and presence. There is a balancing act that requires flexibility with focus as opposed to being indecisive and ineffective. 

 

Attention must be placed on prioritizing goals, vendors, partners, client’s needs, direction, creative marketing concepts and reaching new customers, but this must be completed with the notion that the methodology most likely will change.

 

For example, if your business starts as a traditional marketing firm, but you find that digital ad sales geared towards fitness are becoming more lucrative and less competitive in your space than your ability to switch your focus should be easily achievable with the right steps. Another example might be that you need to relaunch a generation 2 of your original product to keep up with the competition. Once you can leverage those sales, then your next-generation product will be your “focus.”

 

Balancing focus and agility is the optimal advice for startups, and keeping that flexibility in the long-term for other changes that take place is essential. Jeff Nock is a seasoned business consultant. He has broad experience that involves helping companies advance and grow their capabilities, as well as implement clear objectives to obtain and exceed goals and overall success. Jeff Nock has a vast understanding of the elements necessary to achieve organizational growth. 

 

Jeff Nock is CEO and Founder of Prescient Consulting, LLC. He is highly skilled in areas such as business planning, the strategic planning process, management development, comprehensive marketing, sales, and presentation development.

_Jeff Nock - How Startup Companies Can Build a Team

CEO, Jeff Nock Explains How Startup Companies Can Build a Team

Prescient Consulting’s CEO and Founder, Jeff Nock, understands the importance of having the right people on the team when launching a startup. For years, Jeff Nock has helped startup, early-stage, and mid-cap companies grow and reach their goals through strategic business planning, business model ideation, and development. He details the best practices for building a successful startup team.

 

Step #1-but identify Gaps in Skillsets

All founders are people and all people have weaknesses. Smart founders are humble and realize their weaknesses and add people to their team that have those weaknesses as strengths. For example, some founders are very creative and innovative but not always organized. It is important for a founder like this to have someone on the team to help with project management and operational organization.

 

Step #2-Look for Cultural Fit Not Just Skillset Need

Traditional team building and interviewing has changed over the years. Instead of looking just to add specific skillsets to the team it has become imperative to also look for a good cultural fit when adding team members. Startup teams work endless hours together. Does the potential team member share the same values as the founder? Does the potential team member buy into the company vision?

 

Step #3-Look for Flexible, Adaptive People

Working for a startup is very different than working for a larger organization. The daily needs of a startup can change by the minute. People who work for a startup have to be much more flexible than most people are comfortable being. Instead of knowing what you will be doing every day, you have to expect to adjust what you are doing constantly to adapt to the ever-changing needs of a nimble startup.

 

Step #4-Build a Team with Diversity of Thought

While it is important to add team members who share the same values and fit well with the startup culture, it is important not to hire people who all think like the founder. Diversity of thought is important to ensure that the many perspectives of people are considered when growing the company. This will enable the founder to gain insight well beyond her or his own way of thinking.

 

Step #5-Leverage Mentors, Advisory Board When Building Your Team

It is crucial for all startup founders to have an advisory board of trusted advisors or multiple experienced mentors. These already successful business people enjoy giving back by helping new startups. They have extensive networks and can make recommendations for people to join the team.

Jeff Nock, a seasoned business consultant, has comprehensive experience that involves helping companies achieve their vision, as well as implement clear objectives to obtain and exceed goals and overall success. Jeff Nock is passionate about helping startup and early-stage companies achieve their dreams.

Jeff Nock Explains Why Business Mentors are Critical

As CEO and Founder of Prescient Consulting, LLC, Jeff Nock understands the importance of business mentoring for entrepreneurs and leaders of growing companies.

 

Jeff Nock
Jeff Nock

For years Jeff has helped startup, early-stage, and mid-cap companies achieve their growth goals through strategic planning, business model ideation, and product and partner development. 

 “One of the true strengths of most entrepreneurs and CEOs is a high level of confidence. Yet no one person can know everything about a product or industry. All entrepreneurs and CEOs should seek out and regularly meet with a mentor who has more experience and knowledge,” explained Jeff Nock. “No matter how successful or how hungry you are to gain success, you don’t know what you don’t know and we all can benefit from surrounding ourselves with people that can give us insight and help to raise us up to the highest level and inspire us to do more.”

 

How do you find a mentor?

  •     Look within your own network of friends and professional associates
  •     Join a CEO forum/roundtable 
  •     Join professional organizations
  •     Attend networking events both locally, nationally and where appropriate, internationally
  •     Join a micro-networking-mentoring online group
  •     Use social media to reach out such as LinkedIn or Facebook

 

Many successful business leaders are willing to give back and help others. It is important to remember that successful business leaders are incredibly busy so their time is very valuable. Make sure to always respect their time. Also, remember that mentors listen and advise. The work of doing what is advised is up to the company being mentored. 

 

Make sure to manage your expectations when entering a mentor-mentee relationship. Here are some of the benefits provided by good mentors: 

 

  • Real-world experience – Successful business leaders have an experience that you can’t find in books. 
  • Network opportunities – Experienced business professional have huge networks. Once you earn the trust of your mentor, they will introduce you to people you could have never connected with on your own. 
  • Confidence – Once you have a plan that a mentor buys into you can work on executing that plan with a much higher degree of confidence because the mentor believes in you and your plan. 
  • Emotional Intelligence – Experience mentors help entrepreneurs to mature more quickly. 

 

Always make sure to be seeking ways to repay your mentor for their time and advise such as referring clients and giving good online reviews.

 

Jeff Nock is an expert in demonstrating essential leadership qualities in a broad scope of positions, improving both early-stage and mid-cap small-scale businesses.

Business Consultant, Jeff Nock Discusses the Mindset a Startup Entrepreneur Needs

Jeff Nock White Shirt
Jeff Nock

CEO and Founder of Prescient Consulting, LLC, Jeff Nock is an experienced executive, consultant, and world-class leader who has demonstrated a history of growing startups, nonprofits and established companies.

 

He is skilled in areas such as business planning, the strategic planning process, leadership development, financial modeling/budget leadership, marketing/brand management, business development, and presentation development. He sheds light on the mindset of a startup entrepreneur.

 

“Entrepreneurs are independent, driven individuals that have a vision for creating new products or services or vastly improving existing products and services, but what often hinders their aspirations is the fact that entrepreneurs are always ideating, and this includes brainstorming multiple ideas simultaneously.” Jeff Nock continued, “I don’t know any entrepreneur who doesn’t have at least a handful of products, new inventions, innovative ideas or service-oriented concepts that they want to launch. Staying focused is critical to long-term achievement.”

 

Jeff Nock explained, “The startup entrepreneur sees what can be and doesn’t get held back by all those who say why something can’t be done. As an entrepreneur, they have to embrace risk and not be afraid of failure. We help entrepreneurs minimize their risk by using proven startup practices to better ensure short term and long term success. “We have a few critical steps that we map out for our clients; such as deeply understanding target market buy-in and establishing product/market fit. There need to be high-level goals in mind and constant progress must be made towards those goals along with pragmatic flexibility to adjust to new opportunities, without changing course every day. This is especially true in the beginning stages” Jeff explained further. “Too often startup entrepreneurs either completely wing it and have no short term and long-term goals to guide them or they over analyze and try to implement detailed business plans that simply overkill for small startups. The key is to find the right balance.”

 

Jeff Nock is the CEO & Founder of Prescient Consulting, LLC, understands good leadership. His business helps early-stage and mid-cap companies grow and ultimately achieve their goals by offering a range of services, notably business planning, budget oversight and software application development. He teaches companies how a decisive leader will affect the entire business from the top-down, strengthening their production, and encouraging healthy growth with time.

Jeff Nock - 5 Tips to Manage Cash Flow

Jeff Nock’s 5 Tips to Manage Cash Flow in the Early Years of Your Company

 Jeff Nock & DaughterJeff Nock is CEO and founder of Prescient Consulting, LLC, which helps companies achieve their growth goals. He has helped numerous organizations big and small, develop cash flow initiatives.

 

Jeff explains, “When new businesses are launching, it’s an exciting time, and everyone involved is geared to succeed and make their mark on the world, but during these ramp-up months and first few years, it’s important not only on revenue growth but also cash flow management.

 

Not always an easy task, it’s essential to have a plan and to stick to that plan.”

Jeff Nock’s 5 Tips

#1 Know When You Will Break Even

Many startups are led by visionary, goal-oriented people. By having goals for the company that include when the company will be cash-flow positive and break-even to profitability, founders will not only focus on top-line revenue growth but also cash flow management

#2 Keep Your Eye on Cash-Flow Management

During the startup phase, it is important to monitor spending not only monthly but even on a weekly basis. This doesn’t mean that founders should micro-manage the team and create a miserly culture, only that founders should have a very keen understanding of where cash is going when and make sure that both revenue and savings opportunities are achieved.

#3 Hire or “Outsource” Finance as Soon as Possible

Even if financials are a core competency for the founders, you shouldn’t handle the finances for your business. Many early-stage startups outsource the finance role to CPA’s who can come in a few hours a week and handle accounting and cash flow management. Once cash flow allows it, hire a controller and eventually a CPA. Founders should focus on growing the company and delegate to specialists.

#4 Utilize Smart Hiring

Often, those who have never been part of a successful startup and are financially focused, recommend that founders don’t hire people until they absolutely have to do so. In many cases, this is the exact opposite of what should be done. Smart hiring allows early-stage companies to bring on the talent they need to gain early market share and win the fight for early adopters. If founders can hire “smart” at this early stage, they can often recruit top talent that is highly skilled and often capable of taking on the role of two people in the company.

#5 Always Make Use of Technology

So often early-stage companies keep their financials on their hard drives or a plug-in. This makes the company very vulnerable to losing data entirely or having it stolen. Today, the best practice is to store all company data, including the financials, on a secure cloud platform. Not only will these platforms keep data safe from local file corruption/loss/theft, but it will also give your company secure access to your data anywhere in the world.

Jeff Nock is an experienced executive, consultant, and world-class leader who has demonstrated a history of growing startups, nonprofits and established companies. He is skilled in areas such as leadership development, strategic planning process, financial oversight, marketing, business development, and presentation development.

Jeff Nock - What to Look for in a PowerPoint

Jeff Nock Discusses What to Look for in a PowerPoint, Keynote or Prezi Pitch Deck

Jeff NockBusiness Consultant, Jeff Nock has validated essential entrepreneurial and leadership assets over the years in various positions, improving both small-scale businesses and larger corporations. Jeff Nock works one on one with business professional and leader on all levels.

Want to wow venture capitalist, clients, or staff with your presentation? The issue with many pitch deck presentations is an overabundance of information squeezed onto the slides. Jeff Nock, CEO & Founder of Prescient Consulting, LLC, explains what makes and breaks pitch deck presentations.

1. Everything should be clear and concise and should include well-suited images

2. Introduce your company, leadership, executive team or key players

3. Present your product, service or device and explain why there is a need. Does it solve a problem? Is it original, better or next generation?

4. Show real-world examples of how it works.

5. What is your commercialization plan or business model projections? Show how you will produce revenue?

6. What is the goal of the presentation? Do you want investors? If so, how much money are you asking for and why? Do you want branding and referral growth? If so, state how much you’ll need from your target audience. Are you looking for a partner? If so, how do they fit into the plan?

7. Final pages are for contact information and questions.

All pitch need to be thorough, but brief. People do not want to waste their time, and if you plan to present every detail of your company, you will lose interest very quickly. Pitch decks should be approximately 10 slides long and with the readable sized font. You need to make a great impression, so don’t read your slides word for word. Keep it interesting, professional and enticing. Visualization is key. If your presentation is full of ongoing bullet points or paragraphs, people will not be listening to you talk, they’ll be reading. You’ll need to add graphs and images that apply to your specific needs and niche.

Jeff Nock’s consulting business helps early-stage and mid-cap companies grow and ultimately achieve their goals by offering a range of services, notably business planning, and software application development. He teaches companies how to effectively improve the entire business from the top down, strengthening production, and encouraging healthy growth with time. Jeff Nock is highly skilled in areas such as business planning, the strategic planning process, management development, comprehensive marketing, sales, and presentation development.

Jeff Nock Fund Your Startup

Jeff Nock Discusses How to Fund Your Startup

Jeff Nock is CEO & Founder of Prescient Consulting, LLC, a consultancy that helps funded early stage and mid-cap companies achieve their vision and growth goals.

 

Jeff Nock
Jeff Nock

By offering services that include C-Level mentoring, strategic planning, business planning, financial/budget management,  business model ideation/evolution, market analysis, competitive niche analysis, business development, operational efficiencies, and brand evolution.

 

While many people have business ideas that could become viable companies, few people have the energy and drive to turn that idea into a company and even fewer people can raise the capital necessary to get their company off the ground. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs will find themselves repelling down much more quickly than it took to launch their idea. Jeff Nock shares his insight on finding funding for startups.

 

The first option for raising money is typically called bootstrapping or friends and family funding. This includes the entrepreneur utilizing personal savings, credit cards, or money from friends and family to fund the initial cash needs of the startup. The risk, of course, is that if the business never becomes profitable then the entrepreneur ends up with depleted savings and/or a huge credit card debt or frustrated friends and families. Nonetheless, Jeff Nock has seen companies raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for their business from friends and family with little or no loss of equity. 

 

Crowdfunding through social media allows for smaller investments from individuals or organizations, but on a larger scale of reach and frequency. Crowdfunding creates public interest, free marketing, and in many cases, significant funds to launch your business from the ground up. However, there is intense competition from other business ideas, non-profits and others that often results in companies raising very little for their company. Jeff Nock advises that even though the rate of success may not be high, depending on the business idea and the public’s interest in that idea, many companies have raised considerable capital through crowdfunding. 

 

For both friends and family money and crowdfunding, it is often possible to raise funds before the product or service is even available. This initial funding allows the startup to get off the ground and show enough legitimacy to potentially gain the attention of the next level of funding which comes from angel investors. Angel investors, in return for a small portion of the equity in the startup, invest in very early stage companies for which they truly buy into the business idea, the entrepreneurs or both. 

 

There are also federal (SBA-Small Business Administration and others) and state (economic development agencies) loans available but many of these loans will require some sort of collateral. 

 

Once a company has a product or service up and running and typically after revenue is being generated, many high tech or other scalable companies may pursue venture capital to expedite the growth and market share of their companies. Venture capitalists manage large funds and invest in multiple startups with the goal of getting a 5x or more return on their investment within three to five years. A venture capitalist, for example, may have a portfolio of 10 investment companies and expects 2-3 to fail, 2-3 to break even and two to three to be huge winners.

 

According to Jeff Nock, “Many entrepreneurs think they can get venture capital funding at the idea or pre-product launch phase and that may have been true back in the dot com era, but today venture capitalists want to see a product in the market that is working and can benefit from additional funding to scale and gain market share.” 

 

Jeff Nock is passionate about helping people achieve their dreams by bringing new products and services to market that help the world be a better place.

Expansion through Acquisition with Business Consultant Jeff Nock

Business Consultant, Jeff Nock sheds light on scalability through acquisitions. Acquiring  companies is one way that allows organizations to grow, gain market share and increase revenue and profits.

Jeff Nock
Jeff Nock

Jeff Nock encourages businesses in the position of acquiring other organizations to do so under specific guidelines, most importantly considering the cultural fit of the company to be acquired. While there are proven methods to financially analyze whether or not to acquire a company, evaluating the culture of the company to be acquired is more challenging.  

When considering an acquisition, it is of course to evaluate profitability, market share, and other metrics, but a key to deciding whether or not to acquire a company is to get to know the leaders and people of the company being considered for acquisition.

Observing the company in action as well as spending time over dinners and networking events will help to acquire companies learn if the culture or the way they do their work is consistent with the culture of the company considering the acquisition.

This is one of the reasons Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway have been so successful when acquiring or investing in companies. They not only run the numbers on companies to be acquired and know the industry but they get to know the people. Mr. Buffett and his team are excellent evaluators of leadership and culture within companies.

“So often when companies are pursuing an acquisition, they take a good hard look at the numbers and in some cases see an opportunity to eliminate competition but they don’t look at the people and the culture of the company and whether or not those people will be a good fit within their companies culture.

In addition to spending time with people in the company, it is also helpful during the due diligence process to talk to customers and partners of the company to be acquired and ask them what the people are like within the company.” Said Jeff Nock.

Acquisitions require significant due diligence of not only the numbers but the people. Being resourceful and open-minded to change is essential to growing. When organizations are acquired the overall company will only benefit from the acquisition in the long run if the remaining people in the acquired company will but into the new company culture and be willing to work hard for that new company and its leadership.  

Jeff Nock continued, “Scaling via acquisition may seem easier than organic growth but because of the complexity of combining two teams and two cultures into one, acquisitions often are not successful in the long run. It can compromise the acquiring company’s culture. It is pivotal to evaluate for culture fit when conducting due diligence as part of an acquisition.”

Jeff Nock, CEO & Founder of Prescient Consulting, LLC. Prescient, which is a management consultancy  that helps funded early stage and mid-cap companies achieve their vision and growth goals by offering services that include C-Level mentoring, strategic planning, business planning, business model ideation/evolution, financial guidance, market analysis, competitive niche analysis, business development, operational efficiencies, and brand evolution.

Jeff Nock

Jeff Nock, Business Consultant, Explains practical applications for a SWOT Analysis

In the 1960’s there were few tools to use for long term corporate planning. Business plans were 30-page tomes that no one ever read and did not enable employees to connect to the plan in a way that was executable. To address this problem a management consultant named Albert Humphrey at the Stanford Research Institute invented the SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Companies who conduct a SWOT analysis evaluate internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats.

Jeff Nock explains, “A SWOT analysis can be an effective part of the overall strategic planning process. It is helpful not only for leaders within the organization to evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses as well as external opportunities and threats but also helpful to bring in a third party (such a business consultant) to get a fresh perspective. Often company founders and CEO’s are too close to their own businesses to be objective when conducting a SWOT. Employees will often be more comfortable sharing their thoughts on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats with an experienced consultant who is conducting the SWOT in a way that assures confidentiality. This can unearth amazing growth opportunities for the organization and potentially bring to light issues that need to be addressed that could hinder growth.”

For example, a recent SWOT analysis by a consultant for a young technology company (all major stakeholders within the company and key customers were interviewed as part of the SWOT analysis). The results showed that the company strengths include extremely bright and talented people and an excellent culture. Weaknesses included internal processes that weren’t scaling as the company grew. Specific new industries were identified as opportunities for growth and various competitive factors were identified as threats to the company.

“Once the company had this information from the SWOT, a strategic planning process used that data and other data such as more specific customer feedback to complete an annual strategic plan that assured the company would continue to hire great people, address the process scale issues, take advantage of the new regional growth opportunities, and put in place strategies to fend off competition. While conducting such a SWOT analysis takes time, the return on investment is incredibly beneficial .” Jeff Nock shared.

CEO and Founder of Prescient Consulting, LLC, Jeff Nock is an experienced executive, consultant, and world-class leader who has demonstrated a history of growing startups, non-profits, and established companies. He is skilled in areas such as business planning, the strategic planning process, financial analysis, leadership development, marketing, sales, and presentation development.

Is Customer Analysis Necessary for Business’ Growth? Jeff Nock Weighs In

Jeff Nock, a seasoned business consultant, has a comprehensive experience that involves helping companies advance and grow their capabilities, as well as implement clear objectives to obtain and exceed goals and overall success.

 

Jeff Nock
Jeff Nock

Jeff Nock has a vast understanding of the elements necessary to achieve organizational growth. In doing this, companies must have a customer analysis strategy to reach their potential and make sure they are meeting or exceeding customer expectations.

 

Jeff Nock says, “Customer analysis is an important ongoing practice that all companies should utilize. Setting up regular feedback mechanisms from customers ensures that companies have  an ongoing understanding of what is working and what is not working and provides direction for future growth.” Jeff continues, “Customer analysis is both a quantitative and qualitative assessment of your business’ customers which considers customer satisfaction, reasons for buying patterns, reasons for why certain products and services are not being purchased and put a spotlight on good and bad customer service issues.”

 

Setting up a consistent customer experience management program is a great way for B to B companies to learn about customer satisfaction. Many customers use the Net Promoter Score (NPS) by Satmetrix as the key metric for their program. NPS is a customer survey that measures customer experience and predicts business growth and allows companies to compare their NPS or service score against other companies in their industry. Jeff Nock explains, “With NPS companies not only measure customer satisfaction but also measure brand recognition and unearth potential growth areas.”

 

While NPS is a great way to get quantitative data on customers, more traditional one on one business relationship strategies, like taking customers out to lunch and inviting them to networking events or conducting online video updates, help ensure that customers are not only feeling valued but also have the opportunity to share their perspective on the business relationship directly. Some people prefer to share their thoughts verbally rather than fill out an online survey.

 

Keeping track of all customer contacts, whether electronic, on the phone, video chat or in person is critical. Utilization of a customer relationship management (CRM) tool such as Salesforce or HubSpot enables companies to track and make sure that each customer is being contacted in the appropriate strategic way on a regular basis.  

 

Jeff Nock is CEO and Founder of Prescient Consulting, LLC, He is highly skilled in areas such as business planning, the strategic planning process, financial oversight, leadership development, marketing, sales, and presentation development.