Business consultant Jeff Nock outlines the benefits of conducting periodic SWOT analyses for companies.
From improving business operations to discovering new opportunities, periodic SWOT analyses are essential for companies looking to achieve continued growth and success. That’s according to Jeff Nock, a business consultant, business growth specialist and founder of Prescient Consulting, LLC, based in Iowa City, Iowa, as he reveals more about the process.
“Conducting periodic SWOT analyses is vital in business,” suggests Jeff Nock, “in order to discover new opportunities, improve existing business operations, address potential risks, and remain competitive.”
Even the world’s largest companies, he says, rely heavily on the SWOT analysis process to evaluate everything from production capacity to necessary contingency plans should threats appear in the marketplace.
SWOT is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. A typical SWOT analysis identifies both internal and external factors that are likely to affect a company’s performance. While strengths and weaknesses are considered internal factors, opportunities and threats involve dealing with external or environmental matters.
“Accurately and periodically evaluating a company’s strengths is essential in order to allocate resources, labor, and capital correctly ,” explains Nock. “It’s all about ensuring that a business is using its resources efficiently,” he adds.
Identifying weaknesses, meanwhile, he says, is vital to improving business operations and customer service and will help to prevent against all manner of strategic blunders. “It’s important to remember that most weaknesses can be turned into strengths in the future,” adds the business consultant.
Next, Nock moves on to external or environmental factors. “New opportunities are key to continued growth,” he explains, “from identifying untapped customer groups to undertaking geographic expansion.”
By conducting periodic SWOT analyses, a business is able to maintain a longer-term view of potential opportunities, as well as possible pitfalls or threats, according to the expert. “These potential pitfalls or threats are, perhaps, best described as risks,” suggests Nock. “Occurring outside of a company’s control, threats or risks often extend well beyond those caused by competitors in the market,” he adds. Other threats, or risks, can include regulatory changes or swings in consumer tastes, for example, according to the Iowa City-based specialist.
Jeff Nock also believes that identifying risks is critical to competitive positioning and strategic planning.
“It’s about always being prepared and having well-developed contingency plans in place ahead of time,” he adds, wrapping up, “which is why carrying out periodic SWOT analyses at regular intervals is so important.”
Based in Iowa City, Iowa, founder and CEO of Prescient Consulting, LLC Jeff Nock boasts a demonstrated history of growing startups, growth oriented companyies and nonprofit organizations, alike. Skilled in business and strategic planning, leadership development, sales, marketing, and presentation development, now-established Iowa resident Nock also holds a master’s degree in management from Colorado’s Regis University and is a specialist in growing organizations
The process of researching a market in order to build a solid understanding of the current landscape, market analysis is essential to success in business. That’s according to Jeff Nock, a management consultant in Iowa City, Iowa, as he reveals more about the process.
“Any successful company or brand must have a rock-solid understanding of the landscape in which they’re doing business,” suggests Nock, founder of Prescient Consulting, LLC, based in Iowa City, Iowa.
The same companies and brands, he says, must also maintain an up-to-date analytical look at both their customers and competitors. “Successful market analysis processes allow brands and businesses to fully understand and appreciate both the opportunities and threats facing them,” explains Nock, “and how their customers and the competition are likely to respond or react to the products or services which they’re offering.”
Market analysis is defined as the study of the attractiveness and the dynamics of a particular market within a particular industry. Through such studies, the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a company or brand can be identified. Accordingly, appropriate business strategies can then be put in place.
The market analysis process, according to management consultant Jeff Nock, often addresses inventory, the purchase of stock, workforce expansion, workforce contraction, facility expansion, promotional activities, and the purchase of capital equipment, among various other key factors.
“From in-depth research deep dives employing a team of specialized professionals to more simple approaches utilizing more freely available data, the market analysis process can range hugely in scope and scale,” reveals the specialist.
In any instance, however, market analysis should, he says, always touch on a number of key points.
These, Nock advises, should include market size, competitive analysis, market growth analysis, market trends, market profitability, segmentation and demographics, and success factors. “Where appropriate, distribution channels should also be explored,” he adds.
According to Jeff Nock, market analysis should precede and ultimately underpin any successful business plan.
Without a crystal clear understanding of the market, Iowa businessman Nock says it’s impossible to plan how best to tackle the competition and reach potential customers. The most successful market analysis studies, he suggests, should also seek to consider a mix of both primary and secondary sources.
“The broader a business or brand’s mix of sources,” the expert adds, wrapping up, “the more reliable and detailed an understanding they’ll be able to build up via their market analysis efforts.”
Based in Iowa City, Iowa, founder and CEO of Prescient Consulting, LLC Jeff Nock boasts a demonstrated history of growing nonprofit organizations, startups, and established companies alike. Skilled in business and strategic planning, sales, marketing, and leadership development, now-established Iowa resident Nock also holds a master’s degree in management from Colorado’s Regis University and is a specialist in helping companies achieve their growth goals.
Founder and CEO of Prescient Consulting, LLC, Jeff Nock offers a behind the scenes look at the successful Iowa-based consultancy.
From strategic planning to software application development, Iowa-based Prescient Consulting, LLC has helped more than 250 companies grow and exceed their goals in recent years. Company founder and CEO Jeff Nock explains more about the process.
“At Prescient Consulting, LLC, we offer more than 30 years of executive-level, growth-oriented leadership experience for growing startups, nonprofit organizations, and established companies alike,” reveals Nock.
Services offered by Prescient Consulting, LLC, according to the CEO, include strategic planning, business plan creation, software application development, business model ideation, market analysis, competitive niche analysis, business development, brand evolution, and more. “Prescient Consulting, LLC has, to date, helped over 250 companies to successfully achieve their growth plans,” explains Nock.
Industries that Jeff Nock and Prescient Consulting, LLC have demonstrated success within include high tech, ed tech, manufacturing, finance, healthcare, retail, hospitality, e-commerce, retail and nonprofit.
“Whether a company or organization is an early stage operation trying to cross the chasm toward mainstream sustainability or an established firm attempting to break through to the next level, Prescient Consulting, LLC can help to achieve these and other business goals,” suggests leadership development specialist Nock.
Jeff Nock is the CEO and founder of Prescient Consulting, LLC. Jeff has over 30 years of executive leadership experience including as CEO of Goodwill of the Heartland, CEO of EPX Denver, and AVP of Marketing and Product Development at ACT, as well as serving as supervisor to a highly successful software department at a Dun & Bradstreet subsidiary providing commercial data, analytics, and insights for businesses across the United States and internationally.
Nock has also been part of a number of prominent high-tech startups including netLibrary, Knowledge Analysis Technologies, and ConnectFive. netLibrary, he reveals, was an online ebook library purchased by OCLC in Boulder, Colorado, while Knowledge Analysis Technologies, a Boulder automated essay scoring engine, was acquired by Pearson. “ConnectFive, meanwhile,” he adds, wrapping up, “is as a successful UX design firm based in Coralville, Iowa, less than 15 minutes from Iowa City.”
Based in Iowa City, Iowa, founder and CEO of Prescient Consulting, LLC Jeff Nock boasts a demonstrated history of growing nonprofit organizations, startups, and established companies alike. Skilled in business and strategic planning, sales, marketing, and presentation development, now-established Iowa resident Nock also holds a master’s degree in management from Colorado’s Regis University and is a specialist in helping business leaders achieve their dreams.
Management development specialist Jeff Nock shares his years of knowledge surrounding successful business plan development.
A highly successful executive-turned-consultant, Jeff Nock boasts a demonstrated history of growing startups, nonprofit organizations, and established companies alike. From executive summary to appendix, the Iowa-based corporate consultant, University of Colorado and Regis University graduate provides an expert insight into developing a winning business plan.
While in many cases business plans have been replaced within companies by strategic and operational plans, there are still some situations, such as when a company is pursuing an outside investment, a bank loan or a business plan competition, where having a good business plan is required. “Any successful business plan should begin with an Executive Summary and a Company Description,” suggests Nock. The Executive Summary, he says, should be a snapshot of the business plan, while a Company Description provides a high level overview of what the company does, for who, and why.
“This,” Iowa-based Jeff Nock continues, “should be followed by sections dedicated to an overview of the company’s Products and Services, followed by a Marketing Plan which includes a market analysis, such as a SWOT, a competition overview, marketing strategies to be used, the pricing strategy, and an overview of the distribution strategy.
“Follow this up with an Operations Plan which describes how the company will make what it produces or provide services.
Next is the Management section, according to Nock, which provides an overview of the company leadership with enough biographical information for each leader to show the reader the experience that will help the company be successful.
Before any appendices, the last section of the business plan is the Financial Plan. This section often includes a 3-year forecast along with other traditional financial reports.
A seasoned executive-turned-consultant, Jeff Nock is highly skilled in business and strategic planning, sales, marketing, and leadership development. Nock, who’s based in Iowa City, Iowa, also holds a Master’s Degree in Management from Colorado’s Regis University.
Nock has previously written at length on topics including Christian leadership, business and startup mentoring, how to build a team, the importance of flexible focus for startups, strategic planning, market analysis, social entrepreneurship, and cash flow management, as well as how to balance being a father and a CEO.
Based in Iowa City, Iowa, founder and CEO of Prescient Consulting, LLC Jeff Nock boasts a demonstrated history of growing nonprofit organizations, startups, and established companies alike. Skilled in business and strategic planning, sales, marketing, and presentation development, now-established Iowa resident Nock also holds a master’s degree in management from Colorado’s Regis University and is a specialist in management development.
Business consultant Jeff Nock explores the purpose, metrics, and goals of social entrepreneurship efforts ranging from community development to poverty alleviation.
Said by the Institute for Social Entrepreneurs to be the art of simultaneously pursuing both a financial and social return on investment, social entrepreneurship is on the rise both in the United States and globally. Founder and CEO of Prescient Consulting, renowned business executive Jeff Nock—an expert in helping early-stage and mid-cap companies to achieve their visions and growth goals—provides a closer look at the concept.
According to Public Broadcasting Service’s Enterprising Ideas, a project of NOW on PBS, social entrepreneurship is an approach by start-up entrepreneurs and companies in which they fund, develop, and implement solutions that solve social, cultural, and environmental issues. “The concept,” suggests Nock, who’s based in Iowa, “can be applied to a wide range of organizations which vary not just in size, but also in terms of aims and beliefs.”
Unlike for-profit entrepreneurs who typically measure performance via business metrics such as revenues, market share, and income, social entrepreneurship efforts universally involve either not-for-profit organizations or organizations which blend for-profit goals with positive returns to society, according to Nock. “There still is a need to generate money because no money no mission, but other metrics also apply,” he adds.
Nock continues, “Common goals within social entrepreneurship endeavors range from broad social, cultural, and environmental aims to more tailored efforts tied to, for example, poverty alleviation, community development, or access to medical care.”
Social entrepreneurship, the expert believes, has, in more recent years, been massively facilitated by the internet. “Social networking, unsurprisingly, has been hugely beneficial to all manner of social entrepreneurship efforts worldwide,” says Nock, a sought-after business consultant and provider of C-level mentoring, strategic and business planning, market analysis, brand evolution, and more.
Enabling social entrepreneurs to reach often many millions of like-minded individuals, websites such as Twitter and Facebook have, he suggests, facilitated everything from collaboration and increased awareness to—via crowdfunding in particular—access to often much-needed, supplementary financial backing.
Well-known social entrepreneurship organizations include the Skoll Foundation, the Omidyar Network, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, Athgo, Echoing Green, and the Global Social Benefit Institute. “Each of these,” Nock explains, “promotes and provides resources intended to help advance the efforts of social entrepreneurs around the world.”
The Skoll Foundation, he goes on to reveal, was created by eBay’s first president, Jeff Skoll, and provides grants to already-established but still-growing social entrepreneurship endeavors. “A private foundation based in Palo Alto, California, the Skoll Foundation today makes grants totaling around $40 million each year,” adds Nock, wrapping up.
Based in Iowa City, Iowa, founder and CEO of Prescient Consulting, LLC Jeff Nock boasts a demonstrated history of growing nonprofit organizations, startups, and established companies alike. Skilled in business and strategic planning, budget development and oversight, sales, marketing, and presentation development, Nock also holds a master’s degree in management from Colorado’s Regis University and is a specialist in leadership development.
Experienced business executive and consultant Jeff Nock provides a series of tips designed and proven to help scale new and existing businesses.
From networking to investing in employees, business consultant and executive Jeff Nock has a proven history of growing nonprofit organizations, startups, and established companies alike. An expert in strategic planning, sales, marketing, and presentation development, Nock offers four tips on how best to scale businesses of all shapes and sizes.
“First, invest in your employees,” says Nock. A company which invests heavily in its employees, he suggests, will both retain and attract the top talent. “This means more than the compensation plan. Employees today value intrinsic motivations more than extrinsic. This could mean taking the time to speak regularly one on one with all employees to ensure that they feel valued,” adds the expert, “respected and valued employees are more committed to the company and this culture will motivate and encourage company buy in and hard work.”
“Next, stay networked,” suggests Nock. “The more of a contributor a leader is to the community entrepreneurial ecosystem the more the community will see the leader as someone they want to work with, partner with or become a customer of that company”, Jeff Nock believes.
Remember, too, says Nock, that it’s okay to ask for help. “Asking for help as an entrepreneur or company owner is not a sign of weakness,” explains the business consultant. “And be ready to help others when asked or when you see a need.”
On the contrary, Nock believes that leveraging the skill sets and past experiences of other individuals who have succeeded in business can be key to scaling up. “From professional consultants and industry mentors to friends and family members, leveraging the knowledge of those around us is sometimes vital in growing a business,” he adds.
Based in Iowa City, Iowa, Jeff Nock boasts a demonstrated history of growing nonprofit organizations, startups, and established companies alike. Skilled in business and strategic planning, partnership development, sales, marketing, and presentation development, Nock also holds a Masters in Management from Colorado’s Regis University and is a specialist in scaling companies and leadership development.
Founder and CEO of Prescient Consulting, LLC, Nock and the firm offer expert consultancy services designed to help early-stage and mid-cap companies to achieve their visions and growth goals. Nock does so, he says, via the implementation of C-level mentoring, strategic and business planning, market analysis, competitive niche analysis, business model ideation, business development, exploration of operational efficiencies, brand evolution, and more.
“Finally,” adds Jeff Nock, wrapping up, “there are unique challenges at various stages of company growth and if you haven’t done it before, it is a lot easier overcome those challenges asking someone who has!”
Business Consultant, Jeff Nock sheds light on scalability through social media campaigns. Extending a company’s brand through the right social media channels can be cost effective and very impactful. Jeff Nock encourages businesses of all kinds to leverage social media to help attain their overall goals.
#1 Branding through Social Media
In order to grow market share, companies must execute marketing strategies to generate new interest in their products or services. Using social media to further brand your company should be a key strategy for companies of all sizes. But when it comes to social media, staying true to your image and brand’s directives is essential. No matter how or where you are promoting your business, your branding must be consistent. When you begin to think about your social media presence, make sure that your brand and image are consistent and match up with your objectives and goals.
#2 User-Generated Content
User-generated content is when customers or clients create or post content about your products or services online. Having your customers share your value proposition is much more effective to potential clients then the company sharing its own value proposition. This is because potential buyers will give much more credibility to what customers of a company say about that company versus what the company says about itself.
#3 Cross Channel Marketing
Cross channel marketing is a great way to promote your business for a very cost-effective, marginal investment. Choosing the appropriate channels that suit your business best is vital. Often for companies that market to businesses (B to B), LinkedIn and videos (whether through YouTube or directly) are great places to start as those are digital platforms that are used by businesses. For companies marketing directly to consumers (B to C), Facebook and other digital platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Spotify, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Slideshare can be very effective, cost efficient tools.
Whether through digital platforms, or more traditional media like print, radio, or TV, consistently utilizing your brand and being consistent with your messaging across all platforms is crucial. These coordinated campaigns should drive potential customers to action, whether to visit your website for more information, or to contact you directly.
Jeff Nock, CEO & Founder of Prescient Consulting, LLC. Prescient 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 model ideation/evolution, market analysis, competitive niche analysis, business development, operational efficiencies, budget management and brand evolution
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.
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.
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.
As CEO and Founder of Prescient Consulting, LLC, Jeff Nock understands the importance of business mentoring for entrepreneurs and leaders of growing companies.
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.