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 provide 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 that 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 ideas/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 ideas, and development.
Jeff Nock details the best practices for building a successful startup team.
Step #1-but identify Gaps in Skill Sets
All founders are people and all people have weaknesses. Smart founders are humble and realize their weaknesses and add people to their team that has 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 Skill Set Need
Traditional team building and interviewing has changed over the years. Instead of looking just to add specific skill sets 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 advisers 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 a 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.
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 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.
Business 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 capitalists, 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. The final pages are for contact information and questions.
All pitch needs 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 is CEO & Founder of Prescient Consulting, LLC, a 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, 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.