Jeff Nock discusses Social Entrepreneurialism & Coronavirus
IOWA CITY, IA / iCrowdNewswire / April 2, 2020 / Jeff Nock, Iowa business consultant and CEO and Founder of Prescient Consulting, LLC, discusses the importance of social entrepreneurship (i.e. microfinance/lending, corporate volunteerism, charitable involvement, etc.) in these trying pandemic times. This discussion is more important than ever considering our challenging times.
Jeff Nock, Iowa based consultant has enjoyed successfully helping businesses of all sizes for over 30 years. Whether a leader in an established business or a new startup seeking to gain a foothold in the marketplace, Jeff Nock of Iowa City, Iowa provides custom-tailored solutions designed to have a meaningful impact on your business.
Traditionally, social entrepreneurship, according to the Jeff Nock, Iowa based business consultant, entails efforts by businesses to impact social, cultural and environmental issues in their community, state, country or globally. These efforts can include volunteering of employee time for efforts such as helping build a house for Habitat for Humanity, donation of funds through employee payroll to organizations like United Way, or creating an ongoing business model like Toms Shoes where for each pair of shoes they sell they donate a pair of shoes to people in need in Africa.
Today’s pandemic times create a whole new level of need and businesses have the opportunity to not only help people have better lives but can actually help save peoples’ lives. Our frontline healthcare providers are heroes trying to help thousands of people throughout the world. In many cases they are doing so with the personal protective equipment (PPE) they need. Doctors and nurses are supposed to change masks after every procedure or room visit. Yet some in emergency rooms are having to go the entire day with the same face mask.
Companies have multiple ways they can chip in. Direct financial contributions can help while some manufacturing companies have the capability to repurpose their manufacturing processes to make PPE such as face masks, face shields and hand sanitizer.
Jeff Nock Iowa CEO explains why social responsibility is more important than ever
Our world and our nation are facing unprecedented challenges with the Coronavirus/COVID-19. Jeff Nock, Iowa based consultant suggests that it is imperative for businesses to join with healthcare providers and government entities to help stop this virus. Now is not the time to hoard product or profits. Look at the virus as a business challenge and strategically contribute people, financials, products, or any other resources possible to help people in need.
Social entrepreneurship has always sought to help address challenges throughout our world. Social entrepreneurship today takes on a whole new meaning. After all, it is the right thing to do and the faster this virus can be eradicated, the faster we can all go back to our business as normal.
Social entrepreneurship is not a new construct. Businesses have always struck a balance between the activities needed to make money and the efforts they engage in to protect the communities in which they do business. This, Jeff Nock, Iowa based business and executive consultant contends, is the way business now has to be done.
Business expert Jeff Nock demonstrates the importance of real-time, ongoing feedback versus once-a-year performance reviews.
The employee performance review process is undergoing a massive, important evolution. Companies like Microsoft, Netflix, Adobe, and GE are eliminating annual performance reviews in favor of real-time feedback processes. This, Jeff Nock believes is because real-time feedback is a much better way to lead and coach people who desire such empathetic guidance rather than autocratic, impersonal annual reviews. Real-time feedback is also a better fit for today’s real-time world and younger social media savvy workers. An expert in business located in Iowa City, Iowa, Nock explains more about the process.
“The annual review process comes with a lot of baggage,” suggests Jeff Nock, Iowa City-based business consultant and owner and founder of Prescient Consulting, LLC, “which causes high levels of employee frustration, pitting employees against each other and causes employees to tune out. People want to be considered as individuals and be given a chance to achieve their potential.” Annual reviews also miss the mark because they by nature include situations that occurred 6 to 12 months ago. Issues, good or bad, should be addressed real-time to encourage or model desired behavior rather than a year later when the individual may not even remember the issue.
What companies like Microsoft are learning is that real-time feedback makes employees feel valued and appreciated for their efforts now, not 12 months from now. This also, Nock claims, improves the quality of feedback because the situations are fresh in the minds of all people involved. “Real-time feedback related to performance issues enables the employee,” adds the expert, “to adjust right away and improve their productivity and their morale.”
Jeff Nock believes real-time feedback empowers employees as done correctly, the process creates a two-way discussion rather than an autocratic, top down annual review. “Good, real-time feedback turns the employee review process into an ongoing coaching, mentor-mentee scenario. Through one on one weekly meetings and other ad hoc communications, the employee gets better day to day leadership and the manager learns to become a better leader,” adds Nock, a graduate of Regis University in Denver, Colorado, speaking from his office in Iowa City, Iowa.
Leadership today must adjust to the way people learn today. People gain information in real-time through their phones, computers and laptops, according to Prescient Consulting, LLC founder and CEO Jeff Nock. “To use annual reviews in today’s work environment is akin to using letters and the mail to share important daily news”, adds the business consultant.
“Good leaders are transparent and good communicators, in real-time,” he adds, wrapping up, “and good employees appreciate this transparent, empathetic leadership and engage and work harder for companies with such leadership.”
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.
Business consultant and marketing expert Jeff Nock explains the importance of process identification and documentation in business maturity.
Jeff Nock, an experienced business consultant based in Iowa City, Iowa, runs through several key stages of so-called business maturity as he explains more about the topic and the importance of process identification and documentation in the now widely regarded practice.
Business maturity is defined as a measurement of the ability of a company or other organization to achieve continuous improvement, typically within a set discipline. “A more mature business, for example,” explains Nock, speaking from his office in Iowa City, Iowa, “will be better equipped to transform mistakes or errors into opportunities for improvement than a less mature one.”
This, the consultant says, comes as a result of business maturity essentially facilitating an organic ability to address quality standards, or the use of resources, in order to transform possible negatives into potential positives; something which many younger businesses—or those simply lacking business maturity—are often unable to achieve.
According to Jeff Nock, achieving business maturity most commonly relies on what’s known as a maturity model, and, of course, time. “The process,” he goes on to point out, “should also be further supported by process identification and documentation.”
Largely seen as part of the business maturity process itself, process identification and documentation may, Nock explains, assess people, culture, and technology, as well as a host of other areas of day-to-day business.
“Process identification and documentation in business, in the most straightforward sense, involves creating, following, and updating a roadmap for a company or organization, which helps to identify current states of business process, and determines and dictates where improvements can, or should, possibly, be made,” says the expert.
Where any process needs to be repeated or requires more than one person to complete in the first instance, it should be documented for the purpose of streamlining the roadmap going forward, hence the documentation aspect of process identification and documentation, according to Nock.
Briefly returning his focus solely to business maturity, the Iowa City-based business consultant points toward several stages frequently, and ideally, encountered during the process, ranging from improved knowledge sharing to reduced operating costs.
“Business maturity generally involves a number of stages, ideally starting with improved knowledge sharing and employee connections,” adds Nock, wrapping up, “followed by increased innovation, improved brand recognition and reputation, and culminating in deeper customer relationships and reduced operating costs across the board.”
CEO Jeff Nock uncovers the secret to balancing work and family life as a father.
A balancing act between good communication and scheduling, it can, as a CEO, be a challenge to designate ample time to both work and family life. It’s not, however, impossible, according to CEO and successful business consultant Jeff Nock, from Iowa City, Iowa, as he shares a closer look at the secret of balancing work and life as a proud father.
“As a CEO, it can be a challenge to designate enough time to both your family and work, but it’s not impossible,” suggests Nock, owner and founder of Prescient Consulting, LLC. “The key, I believe, is excellent communication and scheduling,” adds the CEO, currently based in Iowa City, Iowa.
The business-centric father understands, he says, the challenges of running a business and maintaining his responsibilities as a parent inside out. “While my kids will forever come first, they also appreciate that I need to work hard to provide for them, and that I genuinely enjoy my career,” explains Nock.
Suggesting that the key is good communication and scheduling, Nock says his children know that he’ll always be there for them. “It is important that my business clients know I can be available for them when they need our company so we as a team balance our availability to make sure client needs are met,” he explains, “which, of course, sometimes leads to long days!”
Accordingly, business consultant Jeff Nock has seen his company—Prescient Consulting, LLC, based in Iowa City, Iowa—thrive. “I’m compelled to work long hours to see the business truly thrive,” suggests the CEO, “yet, as a father, important aspects of family life, such as my kids’ extracurricular activities, for example, are usually scheduled far enough in advance to where scheduling clients can be done and kid activities can be attended.”
This, he says, involves staying on top of his and his family’s schedules, and communicating openly with business clients. “The kids need to know that that they mean the world to me,” adds CEO Nock.
“I’ve come to the realization that a healthy work-life balance can be accomplished and having been able in the past and in the future to see the special moments in my kids’ lives has been incredibly rewarding,” says the proud father.
Skilled in sales, marketing, and strategic planning, business consultant Jeff Nock breaks down the SWOT analysis process.
By making time for periodic SWOT analyses, businesses are able to maintain a longer-term view of their potential opportunities, as well as possible pitfalls and threats. That’s according to business consultant Jeff Nock as he provides a simplified view of the SWOT analysis process from his office in Iowa City, Iowa.
“The benefits of conducting periodic SWOT analyses for companies are almost too numerous to count,” suggests Nock, a seasoned business consultant experienced in sales, marketing, and strategic planning, based in Iowa City, Iowa. These benefits, he says, range from better understanding of internal core strengths and areas that need improvement to being better prepared to deal with external competitive threats and take advantage of opportunities. “Periodic SWOT analyses are essential, I believe, for any company looking to achieve continued growth and success,” adds the expert.
An acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, a typical SWOT analysis identifies internal and external factors likely to affect a company’s future performance. “While strengths and weaknesses are focused internally, opportunities and threats involve addressing external or environmental factors,” business consultant Nock explains. “In the simplest sense, it’s about the company taking the occasional time to measure its own temperature and the temperature of its market”, he adds.
Without ensuring this, it’s often a struggle to accurately allocate resources, labor, capital, and more, according to Nock. “Identifying weaknesses, for example,” he goes on, “is vital to improving business operations and can mitigate against all manner of strategic blunders.”
It’s important to remember, too, Nock says, that all companies have core strengths and that weaknesses, once identified, can be addressed through partnerships or changes in process.
Similarly, threats—or risks—such as regulatory changes or swings in consumer tastes, can have a catastrophic effect on a business if not properly understood, yet, when managed, it’s possible to turn a negative into a positive and avoid a potential nightmare situation before it occurs, according to the specialist.
“From competitive positioning to strategic planning, the SWOT analysis process is about always being prepared,” adds Nock, wrapping up, “and having a well-developed contingency plan in place should the need arise to change course in pursuit of continued business success.”
Leading business consultant Jeff Nock, from Iowa City, Iowa, reveals the best ways to successfully scale a new or existing business.
With a demonstrated history of successfully growing companies ranging from startups and nonprofits to established companies with national and international operations, Jeff Nock has spoken at length about how best to scale a business, the concept of social entrepreneurship, business plan development, and much more. Here, the leading business consultant, who’s based in Iowa City, Iowa, revisits a series of tips designed to help scale businesses of all sizes.
“When looking to scale a business, begin by first ensuring that you have a vision and mission/core focus for your company and strategies that you plan to execute to achieve that mission. Once you have thought through that it is imperative that you have a leadership team plan that scales to support your planned growth,” suggests Nock, “as a strategic plan is only as good as the leadership team that will execute that plan.”
A thoughtful staffing plan is often not considered when rolling out new and aggressive growth plans, he says, as different sets of skills and experiences are required as companies scale. “Making sure that you have the right people in the right seats from both a cultural and skillset/experience is essential to the successfully scale any business,” adds Iowa City-based Jeff Nock.
With the vision, mission, strategies, leadership team and staffing plan in place, it is still always to stay in tune with what is happening in the market. This doesn’t just mean keeping up to speed with best practices, all companies try to achieve those, but it means thinking how to define new and even better ways of doing things so as to differentiate from the competition. “Redefine ways of doing business rather than just improve the old ways,” he suggests. “The companies that define the way products or services are offered reach the peak of their industries and those that just follow best practices chase them,” says Jeff Nock. Industry leaders scale much faster than the rest of their industry. “Remember, too,” Jeff Nock continues, “that it is ok to take calculated risks and fail.”
Failing for a business owner or entrepreneur, Jeff Nock says, is how learning happens and quantum growth ultimately happens. “Most are afraid to fail and never take chances on truly solving big problems or completely changing the way things are done. Those that do, have the opportunity to break through to a whole new level,” reveals the expert.
“Mentorship from professional consultants or industry mentors to family members and friends with business experience,” he goes on, “leveraging the knowledge of those around you can sometimes be vital in successfully scaling a business.”
A graduate of Colorado’s Regis University, Jeff Nock holds a master’s degree in management and is an expert in strategic planning, business plan creation, business model ideation, market analysis, competitive niche analysis, business development, and brand evolution.
“Lastly, when looking to scale a business,” he adds, wrapping up, “remember that it is so important to take time to think strategically and get out of the day to day. Grinding day to day doesn’t allow an owner to see the big picture of where they can go.”
Jeff Nock is the founder and CEO of Prescient Consulting, LLC, based in Iowa City, Iowa. Nock and his stellar group of partners have helped over 250 companies to build and execute successful strategic and business plans. To find out more, visit https://prescient.us/.
Business consultant Jeff Nock, based in Iowa City, Iowa, explains the basics of creating an effective channel strategy
Loosely defined, channel strategy is how a company gets its product or service through their business process to the customer. For example, if a company produces a physical product and sells that product to individual consumers, they have multiple channels to choose from (direct online, direct in their own store, through a retail partner, through Amazon, etc). In the business to business space, channel options can include selling direct, through partners, value added resellers (VARs) and other options explains marketing and product development specialist Jeff Nock.
“Often startups or companies launching new products have to start with a direct channel strategy because it is hard to get on the shelf at bigger stores and initially hard to gain traction on Amazon or other online marketplaces. Thinking through a channel strategy that can help generate much needed cashflow initially but can also scale to optimize potential sales is both an art and a science,” suggests Nock, the founder of a successful business consultancy firm located in Iowa City, Iowa.
From determining the correct target market or individual buyer to outlining so-called ‘value propositions’ of a product, service, or other offerings, creating a successful channel strategy relies on a number of distinct steps, according to Jeff Nock. “First, it’s important to define one-or possibly more-channel or channels,” says the expert. These channels today can involve many different options as partnerships continue to diversify. The challenge is not to bite off too much as managing channel partners can take just as much time as providing great customer service to customers.
“For many firms looking to implement a channel strategy,” Nock continues, “knowing their target market and how that target market prefers to purchase products or services like theirs is huge.”
Doing proper “customer discovery” when choosing a channel strategy is just as important as it is when doing customer discovery when designing the product or service in the first place. It is imperative that companies not only know that what they are offering is wanted by their target market but also how (channel) that target market prefers to buy,” suggests Nock.
Once a company has learned from their target market how that market prefers to purchase products or services like theirs, the company should then conduct a thorough analysis of all the different ways that channel could be implemented. Once this analysis has been conducted and the best, defined as most desirable to the target market, and economically advantageous to the company, channel strategy is determined, a well thought out implementation plan should be executed. “Too often companies go with the easiest channel to enter and suffer long term repercussions for such short sided thinking,” suggests the expert, “conducting good customer discovery, analyzing the best implementation strategy and executing that strategy helps avoid this pitfall.”
Often is necessary to avoid channel conflict, Jeff Nock says, as a company doesn’t want to find itself competing for sales with its own partners. Channel segmentation according to Nock, may see a company target exclusively larger enterprises through its direct sales channel strategy while, when looking to sell to smaller and midsized firms, employing only partners.
Branding, sales, and marketing expert Jeff Nock outlines the partnership development process and its importance in business.
A successful Iowa City-based businessman and founder of Prescient Consulting, Jeff Nock boasts a demonstrated history of growing established companies, startups, and nonprofit organizations alike. Here, business consultant Nock outlines the importance of partnership development.
“The essence of partnership development is that businesses execute their core competencies in-house and partner for everything else,” explains Nock, founder and CEO of Prescient Consulting, LLC, based in Iowa City, Iowa.
Partner development or partnership development is a so-called customer-centric approach to business development. According to Jeff Nock, the process draws from the customer development framework popularized by Steve Blank, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur based in Pescadero, California. “Blank is best known,” adds Nock, “for being a national advocate for the Business Model Canvas, of which Partnerhips Development is a key component.”
The Business Model Canvas process recognized, and continues to recognize, that startups and early stage companies are not merely smaller versions of large businesses, but rather that they require their own set of tools and processes to be successful.
Partnership development is where companies collaborate with other companies to round out their product or service offering. For example, a retail company may have many locations and be excellent at sourcing products and selling products but they are not good at transport logistics. So they partner with an outside trucking logistics company to move equipment and merchandise from store to store. “Partnership development relies on creating win/win scenarios where the two partners together bring forward a better product or service than the one company can by itself,” Nock explains, “the value add creates higher demand from customers .”
Jeff Nock has previously written at length on topics ranging from business plan development, the concept of social entrepreneurship, and market analysis, to the value of conducting periodic SWOT analyses, internal operational efficiencies, the importance of evolving culture within a company, and leadership team development.
Nock most recently spoke, however, about the importance of brand consulting strategies. According to the expert, typically, when starting out, small businesses fail to prioritize the resources needed to establish an effective brand. This happens, Jeff Nock suggests, because resources—during the early stages—are often put predominantly into working on product development and sales relationships. “Many companies, particularly in the technology space, focus on what their product does,” says Nock. “Prospective clients, though, want to know what that product can do for them,” reveals the Iowa-based business consultant.
Nock and his firm, Prescient Consulting, LLC, are based in the Johnson County city of Iowa City, Iowa. Home of the University of Iowa and the state’s fifth-largest city, it’s also the county seat of Johnson County. “The largest employer here in Iowa City by a significant margin is the University of Iowa,” reveals Nock, “followed by the Iowa City Community School District and the Iowa City VA Medical Center.”
“Iowa City,” he adds, wrapping up, “has also previously been named the third Best Small Metropolitan Area in the United States by famous bi-weekly business magazine, Forbes.”
Founder and CEO of Prescient Consulting, LLC, 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, branding, sales, and marketing, 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. To learn more, visit https://prescient.us/.
Business Expert and Successful Consultancy Firm CEO Jeff Nock Explains Brand Consulting
From helping to establish brand identity for startups to evolving brands for more established companies, it is a combination of art and science when brand consulting, according to Jeff Nock. Owner and founder of a highly successful consultancy firm based in Iowa City, Iowa. Nock provides an expert look at the brand consulting process.
“In the end, why should someone want to work with your company? Your brand has to identify why you are different, better than others who provide similar products or services,” explains Nock, CEO and founder of Prescient Consulting, headquartered in Iowa City, Iowa. “Marketing is often misunderstood as simply advertising but true branding includes how a company goes about product strategy, lead generation, content, customer service, innovation, measurement, social proof, and reputation management It’s ultimately about any touch you have a with potential client or client which impacts how they feel about your company, which is your brand,” he adds.
According to Jeff Nock, typically when starting out, small businesses don’t prioritize the resources needed to establish an effective brand. This happens because people and financial resources at the early stages of companies are typically working on product development and sales relationships. Marketing is often an after thought as it is easy to throw up a website and post on social media. But in terms of establishing an effective brand, there is so much more to consider. “Many companies, particularly in the tech space, focus on what they can do. Prospective clients want to know what you can do for them,” reveals the expert.
Companies, via their comprehensive marketing strategies that incorporate every touch they have with prospects and clients, have to be consistently articulating what their business uniquely provides for their clients, according to Nock. “Whether online via website or social media, in person, via email or on the phone, companies have to consistently be sharing value added messages that enable clients and prospects to have confidence that they will be making the right decision by working with your organization,” he adds.
Regardless of what business you are in, branding is more than just your company name and logo. Your brand needs to reflect your commitment to your customers in a way that differentiates you from your competition. “Your brand needs to be memorable, in the way you want customers to think of you and it needs to be represented consistently to all of your prospective clients and customers,” he suggests.
Jeff Nock and his consultancy firm, Prescient Consulting, LLC, are based in Iowa City in Johnson County, Iowa. The city is the home of the University of Iowa and is the county seat of Johnson County. It’s also the state’s fifth-largest city. “The top employer in Iowa City by a large margin is the University of Iowa and University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics,” reveals the local business consultant, “followed by Iowa City VA Medical Center and Iowa City Community School District.”
“The city,” adds Nock, wrapping up, “has also previously been named the third Best Small Metropolitan Area in the United States by Forbes magazine.”
Founder and CEO of Prescient Consulting, LLC, based in Iowa City, Iowa, Jeff Nock boasts a demonstrated history of growing startups, established companies, nonprofit organizations, alike. Skilled in business and strategic planning, branding, sales, marketing, and software development, now-established Iowa resident Nock also holds a master’s degree in management from Colorado’s Regis University and is a specialist in leadership development. To learn more, visit https://prescient.us/.