Jeff Nock, a leadership and business development consultant, offers five tips.
Jeff Nock is an internationally recognized executive and consultant with expertise in developing startups, small and mid-cap companies, and nonprofit organizations. His expertise has helped many companies create cash flow management plans and initiatives. As someone who has accumulated experience developing and implementing cash flow management plans for various types of companies, Jeff Nock offers an essential set of practical tips for companies that are just starting out.
Jeff Nock states that “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 to focus 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.” Key components of a cash flow management plan and a revenue growth plan involve calculating the burn rate, runway, cash flow positive, and profitability point for the business, tracking and evaluating cash inflows and outflows, bringing the financial experts on board, hiring the right staff with the right skills, and leveraging technology.
Jeff Nock‘s First Tip for Cash Flow Management: Calculate the Burn Rate, Runway, Cash Flow Positive, and Profitability Points
As leaders and founders of startups can be focused on the overall vision of the company and initial revenue generation, it is important to not forget about key financial projections and then track actual versus projection. In addition to having a close eye on revenue, it is important to monitor the monthly burn rate. As startups spend or “burn” more money than they bring in, the monthly burn rate is revenue minus expense. So, if revenue is $1,000 for a month and expenses are $10,000 then the monthly burn rate is $9,000.
A startups runway is the amount of time they have under current projections before they run out of money. If a company has $1,000,000 in cash and a monthly burn rate of $100,000 then its runway is 10 months.
Many startups confuse cash flow positive with profitability. Cash flow positive is when a company is no longer burning cash on a monthly basis, but rather breaking even or generating a monthly profit. Companies don’t become profitable until they have generated enough positive cash flow to pay off any initial debt (from owners or investors).
Calculating these important financial projections is important as companies look at long term investment and are financial projections that potential investors use to determine whether a business is viable and worthy of investment. Once these projections are in place, startup business owners should track the progress towards the projections and make strategic business decisions to grow revenue and manage expenses accordingly. If revenue is slightly ahead of projections and expenses are on forecast then the business owner can decide to either save that excess cash or reinvest to spur faster revenue growth.
For investors (whether the owner, friends and family, angel or VC), these financials, combined with the strength of the business model and leadership team enable data from which to evaluate business viability. If a startup has a $100,000 in startup capital, a burn rate of $10,000 a month, and has a plan to triple revenue with an influx of an additional $100,000 in funding, the investor can make an educated decision on whether to invest. If the startup has $100,000 and a monthly burn rate of $50,000 it may be too late for that company without a drastic reduction in expenses or a sizable new source of revenue that is imminent.
Jeff Nock‘s Second Tip: Review and Evaluate Cash Flows
Reviewing and evaluating cash flows starts with tracking expenses and revenues. While this seems basic, there are sophisticated cloud platforms and software applications that can help automate whether revenue and cost management techniques are being leveraged. While most startups are focused on living day to day and month to month, it is still important for mentors and investors/potential investors to see logically created financial projections. Software like PlanGuru can provide analytical budgeting tools, which can help startups make more accurate financial projections for up to ten years. Many of these applications also offer training packages to help business owners learn the capabilities of the applications and available forecasting tools.
Having forecasting tools can help startups that do not have an established history get a better handle on ways to optimize expenses and revenues. A lack of an established history of cost/revenue trends is one of the reasons why it is critical to frequently review cost and revenue data once it starts coming in. Adjustments to production, price points, and fixed and/or variable costs may need to be made quickly. As a best practice, Jeff Nock recommends startups begin by reviewing costs and revenues weekly and then back off to a monthly basis.
Jeff Nock‘s Third Tip: Call in the Experts
Startup founders have quite a bit on their plates and different hats to wear when getting a new business off the ground. It can be overwhelming to have to handle strategic management, human resources, and hiring/retention, technical infrastructures, and financial management. Even if the founders and leaders of a new business have training or experience in financial management, it is best to utilize mentors and when possible bring external consultants and experts on board.
Bringing in external financial experience is crucial as a startup business owner is too close to their business to have an objective perspective. As Nock advises, “many early-stage startups outsource the finance role to certified public accountants who can come in a few hours a week and handle accounting and cash flow management.” Outsourcing the financials and cash flow management provides startup leaders with more time to focus on growing the business.
Selection criteria for a certified public accountant or financial consultant should consist of criteria like experience, recommendations, availability, services, and goal alignment as well as affordability. Examine what type of experience an accountant or consultant has with other successful startups and determine whether that person’s experience is similar to the startup’s industry, product or service line, and organizational form or type. Ask whether the person’s work ethic and philosophy match the organization’s culture. Review testimonials from current and former clients and ask for references.
Jeff Nock‘s Fourth Tip: Hire Financial Help at the Right Time
While most early-stage startups can’t afford to hire a full-time accountant right away and use external accountants for a few hours a week, eventually, as the company grows, the amount of accounting will also grow. As outside accountants will usually charge more per hour than in house accounts cost (not including benefit), it is important to realize when the outside consulting work has reached the point where it can be replaced by hiring an accountant. This can be done part-time at first and eventually ramped up to full-time.
When considering this initial hire, make sure to invest in not only the individual’s expertise but their fit with the company’s culture. Often, whether it is a financial person or any other role, people, in general, do not understand the need for adaptability when working with startups. This isn’t to say that anything should be done outside of accounting rules or laws by any means. It just means that it is quite different working as an accountant for a Fortune 500 company than it is working for a startup and some people just don’t have the ability or desire to work in such a fluid environment.
Since startup cultures are drastically different from established companies, those with startup experience will be used to working in an environment with a lot of uncertainty and little direction or supervision. A startup often requires working at a fast pace, the ability to grasp new concepts and responsibilities quickly, and the ability to see what needs to be done and the willingness to do it, even if it is not part of the person’s job description.
Jeff Nock‘s Fifth Tip: Leverage Technology
Leveraging technology involves looking at what financial technical resources will help the startup grow and what resources will help the startup optimize operations, both internal and external. Thinking beyond physical hardware and software applications, startup leaders should consider how technology will be used and leveraged. Cybersecurity risks are prevalent today and financial data, just as customer data, must be kept secure, especially when investors are involved. Establishing procedures for secure financial data storage to customer relationship management, these security procedures and strategies should guide the purchase of financial technology-related resources.
While many startups use Excel spreadsheets and other rudimentary tools, it is important to quickly migrate to a secure cloud-based platform like Quickbooks. By using such a third-party platform that is focused on maintaining data security and constantly upgrading features, business owners can securely input and access accounting data 24×7 wherever they can access the Internet.
With more than 30.7 million small businesses and startups in the United States as of 2019, cash flow and revenue management is an important key to long-term sustainability. Approximately only 20 percent of small businesses are still in existence after five years. Ensuring the business idea and strategy is viable and sustainable in the long-term can be more easily accomplished by implementing Nock’s tips.
Jeffrey Nock‘s experience includes being the CEO of multiple companies, part of multiple successful startups and as CEO and Founder of Prescient Consulting, LLC. His company has helped over 200 companies that are in the early stage of development, as well as mid-cap companies. As an experienced consultant, Nock strives to assist organizations with achieving visions and growth objectives through services such as mentoring for the C-Suite, strategic and financial planning, business planning, business model ideation and evolution, competitive niche analysis, business development, operational efficiencies, and brand evolution.
Nock‘s repertoire also includes growing startups, growing nonprofit organizations, and helping established companies achieve new growth targets. His skills include leadership development, strategic planning, business development, financial oversight, and presentation development. Outside the consulting world, he enjoys spending time with his four children, supporting his children’s events, participating in physical fitness activities, reading, watching sports, and finding ways to give back to his community.
Rethink Work As a Way to Help Others and Feed Your Passion, Says Jeff Nock Iowa
Social entrepreneurship is the act of founding and operating a successful business that makes a transformative positive change in society. It has been gaining in popularity since social entrepreneur Muhammad Yunus received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his work with the Grameen Bank, a business he founded to help eradicate poverty through microlending. “The COVID-19 pandemic is causing many people to rethink their lives and careers to reflect their values and passions. Customers and potential business owners alike want to live in ways that benefit society,” says Jeff Nock Iowa, founder and CEO of Prescient Consulting, LLC. “This makes now a great time to become a social entrepreneur,” he said.
“Social entrepreneurs have big hearts and deep passions, but, they also must have entrepreneurial skills,” says Jeff Nock Iowa. “Entrepreneurs see opportunity and seize it, think creatively, and are determined to do whatever is necessary for their ideas to become reality,” he said. A social entrepreneur has an idea borne out of his or her values and passion, such as feeding the hungry, combating illiteracy, improving infant mortality rates, or combating climate change. To work as a sustainable entity, the idea must be worthwhile, meet company goals, and create sufficient cash flow each period. “Just as with any enterprise, the entrepreneur needs an exceptional strategic plan,” says Jeff Nock Iowa.
The strategic plan should include a mission statement the company’s vision, a study of the landscape including potential competitors and collaborators, a look at the business’s differentiation from other available solutions, a business model, and a marketing plan. A mission statement clearly describes the purpose of the organization in terms of who will be helped and how that will be executed. Research into the current landscape will analyze companies’ themselves instead of profits that already exist while placing the focus on understanding gaps in what is being offered. After the research, an entrepreneur will consider how he or she will offer a different product or service, or offer them in a different and better way. “This involves awareness of the entrepreneur’s own gifts and interests,” says Jeff Nock Iowa.
The business model examines exactly how the organization will make money. “For example, will those who will be the beneficiaries also be the customers, or will they be two different groups of people?” questions Jeff Nock Iowa. Bombas gives one pair of socks to homeless shelters for every pair purchased. This is an example of customers paying for something on behalf of beneficiaries. Microlending businesses, on the other hand, lend directly to the beneficiary who pays interest. The business model also answers questions of how the business will scale up if needed. A good marketing plan is also required. “[It] should clearly define who the target customers are and how to find and sell to them,” says Jeff Nock Iowa.
“The strategic plan also needs to include the metrics by which the entrepreneur will judge success, such as, the social impact (number of people helped/problems solved) and how money is generated and used to accomplish these goals,” says Jeff Nock Iowa.
Finally, the entrepreneur must determine how to obtain the capital needed to start and grow the organization. Many social entrepreneurs start off organically and grow as new funding sources allow. Some use crowdfunding. Another option is high net worth individuals, companies, and organizations that share the same passion for the cause. “Entrepreneurs also need to cultivate a team of partners including lawyers, accountants, consultants, and other business-savvy mentors,” says Jeff Nock Iowa.
About Jeff Nock
Jeff Nock Iowa is an experienced executive and consultant, with a demonstrated history of growing startups, non-profits, and established companies. Jeff Nock Iowa is skilled in business planning, strategic planning, management development, application development, and comprehensive marketing, sales, and presentation development.
Consulting firm CEO and founder Jeff Nock gives his best tips for effective leadership team development
During his time as CEO of a leading eastern Iowa business consulting firm, Jeff Nock of Iowa has developed in-depth knowledge related to application development, marketing, sales, new product development, strategic planning and other C-suite level experience specific to business leadership. Throughout his career, Jeff has worked with companies of all sizes and backgrounds, from startups to established organizations with long histories of success. His experiences have taught him that one of the most important factors determining success for any company is the development of an effective leadership team.
While many business experts emphasize the development of leadership skills within each individual worker, Jeff Nock puts an equal or greater amount of focus on the development of the leadership team. A business’ leadership team can make or break its future. As the business prepares to grow, for example, the leadership team will be responsible for making important decisions that will define the company culture and shape the company’s future. It also falls to the leadership team to ensure that all plans made for the company are carried out as intended. As challenges arise, the leadership team will be responsible for developing solutions and mitigating losses. Furthermore, the leadership team holds great power when it comes to boosting employee morale, loyalty and trust. In fact, according to Jeff Nock, “A standout leadership team development plan will enable your company to scale for growth.” For this reason, Jeff emphasizes leadership team development as one of the cornerstones of any successful business, regardless of the business’ size industry or location.
The exact approach Jeff Nock of Iowa recommends for leadership development will vary based on several factors, including the company’s culture and stage of growth. While some companies in the earliest stages of growth will require a leadership team development approach designed to produce quick results, companies that are already established can afford to spend more time honing and enriching the quality of their leadership teams. For this reason, it is important for companies to consider their needs and priorities when planning a leadership team development strategy.
Regardless of the exact approach to leadership team development, certain goals will be the same for all companies. Jeff Nock Iowa suggests that one of the most important goals for any leadership team development strategy should be to foster solid relationships among team members. Although each member of the leadership team will have diverse skill sets, backgrounds and experiences, leadership teams must be able to come together and work cohesively toward common objectives. When members of this team know and understand one another well, they will be better equipped for collaboration, whether they are setting new goals or dealing with an unexpected setback. To improve relationships among leadership team members, Jeff Nock of Iowa recommends team building exercises. Team building exercises can be used to improve communication, build trust and enhance efficiency within the leadership team. These exercises should not only be used in the initial stages of leadership team development, but they should also be scheduled at regular intervals as the company continues to grow and change.
Jeffrey Nock of Iowa also recommends designing an effective team communication protocol. This protocol should determine how and when information is shared among members of the leadership team to ensure that each person has access to the knowledge they need to carry out their responsibilities. Companies should make this protocol as clear and detailed as possible so each member of the leadership team knows what information should be shared, how it must be distributed and how they should respond when they receive communications from other members of the team.
In addition to relationship building and communication planning, Jeff Nock of Iowa strongly encourages companies engaged in leadership team development to establish values and goals for their leadership teams. These values and goals should be clear, concise and consistent with the company’s overall vision. They should also be understood and accepted by all members of the leadership team and used as a guide for every action carried out by the team. When the leadership team develops a new marketing campaign or explores a new product opportunity, for example, Jeff Nock Iowa recommends analyzing the intended action to ensure that it is in line with these established values and goals.
Once a leadership team is working well together and understands how the company needs to move forward, it is time to get the rest of the company’s workers on board. Leadership team development strategies should always include elements related to the interactions the team will have with the rest of the company’s employees. In order to carry out any of the company’s goals effectively, employees must trust the individuals in leadership positions. They must also be kept informed and motivated so they can contribute to the company’s overall objectives. Leadership team development efforts should invest in solid communication strategies that reach all parts of the company, from the upper management to the employees with front line responsibilities.
The leadership team development process does not end when a company has a strong team in place. Even after the team is functioning well, continuing to strengthen and enhance the effectiveness of this team should continue indefinitely. Continual leadership team development ensures that the team is able to respond properly to obstacles, changes within the company and industry, and the addition of new leadership. One of the best ways to ensure that the team is always improving is to engage in ongoing team progress evaluations. During each evaluation, the leadership team should analyze its progress toward key goals and objectives carefully. The team should also consider how they are communicating with one another and whether there are any ways to improve communication.
Often, the leadership team development process is focused on the immediate future and the company’s most pressing needs, but it is also valuable to think long-term. Jeff Nock Iowa is quick to remind businesses that, as the company grows and evolves, the leadership team will need to evolve as well. This is only possible when the leadership team development process takes this issue into account. Leadership team development should not focus only on existing leaders, but it should also consider the addition of new leaders in the future. The leadership team development strategy should include a clear plan for onboarding new leaders, helping them to understand the company’s values and goals, building relationships between new leaders and existing leaders, and building trust in new leaders among employees throughout the company.
Jeff Nock is the CEO and Founder of Prescient Consulting, LLC, in Iowa City, Iowa. During his time in this position, Jeff has worked with established companies, and startups. He has a background in marketing, sales, software development, new product development, and presentation development. To learn more about his company’s services, please visit https://prescient.us/.
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/.