My Article Published by the RI Small Business Journal – How to Fund Your Business

Rhode Island Small Business Journal

 

Please take a look at an article I wrote that was just published in the December edition of the Rhode Island Small Business Journal print and online versions (www.RISBJ.com).  In it, I describe potential funding sources when you are (1) funding a new business, (2) funding for expansion and (3) funding to meet current expenses.

 

See the full article on page 11 of the December issue at

https://issuu.com/gillantini/docs/risbj_v6_no11_issue_proof

Bryan B Mason

Apollo Consulting Group

Over-Challenged?

Business Consultant

Over-Challenged?

Around this time of year, and especially on new year’s day, a lot of small business owners reflect on their successes and challenges in the year just past.  I like to ask two questions.

  1. Are you Over-Challenged and spend a lot of your time just putting out fires and managing your cash flow?
  2. Are you working too hard but not achieving the results that you want?

As a business consultant, my customers come to me with a range of challenges that they are trying to overcome.  Some of the most common are the following:

  • Need to get more customers
  • Need to increase profits
  • Need a roadmap to get their company to a successful future
  • Not sure how to get their company to stand out above the crowd
  • Losing money
  • Poor cash flow
  • Operational inefficiencies
  • Poor customer service or poor customer responsiveness
  • Need to figure out how to price their product or service
  • Experiencing delays in launching new products or services
  • Lack the control over operations they need
  • Fragmented information for decision making

There are three main reasons that they are seeking help.  The first is that they think they understand the problem but have been unsuccessful in overcoming it.  The second is that they have come to understand that they don’t have the expertise to solve it.  The third is that they don’t have the time to solve it.

As a business consultant, I have found that there is typically more than one problem going on at the same time and that the solution to one problem may compound a different problem cancelling out the positive effect the business owner was trying to achieve.  I have also observed that many business owners have considerable expertise in creating their product or delivering their service but don’t necessarily have all the skills on their team to address issues they are unfamiliar with.

I resisted the urge for all of 2017 from having anything in my blog that looked like self promotion.  With this post, I am going to make an exception and urge you to get some help to overcome your challenges and seize your opportunities rather than just chip away at your problems.  After all, the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different outcome.

I make it easy.  I come to your location, and we discuss your challenges.  I assess your situation and come back with an approach to untangle the issues and address them one by one.  It costs you nothing and there is no pressure or obligation.  So what are you waiting for?

I wish all of you great success in the new year.

Bryan B Mason

Apollo Consulting Group

My Article Published by the RI Small Business Journal – A Consultant Can Help with Small Business Challenges

Profitability Improvement, Marketing Plans, Operational ImprovementI am very pleased to tell all of you about an article I wrote that was just published in the August edition of the Rhode Island Small Business Journal print and online versions (www.RISBJ.com).  In it, I describe the initial interaction that a small business owner would go through at the beginning of the process of working with a business consultant.

It usually begins with a phone conversation between the small business owner and the business consultant.  I try to get enough information to be able to develop a questionnaire that I will use at the first meeting.  In that meeting I will try to determine what the needs are in terms of profitability improvement, business strategy, marketing plans, operational improvement, etc.  I need to probe and listen a lot.  I like to recall similar situations from my experience to see if the small business owner can identify with the issue.  This leads me to validate my suspicions about the problem to solve or leads me to more questions.

At the in person meeting, I make a mental list of what the likely problems are – need more customers, improve service, etc.  Then back at my office, I come up with an attack plan where I will outline exactly the steps I will go through and what the deliverables are.  These could be a profit improvement plan, pricing strategy, a marketing plan, a strategic plan, optimized workflows, a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis, a technology plan or even a project management plan.

Then I return to the client with the action plan and try to gain agreement to begin the paid work.

See the full article on page 13 of the August issue at https://issuu.com/gillantini/docs/risbj_v6_no7_issue_proof or reach out for a reprint.