Frequently Asked Questions
Business Exponential has years of experience and expertise to draw upon. Here area answer to the most common questions we receive from prospective clients.
We work with knowledge-based business owners who want to tame the chaos in their companies, improve profits, and build the business they’ve always dreamed of. This usually involves some or all of the following services:
Creation of operations manuals
Business owner coaching
Consulting and advisory services
To drill down a little further, we worked with companies in marketing, digital marketing, graphic and web design, communications, public relations, crisis communications, copy writing, photography, online marketing, law, bookkeeping, business coaching, event planning, IT services, human resources, conference duration, executive search, and consulting firms in many different spheres.
Because few others do. There’s a lot of time, money, and attention paid to newbies and startups. There’s an army of advisors and investors ready to jump on the next “emerging growth” company or tech phenom. Plus, there are plenty of “exit strategists” prepare to swarm on business owners when they are at the end of the line and decide they want to sell.
But few focus on the “middle passage”–where business owners slog it out for years on end, making huge sacrifices, muddling through, and not getting a lot of guidance or encouragement for it. Our founder, Nina Kaufman, went through this too (Read about Nina’s “doughnut moment”). So she took the lessons learned and focused our firm to work with business owners who want to create a company that can run like a well-oiled machine.
Certainly, you can do it yourself–but will you? In our experience, nearly 92% of all small business owners don’t. How do we know? The answer is the results. The businesses are in chaos. Profits are anemic. And the owners are working 28 hours a day to keep it all together. We find our clients benefit from our “done-with-you” approach where you and your team develop better documentation habits, while we provide support in moving the process along so doesn’t fall through the cracks.
It depends on your assistant. How much does he already have on his plate–will he get around to doing it? Does he have experience in writing process documentation? How effective (psychic) is your assistant in surmising all the details of work process done by your other team members? That’s where it helps to have an outside set of eyes on the situation–particularly, trained eyes that can suggest process improvements. It’s hard to read the label when you’re inside the jar.
You can–but very often, they don’t. Many bookkeepers tend to focus on data entry and ensuring that information is properly categorized. Accountants tend to focus on the end result and how that affects your tax position. For many “mid-stream” businesses that don’t have a chief financial officer (or entrepreneurially proactive accounting advisors), guess who ends up doing the analysis? No one.
Every engagement begins with a simple phone call. We schedule a brief initial call to explore your issues, determine priorities, and see if we are a fit for working together.
After that, our process depends on the kind of services we will be providing– whether it’s a business assessment, profitability analysis, development of your company’s operations manual, or ongoing coaching/consulting. [LINKS TO VARIOUS “SALES” PAGES]
We outline our services and fee structure in a written engagement letter so that you have a clear idea of what we will provide, how we charge, and what to expect.
In general, we charge a pre-determined fixed fee. We base our fee on a number of factors including the nature and the scope of the project, the thoroughness of your existing materials and financial documentation, your availability and willingness to participate in the process, the complexity of your industry and business model, the variety of team members (on our end) that will be involved, and the timing and deadlines of the work. We take ourselves through our own 50% More Profits [LINK TO 50% MORE PROFITS PAGE] analysis, too!
For several reasons:
(1) Equity does not help our cash flow. Cash is to our business as blood is to our body (we will encourage you to see that, too).Therefore, we ask for cash (or credit card) payments in advance.
(2) You can’t easily cash out of equity positions in closely-held businesses. The kind of clients we serve do not have intentions (or desires) to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange. As a result, it’s very difficult to find a buyer’s market for the equity.
(3) It creates a conflict of interest. We can’t be objective as advisors if we are also owners of the business. It also creates an awkward and contentious relationship with clients if the owner takes actions that we feel harm the business. We’d rather give our best advice than compromise the integrity of our relationships with our clients.
We are headquartered in New York City, and have consultants in other locations. We rely heavily on phone, e-mail, and online meeting tools … and have clients we have never met in person! If in-person meetings are desired, we can factor that into our engagement.