What do you NEED?
Our team has had a lot of successes and a lot of failures and have worked in fast growth and distressed businesses. Our predictable cost consulting services are focused on providing solutions for experiences you may not have had yet. We’re people who have just had the opportunity to do different things. We’re not there to take over your company. We’re there to work alongside your team when it makes sense and to help you move your business forward. Interested in our fixed price outsourcing solutions, such as HR, social media and blogs or recruiting? Check out our other great offerings!
You may have been running as a startup company and need to add some structure. We can make that happen.
You might be feeling held hostage by your employees with regards to accountability, respect, direction or other critical areas. We can give you the therapy you need to make change happen.
Your time to close a sale might be long, or you might be having issues filling your pipeline. Is it messaging? Is it your sales organization? Is it your brand? We can help you figure it out.
You may want to sell your company but aren’t sure how to maximize its value – or find interested parties. Been there, done that. We can make it happen for you.
Your revenues and profits might be dropping and your market shrinking. You have no time or emotional capacity left. We’ll work together and make things great.
If you don’t see a particular solution below it’s probably because we can’t list everything. We encourage you to contact us about our business consulting services.
All too often a CEO needs a sounding board. Maybe the CEO is looking to buy a company but doesn’t want to distract their executive staff. Or maybe they are having problems with their executive staff. Who do they talk to?
Our CEO Therapy program, part of our business consulting services, is designed to support CEOs by providing a sounding board. The program incorporates a guaranteed number of onsite or offsite hours each month to “brain dump” and discuss whatever is on the CEOs mind, plus unlimited email and telephone support – all for a simple monthly fee.
- Merger and acquisition – M&A
- Product or geographic expansion
- Employee problems
- Hiring and Firing support
- Finance and banking
- Capital investment decisions
- Decision making support
We’ll also work with your other employees to understand issues like communications problems or accountability.
Begin by understanding WHO the customer is, WHAT solutions they need, and WHAT benefits They’re willing to pay for. Messages should focus on the benefit outcome the customer will receive – NOT on the products or services you sell. Your differentiation is based on better understanding of your customer and how to solve their problems – NOT on selling a better product. Marketing is also about building a process to capture qualified leads and closing opportunities that develop.
Fair Winds Strategies has significant experience in many different components of marketing – research, process development, Internet marketing, trade shows, seminars, webinars, community support, networking, advertising and dozens of other marketing implementations.
As part of our business consulting services, we can help create a “No Bull” plan that you can execute on to see real results. We can then connect you with companies to help execute on the plan.
- Geographic Expansion
- Product Expansion
- Branding and Recognition
- Marketing Plan Development
- Market Research
- Marketing Plan Execution
- Internet Marketing
As organizations grow from “big small companies” to “small big companies” there needs to be an evolution in their finances. You need more than a bookkeeper, but you don’t necessarily need a full time CFO. Fair Winds Strategies provides assessments and training to support and advise you in these changes.
- Finance/Business Package Development to provide to lenders or investors
- Financial Process Efficiency Review
- Financial Standardization (EBITDA/GAAP)
- Implementation of Cost of Goods Sold
- Internal Controls Development
- Policies, Procedures and Best Practices
- External (Lenders, Suitors, etc.) Financial Statement Design
- CxO Finance Training – Teaching CxO and Management What They Need to Know About Financial Statements
There are many laws and requirements small businesses are required to follow. Human Resources is one area where the “corporate veil” of protection can actually be pierced and leave business owners and CxO’s vulnerable to lawsuits. At the same time, most small businesses don’t have the need for a full time human resources person – but their day to day management doesn’t have the experience necessary to ensure compliance.
Fair Winds Strategies offers a number of HR services to help a growing organization. We also offer a fully outsourced HR package – check it out here!
- HR Handbook Development and Review
- HR Currency Compliance (keeping up with new compliance requirements)
- HR Foundational Reviews – Are you covering the basic requirements based upon your size?
- Payroll Compliance Assessment – Exempt vs. Non-Exempt, Overtime Reporting, Taxes, etc.
- Staffing Company Development – Does it make sense to have your own staffing company?
You’re really close to your operations and sometimes it’s tough to see if you are doing things effectively and efficiently.
In addition, operations affects more than just profitability. It can affect your culture, your employee satisfaction, your customer satisfaction, your brand and much more.
We’ve experienced numerous successful operations and failing operations. Many consulting groups will only focus on what your business does. We also look at how you do it.
Holistic Project Support
You can give a tech project to your IT group or person and they’ll figure out how to make it work. You can give a marketing project to your marketing person or group and they will run with it.
When a project spans multiple departments, what do you do? Perhaps it’s a customer facing website that incorporates customer service. Maybe it’s a new idea for factory automation. Many projects depend on understanding ROI and seeing what effect there may be on employees, culture, customer satisfaction and may incorporate departments ranging from technology to delivery to sales.
Fair Winds Strategies gets it and delivers numerous business consulting skills to support you. We understand big picture projects and can work with you while incorporating your team into their execution.
High salaries and low commissions? Low salaries and high commissions? Draw? Accelerators? Bonuses? Caps? Territories, verticals or open season?
Very few things in a company affect the bottom line more than the cost of sales, so developing a sales compensation plan that’s a win for the company but also encourages sales growth is tricky.
What about others in your company? If you’re a professional services group, should you compensate your consultants or others for their part in a sale?
Once we understand your business and financials, we’ll work, side by side with you, to develop appropriate models of compensation. When possible, we’ll use existing sales as inputs to compare current plans against proposed plans.
Done right, compensation plans can drive rapid growth of any organization and attract top talent to you while still ensuring a strong bottom line.
A company that’s doing poorly often has the ability to return to growth. Profits may have decreased due to a change in market, products becoming commoditized, the economy in general or for many other reasons. Fair Winds Strategies principals have experienced these downturns and can assist you with turning your organization profitable again. It’s not always about just cutting costs – it’s also about innovation, evolution and often rediscovering your roots.
- Problem Identification
- Market Research
- Product Development
- Market Development
- Human Resources
- Financial and Operational Analysis
- Strategy Development
M&A Preparation – Selling your business
You have one chance to make a first impression with a potential suitor. And then, between the start of the process and the actual sale, there are dozens of times most suitors will walk away from a deal. Selling your company isn’t easy.
Fair Winds Strategies has significant experience in the M&A field on both the buyer and the seller side. Using our business consulting services, we’ll help you understand whether it’s the right time to sell your company, walk you through the steps of a sale and then work with you to prepare for a sale. We can then work with you to help identify suitors and advise you during the sales process. Our close relationships with lawyers and accountants will ensure that all facets of a prospective sale are covered.
- Slide deck creation
- Financial and Accounting Preparation
- Due Diligence Preparation and Support
- Paperwork Preparation (corporate records, contracts, etc.)
- Employee issues
M&A Preparation – Buying a business
More acquisitions fail than succeed. Whether this is due to cultural issues, not being aligned on the strategic fit, skeletons in the closet, difficulties with integration or other reasons – it all ends up the same. With a lot of time and money spent on nothing.
Fair Winds Strategies has worked on both sides of the acquisition fence – both buying and selling businesses – and will work with you to try to ensure your acquisition is successful. With our strategic legal and accounting partnerships and our internal finance and operations capabilities we can radically reduce the risk of acquiring a company.
- Do you need to buy a company?
- Target identification
- Target business assessment
- Cultural and organizational assessment
- Deal structure
- Due diligence
Legal Contract Consulting
We’re not a law firm but there are always certain components of contracts that are business focused as opposed to just legalese. You always need a good lawyer, but you also need to make sure that your business subtleties are incorporated into any contract.
You may want someone to review a contract you received from a customer or partner. Does it have non-solicitation clauses? Are there requirements for auditing your books on demand? Did you know that most business contracts can be modified to make them protect both you and your customer or partner?
We’ve reviewed thousands of contracts and know what to expect. We also work to understand your business so we know what may not be included and what may need to be added. For example, perhaps you’re an Internet marketing firm and there needs to be a clause in the contract that specifically excludes a guaranty of search engine rankings. Or maybe you’re a software development house and you need to define who owns the software you create. There are always intricacies in every legal document that relate to your specific business function.
Or, perhaps, you need a master services agreement or terms and conditions document created. We can develop these documents and then you can send them o counsel for a final review – greatly lowering your legal costs.
And if you don’t have good counsel, we have relationships with many excellent firms in the region and can help you identify the right firm for you.
PLEASE NOTE: WHILE WE HAVE LEGAL EXPERTISE, WE ARE NOT LAWYERS AND ARE STRICTLY PROVIDING BUSINESS CONSULTING SERVICE. WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU PASS ALL FINAL AGREEMENTS BY COUNSEL PRIOR TO SIGNING
Other Business Services
We can only list a fraction of our capabilities here. Our consultants are seasoned leaders who have run all facets of both growth oriented and distressed businesses. They get the big picture and have capabilities spanning most business functions.
Here are a few examples of additional services we can offer.
- Business Process Analysis
- Board of Advisors or Board of Directors Creation
- Interviewing Support for prospective hires
- KPI Development
- General Business Consulting and Advisory
We’ve been responsible for the procurement of tens of millions of dollars of equipment, software and consulting services. We’ve worked with over one hundred different manufacturers. We know the approaches and methods to reduce your technology procurement costs without having to do an RFP. Depending on the size and type of the procurement, these services may qualify for our contingency based pricing plans – we’re paid based on how much we save you.
Having predictable technology costs is important when you are trying to reach goals or grow an organization. Without planning, all of your technology purchasing tends to be done haphazardly.
Our technology planning services often include the following:
- Needs assessment
- Organizational assessment
- Special needs assessment
- Technology initiative descriptions and rationales
- Measurable objectives
- Resource requirements (hardware, software, application development)
- Instructional requirements
Is your IT group effective? Have they adopted newer approaches to technology that allow for increased efficiency and decreased costs? Do they communicate well with the rest of your organization and also internally?
Fair Winds Strategies can provide technology consulting services to help you understand how your Information Technology department, and your whole enterprise, handle technology operations.
- Internal communications assessments (within the IT group)
- External communications assessments (with the rest of the company and customers/partners)
- Key performance indicator development
- Strategic alignment
- Spending and budgeting
- New technology adoption
Offshore Application Development
We’re all for local development but many applications that can make a company or department “great” never get built because of their cost.
We’ve adopted a process used in the construction industry to application development – using inexpensive labor to do the framing and initial build work, and then using craftsmen and finish carpenters to do the detail work – all supervised by a consistent manager.
Phase One – Architect
Application criteria is developed. This includes inputs, outputs, algorithms and user interface aspects.
Phase Two – Framing
The “heavy lifting” is done by an overseas group. Depending on the budget, application language, and complexity it may be one of several located throughout the world. Our project manager ensures that the work is completed on time and within the budget.
Phase Three – Finish Work
As needed, we utilize local, US based companies to ensure front-end and back-end quality and robustness. Once again, our project manager works with this team.
Big data analytics, simple robotics, mobile devices, screenless displays, solar/wind/green power, RFID and Near Field Communications (NFC), augmented reality – these are emerging technologies that will differentiate one organization from another and can improve profitability, customer service and branding.
Fair Winds Strategies provides technology consulting services that help you embrace emerging technologies.
- Technology Identification
- ROI Analysis – both quantitative and qualitative
- Proof of concept
- Implementation planning