Frequently Asked Questions
Do you offer free consultations?
Yes; we never charge for the first 60-minutes discovery session as we discuss client's needs and offer the best service for the situation.
What if I need more than 60-minutes to explain my business situation?
Everyone has unique set of problems, so we are not looking at the watch during an initial consultation with a potential client. However, if you know that our firm is not a good fit for your needs at this time, we appreciate if the conversation doesn't prolong.
If you are not ready at this time to commit to a larger scope project, but still need guidance, you can prepay the number of consulting hours that you will need.
Do you work Pro-bono?
Yes, we dedicate certain number of hours to working Pro-bono for non-profit organizations that support entrepreneurial community.
What is your fee?
For businesses that are in idea stage or that just need to consult with us on short-term basis, our our fee is $155/hour. We ask that you prepay the number of consulting hours that you will need.
To establish an ongoing advising relationship, we prefer a monthly retainer that starts at $1,200/month.
Do you charge per hour or per project?
If you have well defined need for your business, we use project based fees. As we engage with a client, we discuss in detail the project at hand, then we set a comprehensive proposal outlining deliverables, time-line and a final price.
Upon client approval of the proposal, we start working on execution. With this approach, our clients know upfront what the cost of the consulting engagement will be and how long it will last.
Because we spend a lot of time writing a consulting proposal, we request 50% deposit at signing of the contract before we proceed with work.
Can I get money back if I am not happy with your services?
If you are not happy with the quality of services you are receiving, you can always stop the engagement with us. However, you will still be charged for the work being done up to that point.
Will you sign non-disclosure agreement?
Yes, but we prefer to sign a mutual non-disclosure agreement so our business operations are also protected.
High Growth Startups
What can you do for me?
Most investors reject 99% of the business plans and startup pitches that come their way because entrepreneurs start approaching potential investors before they are ready. We work with startup co-founders to get them into investor-ready state before they start fund-raising process.
Can you improve my investor's pitch?
Absolutely! Most startups struggle to attract customers and investors because the value proposition for their product is not hitting the target. Because of that, we first test your value proposition with quick market research and validation, and then we work with you on written communication (we develop a teaser and pitch-book) and verbal delivery.
Can you introduce me to investors?
In most cases we do not make introductions to investors, because that is the job for a startup CEO, not an external consultant. Further, we need to keep high level of integrity with investors in our network and only make introductions for investor-ready companies we have worked with for a while so we know most of their strengths and weaknesses.
Our job is to make you investor-ready, so that you will drastically increase your chances of getting funded.
Do you take a finder's fee?
No. Only registered dealer-broker with FINRA can legally earn a finder's fee as a percentage of the funds raised. Anyone else that approaches you with a promise of finding you investors that is not registered dealer/broker can get your company into legal trouble down the road.
I get a lot of free advice from entrepreneurial community; why should I hire you?
Because there's no such thing as a free lunch. You get what you pay for.
Do I need a business plan?
Yes; you do. No investor will give money to someone without a business plan document. They may not read it entirely, but they still want to have a copy.
Why would I hire a consultant to write a business plan for my company?
Because writing an investor-grade business plan is very extensive and time consuming project that takes months. As a co-founder of a new startup, your time and energy is better spend on customer acquisition and team formation.
Do only large corporations hire consultants?
No! We are small consulting firm and we work with small businesses. We typically act as Chief Marketing Officer, on part-time basis.
I need help with marketing
Small business owners are swamped with offers to list their business in various directories, to buy ads, to be active in social media, but most people simply don't have time to accomplish everything, nor do they have a dedicated marketing manager on staff. As an external consultant, we can develop an extensive marketing plan tailored for your business and then have your employees execute it. By hiring us on part-time basis, you are not tied into paying a full-time marketing manager salary.
I am so busy, I don't have time to think about long-term strategy
You are not alone. In fact, most small business owners are so busy running the business that they don't have time to take a break, assess the current state of their operations and do strategic planning. We can develop a strategic plan for your business based on your personal needs and lifestyle. Then, we meet several times during a year to check on the progress, keep you and your employees accountable to the strategic plan, and adjust the course as needed.
I am an established business contemplating market expansion
If you are an establish business and you are thinking about expanding your product portfolio or service offering, we can identify your customer segments, corresponding market sizes and competition. With this research document, you can then make an educated decision if the market expansion is financially lucrative option worth pursuing.
Am I in an "idea" stage?
You are in an "idea" stage if you have an idea for a market opportunity, but don't have a product or even a business model around it.
I am a busy professional
You may have several market opportunities in your head, but your day job doesn't leave you with enough time to test the idea in the market place. We can help you reach the market faster by conducting a secondary market research, competitive environment and suggest a go-to-market strategy.
I am researcher or innovator
A researcher at the University that have published several articles and would like to take your intellectual property and commercialize it. We work with you to find the best match between your technology, potential features in the product and target market segment. Once we identify the target customer, we will determine the target market size and design the best go-to-market strategy.