Start-Up with Nicole

Onboarding Q & A

Answers to our more frequently asked questions so that you know what to expect when you work with us!

How long have you been doing what you’re doing and how did you become an expert in strategic growth and business consulting?

I had my first consulting client in 2003 when a mentor of mine approached me with an opportunity: they had recently invested in a hand-full of companies that needed a better plan for strategic growth.  My mentor coached me through the process of figuring out what was broken, and left it up to me to fix it.  No pressure, right?  Apparently, he thought I was capable, and the arrangement worked out – within 6 months, 3 of the companies were turned around and were making over $1 million per year the following year.  Over the past decade, I have learned from the best, read every book I could get my hands on, attended conference after conference, and talked to every business owner at every level I could.  I have also worked hard to understand the fast-changing marketing and sales landscape in order to educate my clients on the best ways to reach their customers and make sales.

Who are your clients?

My clients vary widely from industry to industry, from sole proprietors to enterprise corporations.  Most of my clients are early-stage e-commerce startups that need to learn skills and gain access to resources to build and grow their business.  My largest growing client base are major corporations that need help training innovative teams and company decision-makers on how to grow their existing business by creating micro-companies or startups.  My clients are creative, technologically-motivated businesses that need an outside set of eyes to help them learn what they do differently or better.  I love working with businesses of all sizes, who need a little help with business and/or marketing strategy in order to build or grow their company.

What happens if you haven’t worked with businesses in my industry?

A few benefits of working with me is that I don’t shy away from a challenge, I love to learn and research new things, and I have enough experience to figure new industries out – in fact, I LOVE it!  If I haven’t worked within your industry, then I will learn it as best as I can, plain and simple.  Chances are, I will ask more questions to learn more, which will make the partnership between your company and me even better!  I also won’t ever make the mistake of thinking that I understand anything 100% (or at all) – I find that this approach allows me to see every situation and problem with a fresh perspective.  Only then do I let my experience kick in to lead us to a solution.

How are you different from other business consultants?

As a client once said, working with me is more like working with a partner.  I care about your business and want to see it grow and gain success.  Imagine that I am the caretaker of your newborn – you want someone who has experience, someone you can trust, and someone who will always have the best interest of your baby in the forefront of their mind.  That’s how I approach every client and startup I work with.

What type of personality do you work with best and what is expected of me?

I work best with companies and individuals who like to bring their best effort to every day; people who like challenges and aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.  When a client is willing to put in the time and effort to grow and improve their business, that comes through in every interaction we have, because I bring that effort every time.

What type of personality is this not going to work for?

If you are looking for someone who you can pawn the bulk of the effort on, this won’t work.  I cannot manage your business for you; only teach and advise you on how to create and grow your company.  As hard as I try, I cannot compensate for a business owner that doesn’t want to put in the effort that is needed.

What packages do you offer?

I tailor my packages to meet your business needs.  We won’t discuss the best package until after our initial strategic planning session in order to make sure that I’m the right fit for your business and its needs.  Then, we will figure out what works best for your business and your budget.  Feel free to check out our Programs, Courses, and Workbooks to learn more about what we currently offer, or read more about our Business Consulting packages.

Do I always get to work with you?

Yes!  I will always be your contact for consultations.  Occasionally, you may see communications with a member of the Start-Up with Nicole team who is helping me to research, creating programs for your business, and keeping the business organized.

Do we meet in person?

If you are in the Great Lakes Bay Region of Michigan, or are willing to compensate my travel, then it is possible for us to meet.  Most of my sessions are done via Skype or phone, but I love meeting my clients in person.

What will we cover in our work together?

This varies from client to client – I tailor every session to fit the needs of the company, so two sessions are never the same.  Depending on your needs, we will build from the ground up.

If you are an early-stage startup, then we will start with your business model and will work through building a business step-by-step until your business is ready for growth strategy.  If you are a small business that is looking to overcome stagnancy, then we will start with an evaluation and build a strategy to fix and grow your business, with frequent evaluations of best practices.

If you are a large company looking to create new product divisions or new businesses under your corporation, then we will work to train anyone involved directly with the new venture or any executive-level gatekeepers on how to gain the best results.

If you need me to plan a marketing and sales strategy for your company, then we will help you to create an actionable strategy and playbook so that your team can executive it easily.

If it relates to business and is a need for your success, we will cover it!

Do you have a specific process?

Over the past several years, I have developed great tools for building, fixing, and growing businesses.  I integrate these resources into our strategy in order to create a plan that will work for your business.  Since I tailor my approach for each business, and no two clients are alike, this process looks different for everyone.  My investigative and research processes are about all that stays the same – as thorough as possible.

What results can I expect to get out of our work together?

The number one result that you can expect to get is confidence in your business and the plan to make it a success.  With that, you will see a scalability plan for growth, more clients and customers, a higher potential for investment opportunities, higher company exposure, and a strategy that will help you build a company that lasts.

I know I need help, but I can’t afford it right now

There are different packages and plans we can work with to make it affordable.  I understand that the investment in your business can be difficult, but evaluate what you will lose in time loss, mistakes and failures, and momentum if you don’t work with the right consultant.

How are payments managed?

Payments will be invoiced through Paypal.  They accept all major credit cards and can link right to your bank account, which makes it a convenient way to manage payments.

I’m in!  What are the next steps?

Send me an email or give me a phone call: (989) 272-2934.

How often do we meet?

I can meet as often as needed, but typically I meet with clients weekly or biweekly.

Do I have to do homework?

For consulting clients, every session will end with at least one major focus and a list of action items.  Your experience with me will not be successful unless this is completed.  I will also have “homework” every session and will be sure to come prepared.

Do I have access to you between sessions? 

Yes – please feel free to email me at any time.  Someone from my team will contact you as soon as they can (8am – 5pm Monday-Friday Eastern time).  If you require a conversation that needs to happen outside of email (more than a quick question or something that can’t be answered within 2 sent emails), then please also send me your phone availability for the next 2 days so that I can schedule a time to chat with you.

Where can I find more information about what you offer?

Interested in learning more?  We offer FREE 30-minute consultations to make sure that we are the right solution to your business problem.