CEOs and Presidents of mid-sized, privately held or family-owned businesses are required to make decisions on a wide range of strategic and tactical issues. To ensure they make the best decisions on critical strategic questions, it’s important to be informed about current best practices. Accessing the perspectives of experts in a particular area can help ensure executives make an informed decision.
As a marketing consultant, I’ve had the opportunity to work with and observe a range of advisory firms, gaining insight into the strengths of various consulting formats. The Triad Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point has a wide range of consulting services and business advisory formats available to CEOs and Presidents.
In this blog, I wish to share the insights I’ve gained and provide some thoughts on some of the best business consultants – either based in the Piedmont Triad or throughout North Carolina who may be of benefit to a privately held or family-owned business. As a Chief Outsider strategic marketing consultant, there are many situations where our services may not be the right fit. Indeed, one of the consulting or mid-market-focused advisory firms listed below may be the best choice in helping a business owner gain insight into solving their problem or gaining an outside perspective on a business situation.
Vistage: Vistage is the largest global facilitator of CEO coaching groups. Their reputation is built on the effectiveness of their chairs, all senior executives, providing peer-to-peer guidance for CEOs, business owners and executives of small- to mid-sized businesses. In the Piedmont Triad, both Dick Wilson and Reid Marsh chair individual CEO groups. I would recommend membership in Vistage to any chief executive who is seeking to interact with a like-minded group as a sounding board.vistage.com
Wake Forest Family Business Center: Wake Forest has developed a strong presence with its MBA program. One innovative program that I’ve been impressed with is the Family Business Center. The FBC’s goal is to help create happier families and more successful businesses through programs designed to recognize and address critical issues that arise in closely held or family businesses. Wake’s FBC combines regular education events and speakers with the opportunity to really get to know and trust other North Carolina family business owners who are facing similar challenges. Members represent a diverse range of family and closely held businesses, including: husband-wife, mother-daughter, father-son, multiple generation, team management, first-generation entrepreneurs and non-family executives. Rhonda Stokes is the Director of the Winston-Salem based center. familybusiness.opcd.wfu.edu
Business Valuation and Financial Services
Scale Finance LLC: Scale Finance started in North Carolina and has expanded its regional operations to Florida and Washington D.C. Scale is, as the name would indicate, focused on helping businesses scale their operations by providing integrated finance solutions. They also offer fractional (or interim) CFO and controller services, capital raise, M&A and business valuation guidance. Rendy Richards is Scale’s Triad partner, focusing on clients in the Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem markets. scalefinance.com
Strategic Advisors: Led by four partners with over 150 years of combined business experience, the Greensboro-based firm specializes in serving as an intermediary for businesses in transition. Strategic Advisors offers specific expertise in representing business sellers and buyers and also can perform benchmark valuation of businesses. They also are adept at M&A advisory work, capital raises, debt placement and family transition work. I’ve worked with partner George Bachmann and would recommend him without hesitation. strategicadvisorsnc.com
Newport Board Group: Newport Board Group’s partners are senior executives with extensive experience in business strategy, operations, exit strategy and capital markets. Newport helps CEOs/owners to enhance and protect their investment. Newport serves emerging growth, middle market and private equity firms and their portfolio companies. Jed Dunn and Ron Smith are partners working with CEOs, owners and boards in the Triad market. newportboardgroup.com
Next Level Partners, LLC: Next Level’s VP of Practitioner Services, Ronica Bowen, has helped many Piedmont Triad and international businesses implement its “lean business system.” Next Level helps businesses analyze their plan, people and processes and devise strategies to drive near-term results improvement, as well as ongoing sustainable competitive advantages. Next Level implements the Danaher Business System – revered for its approach of measuring culture and performance and creating targeted options for improvement. Next Level Partners
Organization Design and Staffing
Schaffer Associates: Usually when we think about executive recruiters, or headhunters, we think about engaging them when we have a defined position and are ready to begin a search. The work prior to beginning the search, which can include determining if we have the right organization and the right people, is equally critical. I've worked with Jim Schaffer and Mark Fisher on several projects, and find that they bring the balance of organizational understanding and insight that adds value in determining how best to structure your business. Jim has significant operating experience, including being COO of operating companies, and is able to provide both candid insights and solid benchmarking of best practices and what works and doesn't. Schaffer Associates
Sales Training and Sales Management
Sandler Training : Sales is part art, part science. By focusing on a systematic approach to sales and sales management, Sandler assists companies in driving both growth and accountability for sales teams. Sandler’s processes and methodologies have resulted in many of our clients utilizing Sandler Training. Joel Kaczmarek provides sales training and reinforcement to firms across the Triad from Sandler’s office in High Point - www.training.sandler.com
I believe that it is critical for executives and companies to assemble the best possible team of advisors and consultants, to ensure their strategic objectives are incubated, supported and executed to help achieve the owner’s vision. I wanted to share these firms, so that you may make informed choices in addressing the strategic issues your firm faces.
Have you had success with other consulting firms or business advisors in the Piedmont Triad?