We engage business owners and senior managers in an intensive, collaborative process to identify and resolve any issues and challenges that may be preventing your organization from achieving its fullest potential. Here we respond to the most frequently asked questions asked by our website visitors. If you have questions that aren’t answered here, please contact us. We’ll be happy to help.

A: We can help almost any legitimate business or non-profit organization. However, there are specific industries and situations where we may not be the best fit. We will be happy to discuss your situation confidentially, and will immediately let you know whether or not we think we are a good fit.

A: As long as the owner is serious and takes a long view, we should be able to help. Transitioning from “working IN the business” to “working ON the business” takes time, typically six months to a year, but sometimes even longer. Please take a look at our management consulting and strategy consulting pages for more information. Or just give us a call.

A: We are happy to provide client references to serious prospects once we have held initial discussions and have tentatively agreed on the scope and structure of an engagement.

A: Once we have determined that there is a good match between your needs and Ground Floor Partners’ capabilities, we can send you a mutual non-disclosure agreement. This agreement protects both parties from disclosure of confidential information. And, if you become a client of Ground Floor Partners, our standard contract provides ample protection that covers most circumstances.

A: Most of our clients insist on strict confidentiality, so we cannot divulge any information about them beyond their industry and a general description of the type of services we provided them.

A: It depends on your current situation and goals. In some cases we work on a retainer basis and in other cases we work on a project basis. Relatively simple, straightforward projects can be as little as $2,000, whereas longer term, whereas complicated long term projects can sometimes exceed $50,000. Most projects fall somewhere between these two extremes. We do not offer any fixed price packages and we generally avoid templates. Before we can give you an estimate, we need to understand your individual situation. This generally requires a brief conversation about your project goals, timetable, budget, scope, and other issues. Although we are far from being the most expensive, we are also rarely the least expensive. If you are looking for the lowest cost solution, or quality is of secondary concern, then Ground Floor Partners is definitely not a good fit for you. If you are looking for a professional consultant/adviser who does high quality work and inspires trust, please give us a cal

A: YES. We work with non-profit organizations, including counties and municipalities. As long as we are a good fit in terms of skills and expertise we are happy to work with any legitimate organization. In fact, many of our largest and most complex engagements have been with non-profit organizations.

A: YES.  We work with clients throughout the United States. As long as it is a legitimate business and we understand the model we can usually help. Please contact us to discuss your particular situation in confidence.

A: We occasionally work with international clients on projects in the United States. However we do not work with domestic or international clients on projects outside of the United States.

A: Yes. (See our  management consulting and marketing services.) However, we never simply jump into implementation work without first gaining a solid understanding of your particular business and goals. Please contact us to discuss your situation in confidence.

A: We generally  work on a fee-for-service basis. However, if the business shows exceptional growth potential and we have established a strong relationship with a client, we may consider discounting our fees in exchange for equity .

A: Ground Floor Partners is not a lender or private equity firm, and we do not act as an intermediary in any financial transaction. That said, we can support your search for funding in many useful ways, including market research, preparation of a business plan, development of a business presentation, and preparation and review of supporting documents. In some cases, we can arrange introductions to qualified funding sources. We also work closely with other financial services firms that specialize in business valuations and investor introductions (investment banking services for small businesses).

A: It depends. Even “straightforward” planning projects usually take at least 5 or 6 weeks. More involved projects can require several months (or longer) to assure the high level of quality and accuracy that are essential to success.

A: Generally, even “simple” feasibility projects take at least 5 or 6 weeks. More involved projects can require several months (or longer) to assure the high level of quality and accuracy that are essential to success.

A: Possibly. We occasionally work with clients in this situation. You will need to do the “heavy lifting” with the market research (which can be very time consuming), while we limit our role to acting as business coaches or advisors. This plays to our strengths and keeps your expenses to a minimum. The process typically takes several months, but results in a very strong business plan.

A: We have found that many inventors just want someone to help them “sell their product” without asking any questions. We do not work that way, since it usually leads to failure. We can help you formulate a sound go-to-market strategy first, then help you commercialize your technology product or service. If you already have a solid go-to-market plan, with real market data and analysis to back it up, we can quickly jump into the execution phase.

A: Let’s assume you just filled out our Contact Us form with some basic information.

We’ll try to reach you by phone a few times, but if we can’t connect, we’ll send you an email inviting you to call us instead.

Once we connect, we’ll talk for 15 minutes to get a quick determination whether or not we are a good fit for you. We’ll ask you some basic questions, and try to answer any initial questions you might have for us.  If it becomes clear that we are not a good fit for you, we’ll tell you right then and there.

On the other hand, if it sounds like we are a good fit, we may ask you to send us a little more information so we can dig a little deeper. We’ve been around the block a few times, so we are careful about who we work with.

Once we have a good understanding of your needs, goals, timeframe, budget, the main people or entities involved with your project, and possibly some other information, we will prepare a draft proposal along with estimated fees. 

We prefer to do fixed fee engagements, but a fixed fee engagement only makes sense if the project scope is clear and narrowly defined. If the project is more open-ended, we will often write the proposal as a “time and materials” engagement. In the case of a long term, ongoing project we will consider a retainer agreement with a fixed monthly fee.

Once the proposal is approved, we will send you a contract, which you will need to sign. Each contract is customized, but the legal terms are standard and easy to understand. Should you have any questions regarding the contract, we are happy to clarify. Minor changes to the contract can be made if both parties agree.

After receipt of the signed contract, we will set up a kick-off meeting with you and any consultants that will be working on your project. The kick-off meeting generally lasts between one and two hours. During this time, we will ask more in-depth questions, outline the next steps, and begin gathering all the information we need to begin executing the project. Throughout our engagement, we will be in touch regularly with scheduled calls and frequent emails. We will keep you informed of our progress and findings.

The final deliverable(s) will depend on the scope of the project. If the final deliverable is a report or business plan, you will be presented with the final document(s) at the end of our engagement. We will work with you to make any changes or adjustments (within reason) you feel necessary and will do our best to ensure you are happy with the final product.

Often, after a project is complete, clients desire further consulting. This can be arranged in several ways. We are very committed to the success of our customers and their businesses/organizations and are happy to continue to work with them longer term as needed.

A: We can research the external market and perform due diligence on the business itself. We are very good at finding “where the bones are buried.” While most small business owners are ethical and honest, there are some who hide, obfuscate, lie, and conceal. And while every business has problems and challenges, some are simply too extensive or fundamental to fix. If you hire us to perform due diligence on a company we will only take one side: yours. We will do our best to evaluate the company across multiple dimensions (management, staff,  business model, marketing, sales, operations, financial health, customer service, pricing, product or service quality, etc.) so you get a clear idea of what you are getting into if you buy or invest. We can also refer you to some top valuation firms. Please contact us to discuss your situation in confidence.