We are pleased to announce our newest service offering, which is in some ways, also our oldest! The service in question is: small business consulting.
Previously, when clients came to us for advice, they tended to have a specific job in mind. We might have received a phone call asking about a website redesign. An existing client might ask about content marketing or SEO. New and existing clients knew roughly what they wanted and were ready to discuss details.
This dynamic changed after April 2020, as the first Covid-19 related lockdowns and restrictions started to impact business. Instead of asking for specific advice, enquiries involved a broader discussion on how to pivot or even survive. Crisis can include opportunity, and we have discussed the associated benefits of automation, digitalisation, working remotely, and so on. Whatever situation business owners found themselves in, the resulting conversations have been far more open.
Small business consulting became the first required service, almost every time. Instead of people saying, “please quote us for X, Y and Z”, – they’ve been saying, “here’s our challenge. Do you have any suggestions to help?” or “Here’s our opportunity, how can we best take advantage of it?”
Of course, no one knows your business or industry vertical better than you do. In the same vein, no one knows digital marketing and online leverage better than a group of experienced marketing professionals. Together, in the spirit of open-mindedness and collaboration, we can fuse the best of our knowledge and develop a plan to take advantage of it.
In some ways, small business consulting is something that we’ve always done at OOTBI. Whether clients come to us for copywriting or design, there is a process of discovery, understanding, and suggesting the best approach for solving specific business challenges.
So, if you’re interested in approaching us for consultation for your business, here are a few FAQs to help you to decide:
What do you mean by small business?
We go by a standard definition of a small business, where there are 10-50 employees and a turnover of around 1-6 million GBP/ 1.3-8 million USD/ 1.2-7 million EUR.
We avoid dealing with bootstrapped startups, side gig owners, or small businesses with no marketing budget. On the other end of the scale, firms with more than 50 employees tend to have in-house teams.
There will always be exceptions, such as a well-funded startup with a dedicated marketing budget or a small and highly profitable business that wants to multiply.
A litmus test might be to ask yourself, can you set aside 5-15% of current revenue to pay for a marketing budget? Or do you need marketing to create sales? If it’s the latter, you should probably focus on direct sales and turn up the hustle dial to full to build up some budget.
What kind of industries do you have experience in?
We are most familiar with companies involved in:
- Safety, Health, Environment and Quality (SHEQ)
But we wouldn’t rule any industry out.
What do you charge? Is there a minimum?
Our hourly rate for consulting is £195 / $255. We turn on the clock when we start talking and turn it off when we finish! There are no minimums, contracts or upfront agreements.
If we (you or us) realise that there’s a bad fit, or we don’t feel optimistic in the first thirty minutes of conversation, we can stop there at no charge. More importantly, this charging rate is for consulting with between one and three of our people with a minimum of twenty years of experience across multiple competitive industries.
What types of solutions might you offer us?
We’ll review your current company situation before our initial consulting call. Having looked at hundreds of businesses over the years, we’re pretty adept at noticing strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. Solutions will be different each time, but anything that can be analysed, fixed, improved or optimised online are in our area.
Nowadays, most businesses are heavily digital – or at least they should be. We can help with any marketing (traditional or digital). We’ve recently seen strong demand for solutions to the challenges in working and operating remotely. We help create custom software solutions, including applications, learning management systems, cloud databases, etc.
You may have a specific challenge in mind – if so, get in touch. We might have already solved that issue for someone else.