Category Archives: Student Consulting

CSUF Consulting is the Creative Solution

CSUF MBA 2nd Place Finishing TeamCreativity is the lifeblood of business and a CSUF Consulting team is the perfect way to inject some creativity into your business. All businesses can benefit from a fresh perspective and our teams are adept at finding solutions where most others would not have even looked.

And please make sure to sign up for the CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider to make sure that you do not miss any of the events or news that is important to the CSUF Entrepreneurship community.

Every year, more than 100 businesses harness the creativity of Cal State Fullerton’s students to develop comprehensive strategic plans that can be used to make dramatic improvements to core parts of their business.

Clients have utilized the recommendations from their CSUF Consulting teams to develop a robust customer retention program, save money by going green, align company culture with strategic initiatives, and in many other ways. Working with a CSUF Consulting team is a key way businesses can proactively take charge of their future instead of reacting to events.

One of the key differentiators of the CSUF Consulting program is its combination of creativity and wisdom. Each CSUF Consulting team has four to six upper division students or MBA candidates, a supervising professor, and a mentor for undergraduate teams.

The students effuse creativity in everything they do. Armed with the knowledge they are learning in their studies and unburdened by years of doing things a certain way they are able to come up with solutions where others would not have even looked.

Wisdom is not discounted, however, and is amply supplied for by the professors and mentors in our program. They provide balance to our teams and keep projects focused on the main goal: producing excellent recommendations for our clients.

Chances are, you know a business that would be a great fit for the CSUF Consulting program. You might even have a business that could benefit from the creative thinking that is the hallmark of our program. If so, please get in touch with our Client Project Specialist, Charlesetta Medina by calling her at (657) 278-8243 or by sending an email to entrepreneurship@fullerton.edu to request more information.

Sincerely,

John Bradley Jackson
Director & Professor
CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship, CSUF Consulting,
& CSUF Startup Incubator

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A Closer Look at CSUF Consulting

Business TeamIn this edition of the CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider (sign up now!) we highlight a very successful CSUF Consulting Project and announce the acceptance of one of our current students into the CSUF Startup Incubator as a Resident!


A couple of weeks ago I highlighted the Hilton Hotels project that one of our CSUF Consulting teams completed. That project is one of my favorites for a number of reasons and I recently went into more depth about this project in an article titled How a CSUF Consulting Team Helped a Hilton Hotel Save Money by Going Green.

In this article I also shared my process for doing effective CSUF Consulting projects, and it includes:

  • Define the client’s current state
  • Define the client’s desired state
  • Identify the problem or opportunity (often called the “gap”)
  • Analyze the situation and gather information
  • Identify possible recommendations
  • Analyze and compare possible recommendations
  • Final recommendations
  • Implementation plan for the recommendations
  • Describe the costs involved
  • Establish a timeline for implementation with the action steps required
  • Return on investment

The article goes into greater detail about all of these steps and there are more insights into the Hilton project as well.

We are currently recruiting clients for the CSUF Consulting program. If you know of a business (or, better yet, have a business) that is looking to make improvements I think you should give serious consideration to working with us during the spring semester. For more information please contact Client Project Specialist Charlesetta Medina at cymedina@fullerton.edu or (657) 278-8243.

I am also happy to announce that we have accepted current CSUF Entrepreneurship student Jonny May into the CSUF Startup Incubator! Jonny has channeled his passion and skill as a pianist into a business called Piano with Jonny. This semester, he has been a student in my New Venture Creation course and we recently published an article about how he has leveraged the knowledge and experiences he has had during the semester and at the recent CSUF Entrepreneurship Investor Panels to improve his business. We are looking forward to working with him over the next six months to set up his business for sustainable growth. We will keep you updated.

Sincerely,

John Bradley Jackson
Director, CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship
& CSUF Startup Incubator

Creativity is the life blood of business and our consulting teams are filled with students brimming with creative solutions in a wide range of areas. Now is the perfect time to inject some creative solutions into your business by working with one of our CSUF Consulting teams.

To find out how we can tailor a project to fit your business’ needs contact our Client Project Specialist, Charlesetta Medina at (657) 278-8243 or to request an application email entrepreneurship@fullerton.edu.

We look forward to working with you!
 

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How CSUF Consulting Helped a Hilton Hotel Save Money by Going Green

Business TeamA couple of weeks ago in the CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider weekly update we mentioned the experience of past CSUF Consulting client Hilton Hotels and how one of our teams helped them save a lot of money by going green. I recently had the chance to get some more insight on this project and how CSUF Consulting teams go about helping businesses of all kinds with Center for Entrepreneurship Director John Bradley Jackson.

Travis Lindsay: The Waterfront Hilton Hotel project was an interesting project. Can you tell me what they were looking for from one of our CSUF Consulting teams?

John Bradley Jackson: The client wanted to become more sustainable but was not sure what to do [and wanted one of our teams to develop some solutions].

TL: How did the team tackle this challenge?

JBL: [Each CSUF Consulting team has a mentor from the private sector] and our mentor, Tom Faust, directed the team to focus on a green solution that was also economically sound. This triggered the students to look into the cost of energy and lighting. The ultimate solution was the introduction of LED lighting, which was a long term fix. The Waterfront Hilton is a large hotel that used conventional lighting prior to the students’ recommendation. The ROI over a ten year period was projected to be very substantial.

TL: In general, why should a business consider becoming a CSUF Consulting client?

JBL: A CSUF Consulting team often puts in 300 to 400 hours of work collectively, which can be a very cost effective solution. They do the things that our clients want to do but don’t have the time to do. Our students are millennials and they are tech savvy and bring great creativity to the consulting assignment. Often business owners and executives are too close to the problem or situation to visualize solutions; student teams offer a high octane third part perspective.

Director Jackson also shared with me the CSUF Consulting Problem Solving Methodology; which is an 11 step guide that his CSUF Consulting teams use when working with clients.

  1. Define the client’s current state – This is the current condition of a process, entity, or situation. A present-state captures all of the details of a process, entity, or situation just as it is; this includes the positive traits or features along with flaws or errors.
  2. Define the client’s desired state – This is the improved condition for a process, entity, or situation. A desired state describes the process, entity, or situation as it should be, with all possible flaws and errors eliminated.
  3. Identify the problem or opportunity (often called the “gap”) – It is very important to accurately define a problem as an initial step. Be careful to identify the problem itself and not a symptom/s of a problem. Write out a problem statement as a question (“How do we train our staff in customer service skills?”) or as an infinitive (“To determine the best method for training the staff in customer service skills.”).
  4. Analyze the situation and gather information – Once the problem is identified and the general scope of the problem is defined, then information is gathered which will support choosing a solution later. Separate information into two categories: facts and assumptions. Facts are information that is known and verifiable. Opinions can be handled as facts but their source must be carefully weighed as to its credibility. Assumptions are used for those areas of information that we need but have no facts. The assumptions should be necessary and valid in that they are likely to be true based on our list of facts. Assumptions need to be clarified and validated as part of the process since assumptions will often drive our selection of a solution.
  5. Identify possible recommendations – When working in a group, brainstorming usually works best. Use the synergy created by several people developing ideas to derive potential solutions. One caveat is to not allow for the judgment of the ideas at this point. If you have the criteria you need in place, they will screen out any nonviable solutions.
  6. Analyze and compare possible recommendations – Apply the screening and evaluation criteria to your potential solutions beginning with the screening criteria first. Any proposed solutions that are screened out by any one or more of the screening criteria are not considered further. Apply the evaluation criteria to those solutions that survived the screening process. Objectively evaluate each option with the pluses and minuses of each.
  7. Final recommendations – After a period of time, the best solution to solve the problem should be apparent. Be sure to ask yourself, but did it solve the problem? Will there be any other issues created by its implementation? Analyzing the potential effectiveness of solutions will increase the efficacy of the solution. It is always best to pre-sell your ideas to the client along the way, rather than surprising the client at the final presentation.
  8. Implementation plan for the recommendations – Describe the solution/s in detail. It is frequent that we offer many ideas that might help the client, which is a great thing. But, be sure to rank those ideas by priority.
  9. Describe the costs involved – To best of your ability estimate the cost of the solutions.  Be advised that many of our clients will appreciate solutions that are low cost or no cost. Beware of presenting any solution that is cost prohibitive.
  10. Establish a timeline for implementation with the action steps required – Some recommendations may be easily implemented right away while others may require preparation and lead time. A possible presentation of the timeline could include items to implement immediately, while other recommendations might be implemented in 90 days, 180 days, or even in a year. Be specific about the action steps required. Often, the costs and staffing requirements associated with implementation will determine the clients’ ability to implement, so be sensitive to client’s ability to absorb and fun changes.
  11. Return on investment – Suggest a process to measure the effectiveness of the implemented solution. Most business executives will want to know what is to be expected after implementation of the recommendations. This might be cost savings, increased sales, improved productivity, etc. While this ROI is an estimate, it may be the evidence needed for the client to go forward. Quantify these anticipated results whenever possible; benchmarks may be helpful.

As you can tell, the CSUF Consulting program produces creative and comprehensive projects. We are always looking for ambitious businesses who are looking for innovative ways to improve and if you think your business or another business you know of would be a good fit please get in touch with Client Project Specialist Charlesetta Medina now! She can be reached by email at cymedina@fullerton.edu or by phone at (657) 278-8243.


#CSUFEntrepreneur #CSUFStartup

Become a CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider to keep up-to-date on all the events, news, and everything else we do: http://bit.ly/CSUFStartupSignup

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship: http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurship

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs: http://bit.ly/csufstartup

Attend one of our entrepreneur events or sign up for a free mentoring session: http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

Now Accepting CSUF Consulting Clients for Spring

This is a CSUF Consulting team that won the Small Business Institute's National Project of the Year Competition in the Undergraduate Division. Good job team!

This is a CSUF Consulting team that won the Small Business Institute’s National Project of the Year Competition in the Undergraduate Division. Good job team!

Every Monday we publish a weekly report to CSUF Entrepreneurship Insiders. In today’s report we announce the launch our Spring 2017 client recruitment efforts. The CSUF Consulting program is an integral part of the education of our students because it enables them to put into action the lessons they have learned with real businesses. The CSUF Consulting program is also of huge benefit to companies that participate because they receive innovative strategies on ways to make their businesses’ stronger from the reports our students create.

If you are interested in becoming a client of the CSUF Consulting program please get in touch with our Client Project Specialist, Charlesetta Medina, at (657) 278-8243.

What follows is the weekly CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider report from CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship and CSUF Startup Incubator Director John Bradley Jackson.

Every semester we welcome a diverse group of businesses into the CSUF Consulting program and we are now accepting applications for the Spring 2017 semester. For a relatively small fee, these businesses, our clients, have the opportunity to work with a student team over the course of the semester to develop a comprehensive action plan that tackles a specific part of their business.

All businesses can benefit from a fresh perspective and that is exactly what our student teams provide. Armed with the latest business knowledge from multiple disciplines and the creativity that is evident in so many of our students the CSUF Consulting program has helped all kinds of businesses ranging from startups to Hilton Hotels.

The Hilton Hotels project is one that I am particularly proud of. When clients initially contact us, many of them automatically think that marketing projects have the highest ROI, which isn’t always the case. Our team that worked with Hilton Hotels made this abundantly clear by developing a comprehensive energy sustainability plan that has saved the hotel a lot of money.

And that story has been repeated many times over the years with our teams developing plans to help clients in a wide range of areas. I’m sure every business can improve and that one of our teams can help accomplish that goal.

While we are completing current client engagements from the Fall Semester, the Center for Entrepreneurship looks forward to working with the students, clients, mentors, and professors next semester. We have a very strong community full of innovative people and I am confident that we will help make many more businesses stronger next semester and for years to come!

If you are interested in becoming a client of this program please contact Client Project Specialist, Charlesetta Medina, at (657) 278-8243 and she can walk you through the process in more detail. We look forward to working with you!

Sincerely,

John Bradley Jackson
Director, CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship
& CSUF Startup Incubator

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New MBA Marketing Consulting Projects Available for Businesses… Act Now!

CSUF Consulting National Champion team from CSUF Entrepreneurship

CSUF Consulting National Champion team from CSUF Entrepreneurship

I know this is a little irregular but we have just found out that we need to find another four clients for one of our MBA marketing classes. This class is a new addition to CSUF Consulting and, while they do not strictly adhere to our standard consulting practices, we have worked with them in the past and I can vouch for the good work that they do. Marketing is regularly one of the most sought after consulting projects that we offer and I’m sure that your business or a business that you know of would like some assistance in bringing in more customers and in learning the most cutting edge marketing techniques.

These projects will start next week and will conclude at the end of the semester in December. Each team features CSUF MBA students who are brimming with concepts and strategies learned in the classroom and from their own professional experiences. Every client will receive an exhaustively researched marketing strategy report and a presentation highlighting the most important recommendations from their CSUF Consulting team.

Our teams will start working with their clients next week so please get in touch with us now to engage with one of our MBA consulting teams at a reduced price.

If you have a business that is looking for creative ways to grow or know of another business that is please contact Ms. Charlesetta Medina, Client Project Specialist, at (657) 278-8243 or by emailing her at cymedina@fullerton.edu.

Sincerely,

John Bradley Jackson

Director, Center for Entrepreneurship

P.S. Thank you for your tremendous support and help with our program. I know these types of posts can be annoying but since consulting projects are a central tenet of our program I am obliged to do everything I can to make sure all of our students have consulting projects every semester. And reaching out to our greatest resource, you and the other members of the CSUF Entrepreneurship community, is the best way to make sure that we have the requisite number of clients every semester. Thank you for your patience with me.  

CSUF Consulting

Hundreds of smart businessmen have gained an edge over the competition thanks to working with CSUF Consulting. Now it’s your turn!

Over the course of a twelve week engagement, our teams do a thorough review of their client’s current situation, exhaustively research potential solutions or improvements, and develop a comprehensive report that details new strategies and initiatives to accomplish their client’s goals. The recommendations that our teams present have been used by many of our clients to enact changes that have improved their businesses for a lifetime!

To find out more information about how you can benefit from CSUF Consulting please fill out the form below and we will be in touch soon!

CSUF Consulting teams are comprised of four to six graduating seniors at California State University, Fullerton. During their matriculation, they have learned cutting edge business lessons that they are eager to put into practice. Our teams regularly dedicate over 150 hours to their clients’ projects due to their diligence in reviewing their clients’ current situation; conducting research into competitors, customers, and best practices; and developing comprehensive strategies focusing on how to take advantage of their clients’ greatest opportunities or in solving their clients’ toughest problems.

Each team is supervised by their professor and is actively mentored by a professional from the private sector. This expert guidance helps to create the perfect synergy of wisdom and energy for our clients. Every CSUF Consulting team is motivated to create the best product for their client and they are looking forward to working with you!

CSUF Consulting is accepting clients now: Please fill out the form below and we will be in touch with information about how we can tailor a project to your company’s needs.

TESTIMONIALS

“The professionalism that these young men and women posses and their willingness to work around our schedules was truly impressive…we have already benefited from their work more than we did from a professional consulting company that cost us around $50,000 and weeks of our time.”

 Jeff W. Johnson, President EnerTech Systems, Inc.

“The results were well worth our time and effort, in fact, we would consider doing it again in a heartbeat. They worked together like a fine-tuned professional sports team, creating a plan of action, gathering research and offering avenue for improvement.”

Chad M. McLain, Vice President, Homeowner Construction

“They began this project with hours of fact-finding missions…they made the effort of tracking down my Showroom Managers that are located throughout Orange County. My staff was shocked at what they uncovered and how much they knew about our business in such a short time.”

Michael Jenkins, President/CEO, Renaissance Doors & Windows

“We felt the services they provided to our firm were comparable to any professional consulting firm we might have hired. They were thorough, knowledgeable and professional.”

Kim Jorgenson, Plums Café and Catering

“The students introduced windows of opportunity that we had not considered before. We consider the final report to be a great benefit to our company.”

James Hensman, Cal-Therm Corp.

“The team members were knowledgeable and supportive of our organization’s specific needs. I think the team was responsible for our improved profit. It was 7 percent last year and 2, 3 percent in previous years.

Mr. Richard B. Finnie II, M. R. Mold & Engineering Corp.

We look forward to working with you but first we need some information from you. We will be in touch soon with more information about how we can create a great consulting project for your company.

What can CSUF Business Students do for your Company?

For more than two decades, CSUF Consulting Teams have been helping business owners like you develop successful business strategies that have increased profits. We have an extraordinary record of success winning many awards and producing extraordinary results for our clients.
As a client you will be matched with a student consulting team, professor, and a mentor. The objective of the team’s consulting project is to help you make lasting improvements to your business. By trusting us, and participating in our consulting process, you will have the opportunity to:
  1. Conduct a full strategic review of your company in areas like finance or leadership.
  2. Receive practical and actionable recommendations for your business.
  3. Obtain a fresh, independent view of your business on how to enhance your business and to fix any deficiencies that exist.

To be considered please complete our Request for Consulting Application. The semester has already started but we still have a few open engagements remaining for the fall semester. Please contact Ms. Charlesetta Medina, Client Project Specialist, at (657) 278-8243 or by email at cymedina@fullerton.edu.

Sincerely,

John Bradley Jackson
Director, CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship

“The people in the program were inspiring and helped me to write a children’s book , started us on Facebook , and so much more we will forever be grateful to the program and Mihaylo College of Business!”
  
Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching
 
To find out how we can tailor a project to fit your business needs contact our  Client Project Specialist, Charlesetta Medina at (657) 278-8243 or to request an application email entrepreneurship@fullerton.edu.

Sometimes it seems as if inventing your product is the easy part! The tough job comes from avoiding the pitfalls and potholes that rob you of your intellectual property rights.

Arm yourself today with the knowledge to protect and profit from your new app, software, product, or invention by joining patent attorney John Connors for key lessons on navigating the road to success.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS AND TO RESERVE YOUR SEAT!

Entrepreneurs face many challenges when creating a corporate culture that fosters innovation and retains the talent required to create a successful exit. The Power of 10 is Software Anywhere’s living case study of how companies can achieve for-profit success while giving back at an extreme level.

Jeff Scott is going to share his model and approach on how a team of 10 people achieved a goal of providing $10M in community impact in less than 10 years.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS AND TO RESERVE YOUR SEAT!

Raising money for a startup is difficult if not almost impossible. But thanks to recent changes in the law equity crowdfunding has democratized this market so that more people can now invest in startups.

David Gosselin, a Principal at DBBMcKennon and a Partner at BizCFO, will be giving a talk at the CSUF Startup Incubator to help you understand how to take advantage of these changes. And, just maybe, help you figure out how you can raise money for your company!

CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS AND TO RESERVE YOUR SEAT!

Center for Entrepreneurship Board Member, Andrew Carroll, has graciously set aside time in his busy day to help entrepreneurs is his areas of expertise as well as providing general guidance for those looking to get their ideas off the ground.
Andrew is a freelance CFO, CPA, consultant, and advises on: taxes, investments, insurance, business strategy, operations, mergers and acquisitions, and accounting.  Read more about Andrew and the clients he helps at https://cfoandrew.com
Bring your startup ideas on Mondays (starting today) from 1:00pm to 4:00pm @ CSUF Startup Incubator

CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS AND TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT

Working on a startup? Have a question about what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Developing the next great idea and you need help figuring out how to bring it to market?
For over 24 years, Professor Jeff Longshaw, MBA, MSBA, has been a Business management and communication consultant, teaching proposal writing and composition to companies to improve their win rate.  While he has managed and participated in over 20 large scale proposals for Westinghouse, Lockheed, Bath Ironworks, General Dynamics and others; he has also produced business plans for start-up companies.

Bring your startup ideas on Tuesdays from 3:30pm to 6:00pm @ CSUF Startup Incubator.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS AND TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT

David Van Sambeek is an attorney for Wellman & Warren, LLP and he has graciously agreed to hold office hours at the CSUF Startup Incubator regularly for our Residents, students, and everyone else in the CSUF Entrepreneurship community. If you are interested in asking David some questions about the law (see his areas of expertise below) please make sure to click the register button above and pick a time that works for you. (If there are no times available we probably have other times available on another day.)
David has represented 100s of companies as outside retained counsel. He currently represents clients headquartered in America, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Malaysia, Brazil, the EU, and Ukraine.  Historical representation of clients has included organization, launch, financing, securities matters, franchising, day-to-day operations, contract drafting, TM and Trade Secret protection, employment matters, joint ventures, mergers/acquisitions, and regulatory issues unique to each industry. He has launched companies/subsidiaries in foreign countries including Mexico, Canada, Ecuador, Columbia, Chile, Peru, Ukraine, Russia, Philippines and various EU nations.
David’s upcoming office hours to discuss your Intellectual Property ideas:

Tuesday, September 6 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm @ CSUF Startup Incubator (Placentia)

Dave Kinnear is one of our great mentors at the CSUF Startup Incubator who will be holding office hours to answer your startup and strategy questions.

Dave Kinnear is a Business Advisor, Mentor and Executive Leader Coach.  Through his affiliation with Vistage International, Dave convenes and facilitates peer advisory boards of Business Owners, Company Presidents, General Managers and Chief Executives dedicated to becoming better leaders who make better decisions and achieve better results.

Dave’s upcoming office hours:
The CSUF Entrepreneurship Alumni host a business roundtable on the third Thursday of every month at the CSUF Startup Incubator and all are encouraged to attend these free meetings. Bring your entrepreneurial ideas, challenges, or just sit in and listen!
The CSUF Entrepreneur Roundtable features a fantastic group of mentors with impressive backgrounds so that every participating entrepreneur will get tremendous feedback on what they are working on. Don’t be shy! This can turn out to be one of the most consequential entrepreneurial events you ever attend.

Upcoming CSUF Entrepreneur Roundtables:

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR FUTURE MEETING DATES

Whether you are a professional who gets satisfaction from being a mentor to someone who wants to work in a startup as a team member or are interested in investing in some of our thriving startups; we want to hear from you!
To join our large professional network you don’t have to be an alumni but we need your expertise and hard work to help make Northern Orange County (especially Fullerton) a strong startup community! Please take a minute to tell us about yourself so we can properly welcome you into the CSUF Startup Community.
#CSUFEntrepreneur #CSUFStartup
For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship: http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurship
For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs: http://bit.ly/csufstartup

Attend one of our entrepreneur events or sign up for a free mentoring session: http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents