What can a CSUF Consulting team do for your business? Quite a lot!
Running a business is hard work and it’s all the more difficult when you are running a small business and all of the big decisions rest on your shoulders. Every day there are big decisions that need to be made and, even when things are running “smoothly”, all of those little things quickly add up and you have no time to take on the bigger opportunities that you have. Maintaining what you have quickly becomes the norm and going after bigger goals is something that has to be put off for another day.
That is the reality that most small and medium-sized business leaders face and the crux of this problem isn’t a lack of resources. Processes can be changed and resources can be reallocated if there is a compelling strategic vision in place that will lead to bigger and better things for their business. And that is where a CSUF Consulting team can make a big difference.
As Wendy Fawthrop, a reporter for the Orange County Register, found out after being embedded in Dr. Atul Teckchandani’s Management 464 Entrepreneurial Leadership course last semester. The article gives a detailed rundown on how two student teams developed a strategic vision for their clients that can be used to leverage the resources that their clients currently have to take advantage of key opportunities that the clients did not know how to tackle.
In the article, Wendy meticulously details how over the course of the last semester these teams worked in conjunction with their clients, in-class business mentors, and Dr. Teckchandani to thoroughly research and develop actionable plans on strategic initiatives for their clients. Each team followed a tried-and-true three step process of:
- Identifying the key problems that their clients are facing
- Conduct primary and secondary research to elucidate the issues and identify best practices
- Develop a comprehensive strategic plan that the client can immediately act upon to change those problems into opportunities for growth
Entrepreneurs usually have a decent idea about what kinds of problems or opportunities they are currently facing. For the teams featured in the article the problems their clients were facing were virtually identical: How to get millenials more interested in working in the clients’ businesses.
There are thousands of articles that generically identify this as an issue but where almost all of these articles fail is in proscribing solutions in part because these articles are mostly generic. To really understand the issue, the CSUF Consulting teams got to work by engaging with millenials to find out why they were not currently interested in working for the clients.
This kind of research is intensive and it requires training and guidance that most entrepreneurs don’t have, not to mention the amount of time that has to be devoted to this kind of research, time that most entrepreneurs do not have.
Over the course of the research stage of their projects, the CSUF Consulting teams also researched existing resources on these problems with an eye towards developing solutions for their clients. These resources include everything from case studies detailing how other companies tackled similar problems to articles on best practices for their client’s industry.
During this process the teams will unearth what the true causes of the problems are that their clients are facing. Like a person who has an insanely large water bill the crux of the problem is usually obvious, there’s a leak somewhere, but hidden. CSUF Consulting teams do an excellent job of ferreting out those metaphorical leaks in their clients’ businesses.
And, as was the case with one of the clients featured in the article, they will unearth solutions to ancillary problems that their client didn’t know she had, which was paying too much for outdated salon management software when a better and cheaper solution is available on the market.
Once all of this tedious and technical work has been done, the teams work with their mentors and clients to develop strategic initiatives that utilize the clients’ current array of resources to make consequential gains in the way the clients’ businesses are run. These strategies are step-by-step plans detailing how clients should reallocate their resources and change their processes to convert their problems into opportunities.
Wendy’s OC Register article does an amazing job in bringing life to this process and she captured the ebullient response of Barbara Nolasco, the entrepreneur who owns Artistic Hair and was one of the clients featured in the article, after receiving the final report from her CSUF Consulting team.
“I was so pleased with the suggestions they came up with, and I plan on implementing them in the timeline they suggested,” Nolasco said. “The most important thing I came away with is that my training program must reflect the importance of giving a millennial stylist more hands-on training.” Also, a thorough training in giving a great consultation will help with retaining clients, she said.
After the team’s presentation, Nolasco contacted [salon management software company] Vagaro, which will save the salon more than $70 per month, according to [CSUF Consulting team member Amanda] Martinez.
“I am so grateful to have been chosen for this project, and I would highly recommend it to any business,” Nolasco said. “Having the team help me to look at the areas that needed improvement will put my salon ahead of the game.”
A CSUF Consulting project is a great way to leverage the creativity and passion of the next generation of business leaders to find actionable solutions for your business. Each project unearths findings that are both unexpected and valuable to entrepreneurs, findings that would probably lay dormant for much longer if not for the work of these enterprising Cal State Fullerton Entrepreneurship students.
Do you think your business or a business that you know of can benefit from the opportunities that a CSUF Consulting team can unearth? If so, please get in touch with Client Project Specialist Charlesetta Medina by giving her a call at 657-278-8243 or by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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