Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I know if Ground Floor Partners is a good match for my business?
A: As business growth consultants, we can help almost any legitimate business, from start-up through middle market. Every business should have a realistic business plan and a marketing plan based on accurate, current market research. However, there are specific industries and business types 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 for your business.
Q: How much does a business plan / a marketing plan / a feasibility study / etc. cost?
A: We do not offer any fixed price packages and we do not work off of 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. Previous business plan projects have ranged from a low of about $5,000 for relatively straightforward situations to over $30,000 for larger, more complicated situations. If you are looking for the lowest cost solution, or do not care about quality, then Ground Floor Partners is definitely not a good fit for you.
Q: Do you provide client references?
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.
Q: I just need a few hours of consulting time to help me with my business. Can you still help me?
A: Yes. We often work with clients in situations like this. Please give us a call and we can discuss your situation confidentially. Our minimum project fee is $600.
Q: I understand that business strategy consulting can be very expensive. Can you help me if I am on a more limited budget?
A: Everything we do is tailored to each client's individual situation. If you tell us your budget, as long as it is reasonable, we can work within it. For instance, on the strategy consulting side, we can set up a half day strategy workshop for less than two thousand dollars. If you need more, we can build from there. The point is we can work with you.
Q: My company has very proprietary information, which I do not want to leak out. Do you sign non-disclosure agreements?
Q: Why don't you list more of your clients' names on your website?
Q: Do you work with non-profit organizations?
Q: Do you work with clients outside of the Chicago metropolitan area?
A: YES! We have worked with clients across the United States, as well as in Europe and Africa.
Q: Your focus seems to be on business planning and strategy. Do you also help clients with marketing or strategy execution?
Q: I am starting a business and need help developing the business concept, researching the industry, and developing a marketing plan. I have very limited funds. Will you work in exchange for equity?
Q: Can you make an equity investment in my business or provide debt financing?
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. All work of this nature is strictly fee-for-services without guarantee that a deal will be completed. We also work closely with other financial services firms that specialize in business valuations and investor introductions (investment banking services for small businesses).
Q: I need a business plan / marketing plan completed in a week or less.
Can you help me?
Q: I have been thinking about a new business for a long time. I need someone to help me go through all of my ideas to sort through them and develop a realistic business plan. And I need to do this on a limited budget. Can you help me?
A: Yes! We frequently 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 facilitators and business 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.
Q: I have developed a patented product and now I need help getting it to market. Can you help me?
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.
Q: I already have a business plan. I just need a great presentation for investors. Can you help me?
A: Yes. We frequently help entrepreneurs develop and practice concise and compelling presentations. However, we do not simply "slap together a few slides". Very few entrepreneurs ever succeed at raising capital. Poorly designed and executed presentations are a major reason why.
Q: I am an angel investor. I have invested in one or two early stage companies, and I want to find more investment opportunities. Can you help me?
A: We talk with thousands of small business owners each year, across a wide range of industries and stages. If we mutually agree that Ground Floor Partners is a good fit, we can then define search criteria and set up a Finders Fee arrangement plus a small monthly retainer to cover our expenses. We will perform due diligence on potential companies and introduce you only to the most qualified canidates. Our compensation would mostly be from the Finders Fee. If you are looking to partner with a high-integrity business consulting firm, please contact us. Your identify and contact information will be kept strictly confidential.
Q: I am a business consultant. Is Ground Floor Partners hiring?
A: We are not adding employees at this time, but we are looking for talented consultants to work on a contract basis in the following areas: Education, Healthcare/Medical Devices, Commercial Real Estate, Hospitality (restaurants, hotels, resorts, spas). If you have at least several years of experience in one or more of these industries and you are looking to work as a subcontractor, please contact us.