Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Q: How much does Ground Floor Partners charge for consulting?

A: Relatively simple, straightforward projects can be as little as $6,000, whereas longer term, more complicated projects can potentially exceed $50,000. Most of our 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 call.

Q: How do I know if Ground Floor Partners is a good match for my business?

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.

Q: I have been in business for many years. I am looking for a consultant to help me increase revenues and profits, and help me transition out of day-to-day operations. Can you help me?

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 one or two years, but sometimes even longer. Please take a look at our management consulting page for more information. Or just give us a call.

Q: I have a great product but don't know how to get it to market. Can you help me?

A: We can assist with everything from production options, supply chain decisions, packaging decisions, competitor research, go-to-market strategy, as well as management and operations consulting. Please contact us to discuss your situation in confidence.

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: Do you sign non-disclosure agreements?

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.

Q: Why don't you list more of your clients' names on your website?

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.

Q: Do you work with non-profit organizations?

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, several of our largest and most complex engagements have been with non-profit organizations.

Q: Do you work with clients outside of the Chicago metropolitan area?

A: YES. As long as we understand the business and it is not located in a dangerous area we can usually help. Please contact us to discuss your particular situation in confidence.

Q: Do you work on international projects?

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.

Q: Your focus seems to be on research, planning and strategy. Do you also help clients with implementation?

A: 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 particular situation in confidence.

Q: I am starting a business and need help developing the business concept, researching the industry, and developing a plan. I have very limited funds. Will you work in exchange for equity?

A: No. The amount of work that goes into a high quality plan is extensive. We only work on a fee-for-service basis.

Q: Can you make an equity investment in my business or provide debt financing?

A: No. 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 two. Can you help me?

A: No. Generally, even “straightforward” planning projects take at least 5 to 7 weeks. More involved projects can require several months (or longer) to assure the high level of quality and accuracy that are essential to success.

Q: I need a feasibility study completed in three weeks. Can you help me?

A: Generally, even “simple” feasibility projects take at least 6 to 7 weeks. More involved projects can require several months (or longer) to assure the high level of quality and accuracy that are essential to success.

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: 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 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 am an angel investor. I am considering investing a significant amount of money into a small business. I am worried I am missing something and want someone to evaluate the business itself along with the external market. Can you help me?

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." Please contact us to discuss in confidence.