Iowa City-based business consultant Jeff Nock reveals the steps required to get a minimum viable product built in the technology sector
Designed to ascertain early demand for a product or service, a minimum viable product also allows for valuable feedback ahead of further and more costly development. Focused on the technology solutions and services field, Jeff Nock, a leading business consultant from Iowa City, Iowa, explains the process behind getting a minimum viable product built.
Typically, a minimum viable product will have just enough features to suit early users who can then be prompted for feedback on developing subsequent versions, according to Nock. “This method of developing a product,” he explains, “is often significantly less costly than developing and releasing the finished article in the first instance.”
This, Jeff Nock says, is because, by its very nature, a minimum viable product alleviates the risk of a product failing because of incorrect assumptions during its development. “Building a minimum viable product also reduces wasted engineering hours and gets it to early customers as quickly as possible,” adds the expert.
The process of getting a minimum viable product built involves four main steps, according to Jeff Nock. “First among these is to pick a persona,” he explains. This persona, he says, represents who the minimum viable product is being built for. “Next,” Nock goes on, “define precisely what features the minimum viable product will include and do not deviate from this list.”
Jeff Nock says it’s about needs versus wants. “At this stage, needs should be the focus,” adds the business consultant, “and wants can be added later once the minimum viable product has proven itself.”
Step three, according to the expert, involves initial marketing efforts and putting the wheels of development in motion. “With a persona defined and a list of must-have features locked down, it’s important to spread the word about a minimum viable product to its core target audience as development takes place and ahead of launch,” he explains. “Finally,” Jeff Nock continues, “release and repeatedly iterate.”
Now’s the time, says the expert, to fully ascertain demand and to gather valuable feedback. Additional personas can be introduced at this stage, too, he says, to help broaden the appeal of a minimum viable product.
“Once the minimum viable product has proven itself,” adds Nock, wrapping up, “you can commence the process of creating and launching a minimum marketable product as you finally share your product or service with a much wider audience.”
Business consultant Jeff Nock outlines the importance of employing a so-called scorecard, or balanced scorecard, in business.
A business scorecard, balanced scorecard, or simply a scorecard is, in business, vital, according to marketing and product development specialist Jeff Nock from Iowa City, Iowa. An experienced executive and business consultant with a demonstrated history of growing startups, nonprofits, and established companies alike, Nock explains more about the process.
“A strategy performance management tool, a business scorecard, balanced scorecard, or simply a scorecard is a semi-standard structured report,” explains Jeff Nock, “that can be used to keep track of essential or otherwise important activities within a company or other organization.”
So-called business scorecards can be used, he says, by company owners and managers to monitor the execution of important activities by their staff. “The same semi-standard structured reporting process,” adds the Iowa-City based expert, “can then be used to determine the consequences of these activities or other actions.”
The term balanced scorecard, according to Jeff Nock, stems from the fact that the reporting process can be used-by a company owner, business manager, management team, or other executives-to assess either strategy implementation management or operational management in equal measure.
This, says business consultant Jeff Nock, is demonstrated in 2GC Active Management’s annual Balanced Scorecard Usage Survey. “Last year’s survey found that approximately half of respondents reported using business scorecards for strategy implementation management,” Nock reveals, “while half reported using them for operational management.”
Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Berkshire, England, 2GC Active Management’s mission, they say, is to understand and solve strategic and operational performance management issues for public, non-profit, private, and NGO sector organizations.
“Interestingly, their most recent survey also reported a number of individuals using a business scorecard to track personal performance,” reveals Nock, “although only 15 percent of respondents were found to use business scorecards or balanced scorecards in this way.”
Around twice as many, however, did report using corporate business scorecard elements to inform so-called personal goal setting and incentive calculations, the survey points out, according to the expert.
Iowa City-based business consultant Jeff Nock says that the critical characteristics that define a business or balanced scorecard are threefold, and include, first and foremost, a focus on the strategic agenda of the company or organization concerned.
“Elsewhere, the two other critical characteristics that define a business scorecard are,” he adds, wrapping up, “the selection of a limited number of data items to monitor, and a mix of both financial and non-financial data items, in that order.”
Jeff Nock Highlights Positives of Christian Values in Business
Iowa City business consultant Jeff Nock explains how Christian values can help any company or organization.
Through years of business leadership, and as a highly successful business consultant based in the eastern Iowa city of Iowa City, Iowa, Jeff Nock has proved that the utilization of Christian values may be beneficial to all business leaders regardless of their own personal religious beliefs. In today’s highly divided world, Nock explains the challenges of sharing one’s beliefs as he reveals the core benefits of Christian values in professional life.
“In today’s highly divided world, it can be a challenge to share your beliefs,” explains Nock, “yet, I firmly believe, that the utilization of Christian values remains hugely beneficial to all facets of professional life, and to business leaders across the board, regardless of religious background.”
An experienced executive, consultant, and business leader with a demonstrated history of growing startups, nonprofits, and established companies alike, Jeff Nock is skilled in strategic development and execution, sales, marketing, and much more besides. The Iowa City-based specialist enjoys a strong and well-rounded professional background, as well as boasting a master’s degree in the field of management.
“I’m motivated to work long hours to see my business thrive,” reveals Nock, founder and CEO of Prescient Consulting, LLC, headquartered in Iowa City, Iowa, “as the Bible teaches us all to utilize the gifts we’re given in order to help others.”
Jeff Nock, a committed Christian and a proud father of four children, also understands, he says, that he’s been blessed with the responsibility of being a parent, and, as such, utilizes his time management skills accordingly. “I utilize my proven time management skills to ensure that I’m there for my children when they need me,” he explains, “and to further ensure that I’m the best possible leader for my family.”
“As a committed Christian,” Nock continues, “I often ask, why shouldn’t core biblical values be at the center of company culture on a more widespread basis?”
According to Iowa City-based business consultant Jeff Nock, these core biblical values include love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control, and responsibility. “Do I demonstrate true compassion for my fellow workers,” asks Nock, rhetorically, speaking of love, “as well as my customers, clients, and partners?”
“Similarly, do I maintain the discipline to do my job with excellence?” he continues. “Am I proactive or, instead, do I act reactively? Do I take personal responsibility, blame others, or allow myself to become a victim?” adds Nock, also touching on self-control and responsibility.
At the end of the day, Nock says that, whatever an individual’s religious beliefs, these values will enable them to serve more effectively as an empowering leader, and one who is respected by their team. “This,” he explains, “doesn’t mean, for example, that difficult decisions should be avoided, but that those decisions should be made within the scope of these values.”
Among business leaders, it’s their sole responsibility to establish the culture of their company or organization, according to Jeff Nock. “Whether you’re Christian or not,” he adds, wrapping up, “I firmly believe that you have a responsibility to set a shining example by living these or similar personal values in your daily work, and as you see fit.”
Management development specialist and business consultant Jeff Nock, from Iowa City, Iowa, talks market analysis key factors and best approaches.
Having recently spoken at great length about topics ranging from the importance of evolving culture within a company to brand consulting strategies, Jeff Nock, a highly successful business consultant from Iowa City, Iowa, talks market analysis and shares several of his favorite approaches to the process.
“Market analysis is the process of researching a given market to build an understanding of the landscape,” explains Nock, founder and CEO of Prescient Consulting, LLC, based in Iowa City, Iowa. Market analysis, he says, is essential if an individual or organization is to succeed in business. “In order to succeed, a company or brand must establish a solid understanding of the landscape, business-wise,” suggests management development specialist Nock.
From maintaining an up-to-date analysis of both their customers and their competitors to establishing how the two parties are likely to respond to new products or services, successful market analysis processes, he says, allow individual entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes alike to properly understand and appreciate the opportunities—and the threats—facing them. “Only then,” says Nock, “can the most appropriate business strategies be put in place.”
At its core, market analysis is the study of the so-called attractiveness and dynamics of a particular market, according to Jeff Nock. “Market analysis is the study of the attractiveness and dynamics of a particular market within a particular industry,” adds the expert.
Coupling market analysis with periodic SWOT analyses, the processes may be combined to as accurately as possible uncover the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a business or brand, as well as their competitors. “Accordingly,” adds Nock, “appropriate and effective business strategies can then be implemented, or existing strategies adjusted.”
From tackling inventory and the purchase of stock to workforce and facility expansion, workforce contraction, promotional activities, and investment into equipment, market analysis involves addressing several key factors, according to the Iowa-based business consultant. “The market analysis process can range massively in both scope and scale,” reveals Nock.
Essential factors to address, however, Nock says, should consist of market size, market trends, market profitability, market growth analysis, competitive analysis, segmentation and demographics, and what he calls success factors. “Where necessary, distribution channels should be explored, too,” he adds.
For startups especially, market analysis should both precede and then ultimately underpin their business plan, Nock believes. “Without this, startups face an immediate uphill battle,” he explains, wrapping up, “often inadequately equipped to take on the competition and reach the best customers.”
A graduate of Regis University in Denver, Colorado, Jeff Nock is the founder and CEO of Prescient Consulting, LLC, based in Iowa City, Iowa. Renowned for helping early-stage and mid-cap companies to achieve their visions and growth goals, Nock and his stellar group of partners have now assisted more than 250 companies in building and executing successful strategic and business plans. To find out more, visit https://prescient.us/.
Business consultant Jeff Nock, from Iowa City, Iowa, sets out five of the most common pricing strategies and reveals his favorite.
Having spoken at length about internal operational efficiencies, leadership development, branding, culture, partnership development, channel strategies, and more in a series of recently published pieces of writing, Jeff Nock, a successful business consultant from Iowa City, Iowa, now turns his attention to pricing strategy.
“Pricing involves much more than just calculating costs and adding a simple mark-up,” suggests Nock, a successful business consultant based in Iowa City, Iowa.
What a customer is willing to pay, he says, is tied to value – not what a product or service costs. “It’s about value proposition,” says Nock, “which is why employing a proven pricing strategy tied to this model is vital if a product or service is to both sell and make a profit.”
Jeff Nock calls this particular model ‘value-based’ pricing. “Other methods of pricing are proven, of course, such as cost-plus or competitive pricing, and they do work, but they typically fail to consider value,” he suggests.
Proven, but nonoptimal pricing strategies, according to Nock, include cost-plus pricing, competitive pricing, price skimming, and penetration pricing. While cost-plus pricing involves calculating costs and adding mark-ups and competitive pricing simply means matching or undercutting the competition, price skimming and penetration pricing both, the expert says, essentially involve lowering and raising prices as markets evolve and as supply and demand dictates.
“For me, however, it’s value-based pricing,” he adds, “where a price is set based on what a customer or client likely believes is the true value of what you’re selling, and in line with what they’re expecting or willing to pay, which should be the obvious choice.”
To arrive at an appropriate value-based price in the most straightforward manner, business consultant Jeff Nock has a couple of simple tips. “First, find a comparable product already for sale and determine its cost and selling price,” he says, “then highlight any and all differentiating points between this product and your own.”
“Next,” Nock explains, “put a value on each of these points, and add to, or subtract from, the comparable product’s selling price accordingly.”
Assuming that the resultant price is higher than the cost of the product in question, this, Nock says, represents the simplest manner of arriving at a value-based price. “Aim to add positive differentiating points to achieve a higher selling price,” reveals the expert, “then clearly demonstrate these differences to customers.”
“As long as your price represents a genuine value proposition,” adds Nock, wrapping up, “this simple strategy should provide a strong enough basis to establish at least a preliminary price point according to proven value-based pricing methods.”
Business consultant Jeff Nock, based in Iowa City, Iowa, explains the basics of creating an effective channel strategy
Loosely defined, channel strategy is how a company gets its product or service through their business process to the customer. For example, if a company produces a physical product and sells that product to individual consumers, they have multiple channels to choose from (direct online, direct in their own store, through a retail partner, through Amazon, etc). In the business to business space, channel options can include selling direct, through partners, value added resellers (VARs) and other options explains marketing and product development specialist Jeff Nock.
“Often startups or companies launching new products have to start with a direct channel strategy because it is hard to get on the shelf at bigger stores and initially hard to gain traction on Amazon or other online marketplaces. Thinking through a channel strategy that can help generate much needed cashflow initially but can also scale to optimize potential sales is both an art and a science,” suggests Nock, the founder of a successful business consultancy firm located in Iowa City, Iowa.
From determining the correct target market or individual buyer to outlining so-called ‘value propositions’ of a product, service, or other offerings, creating a successful channel strategy relies on a number of distinct steps, according to Jeff Nock. “First, it’s important to define one-or possibly more-channel or channels,” says the expert. These channels today can involve many different options as partnerships continue to diversify. The challenge is not to bite off too much as managing channel partners can take just as much time as providing great customer service to customers.
“For many firms looking to implement a channel strategy,” Nock continues, “knowing their target market and how that target market prefers to purchase products or services like theirs is huge.”
Doing proper “customer discovery” when choosing a channel strategy is just as important as it is when doing customer discovery when designing the product or service in the first place. It is imperative that companies not only know that what they are offering is wanted by their target market but also how (channel) that target market prefers to buy,” suggests Nock.
Once a company has learned from their target market how that market prefers to purchase products or services like theirs, the company should then conduct a thorough analysis of all the different ways that channel could be implemented. Once this analysis has been conducted and the best, defined as most desirable to the target market, and economically advantageous to the company, channel strategy is determined, a well thought out implementation plan should be executed. “Too often companies go with the easiest channel to enter and suffer long term repercussions for such short sided thinking,” suggests the expert, “conducting good customer discovery, analyzing the best implementation strategy and executing that strategy helps avoid this pitfall.”
Often is necessary to avoid channel conflict, Jeff Nock says, as a company doesn’t want to find itself competing for sales with its own partners. Channel segmentation according to Nock, may see a company target exclusively larger enterprises through its direct sales channel strategy while, when looking to sell to smaller and midsized firms, employing only partners.
Branding, sales, and marketing expert Jeff Nock outlines the partnership development process and its importance in business.
A successful Iowa City-based businessman and founder of Prescient Consulting, Jeff Nock boasts a demonstrated history of growing established companies, startups, and nonprofit organizations alike. Here, business consultant Nock outlines the importance of partnership development.
“The essence of partnership development is that businesses execute their core competencies in-house and partner for everything else,” explains Nock, founder and CEO of Prescient Consulting, LLC, based in Iowa City, Iowa.
Partner development or partnership development is a so-called customer-centric approach to business development. According to Jeff Nock, the process draws from the customer development framework popularized by Steve Blank, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur based in Pescadero, California. “Blank is best known,” adds Nock, “for being a national advocate for the Business Model Canvas, of which Partnerhips Development is a key component.”
The Business Model Canvas process recognized, and continues to recognize, that startups and early stage companies are not merely smaller versions of large businesses, but rather that they require their own set of tools and processes to be successful.
Partnership development is where companies collaborate with other companies to round out their product or service offering. For example, a retail company may have many locations and be excellent at sourcing products and selling products but they are not good at transport logistics. So they partner with an outside trucking logistics company to move equipment and merchandise from store to store. “Partnership development relies on creating win/win scenarios where the two partners together bring forward a better product or service than the one company can by itself,” Nock explains, “the value add creates higher demand from customers .”
Jeff Nock has previously written at length on topics ranging from business plan development, the concept of social entrepreneurship, and market analysis, to the value of conducting periodic SWOT analyses, internal operational efficiencies, the importance of evolving culture within a company, and leadership team development.
Nock most recently spoke, however, about the importance of brand consulting strategies. According to the expert, typically, when starting out, small businesses fail to prioritize the resources needed to establish an effective brand. This happens, Jeff Nock suggests, because resources—during the early stages—are often put predominantly into working on product development and sales relationships. “Many companies, particularly in the technology space, focus on what their product does,” says Nock. “Prospective clients, though, want to know what that product can do for them,” reveals the Iowa-based business consultant.
Nock and his firm, Prescient Consulting, LLC, are based in the Johnson County city of Iowa City, Iowa. Home of the University of Iowa and the state’s fifth-largest city, it’s also the county seat of Johnson County. “The largest employer here in Iowa City by a significant margin is the University of Iowa,” reveals Nock, “followed by the Iowa City Community School District and the Iowa City VA Medical Center.”
“Iowa City,” he adds, wrapping up, “has also previously been named the third Best Small Metropolitan Area in the United States by famous bi-weekly business magazine, Forbes.”
Founder and CEO of Prescient Consulting, LLC, based in Iowa City, Iowa, Jeff Nock boasts a demonstrated history of growing nonprofit organizations, startups, and established companies alike. Skilled in business and strategic planning, branding, sales, and marketing, now-established Iowa resident Nock also holds a master’s degree in management from Colorado’s Regis University and is a specialist in management development. To learn more, visit https://prescient.us/.
Business Expert and Successful Consultancy Firm CEO Jeff Nock Explains Brand Consulting
From helping to establish brand identity for startups to evolving brands for more established companies, it is a combination of art and science when brand consulting, according to Jeff Nock. Owner and founder of a highly successful consultancy firm based in Iowa City, Iowa. Nock provides an expert look at the brand consulting process.
“In the end, why should someone want to work with your company? Your brand has to identify why you are different, better than others who provide similar products or services,” explains Nock, CEO and founder of Prescient Consulting, headquartered in Iowa City, Iowa. “Marketing is often misunderstood as simply advertising but true branding includes how a company goes about product strategy, lead generation, content, customer service, innovation, measurement, social proof, and reputation management It’s ultimately about any touch you have a with potential client or client which impacts how they feel about your company, which is your brand,” he adds.
According to Jeff Nock, typically when starting out, small businesses don’t prioritize the resources needed to establish an effective brand. This happens because people and financial resources at the early stages of companies are typically working on product development and sales relationships. Marketing is often an after thought as it is easy to throw up a website and post on social media. But in terms of establishing an effective brand, there is so much more to consider. “Many companies, particularly in the tech space, focus on what they can do. Prospective clients want to know what you can do for them,” reveals the expert.
Companies, via their comprehensive marketing strategies that incorporate every touch they have with prospects and clients, have to be consistently articulating what their business uniquely provides for their clients, according to Nock. “Whether online via website or social media, in person, via email or on the phone, companies have to consistently be sharing value added messages that enable clients and prospects to have confidence that they will be making the right decision by working with your organization,” he adds.
Regardless of what business you are in, branding is more than just your company name and logo. Your brand needs to reflect your commitment to your customers in a way that differentiates you from your competition. “Your brand needs to be memorable, in the way you want customers to think of you and it needs to be represented consistently to all of your prospective clients and customers,” he suggests.
Jeff Nock and his consultancy firm, Prescient Consulting, LLC, are based in Iowa City in Johnson County, Iowa. The city is the home of the University of Iowa and is the county seat of Johnson County. It’s also the state’s fifth-largest city. “The top employer in Iowa City by a large margin is the University of Iowa and University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics,” reveals the local business consultant, “followed by Iowa City VA Medical Center and Iowa City Community School District.”
“The city,” adds Nock, wrapping up, “has also previously been named the third Best Small Metropolitan Area in the United States by Forbes magazine.”
Founder and CEO of Prescient Consulting, LLC, based in Iowa City, Iowa, Jeff Nock boasts a demonstrated history of growing startups, established companies, nonprofit organizations, alike. Skilled in business and strategic planning, branding, sales, marketing, and software development, now-established Iowa resident Nock also holds a master’s degree in management from Colorado’s Regis University and is a specialist in leadership development. To learn more, visit https://prescient.us/.
Iowa City-based consulting firm founder and CEO Jeff Nock outlines the importance of leadership team development in business
A leading business consultant based in eastern Iowa, Jeff Nock has a proven history of success in employing his skills in strategic planning, new product development/including software development, sales, marketing, presentation development, and more in growing companies ranging from startups to well-established organizations alike. Assisting clients of all sizes on their journey toward continued success, Nock explains the importance of leadership team development in taking a company to the next level.
“A standout leadership team development plan will ensure that your company or organization’s leaders are ready and equipped to handle the scalability necessary for growth as well as any adversity, unexpected obstacles, losses, and much more,” suggests Jeff Nock, founder and CEO of Prescient Consulting, based in Iowa City, Iowa.
Nock’s approach to leadership team development varies depending on the stage of growth a company and the culture of that company. “As companies grow, the leadership required has to evolve and this can only happen with a good leadership team development plan for existing leaders or through bringing in new leaders. From those on the ground to those in the boardroom, effective leadership team development helps to ensure not only success, but a smoother road to achieving that success, and easier transitions as roles shift, or business objectives change down the line,” Jeff Nock explains.
“Ultimately, I believe that effective leadership team development is essential for success within companies of all sizes and across all manner of industries, both in the U.S. and overseas,” suggests the expert.
According to Jeff Nock, while it is important that each individual achieve their potential as a leader, it is also important that the leadership team come together, foster the company culture, and have the diverse skill sets and experience necessary for the company to scale
“Taking the time to build cohesive business relationships across the entire leadership team is pivotal to any organization’s success. The rest of the company needs to see a leadership team that is living the company values and all on the same page when it comes to the company vision and direction ,” he adds, wrapping up, “while the founder/CEO has to set the vision and culture for a company, that vision can only be achieved if the leadership team is working together within the company culture and inspiring the rest of the company to live the same values and achieve the same vision.”
Founder and CEO of Prescient Consulting, LLC, based in Iowa City, Iowa, Jeff Nock boasts a demonstrated history of growing startups, established companies, and non-profits alike. Skilled in business and strategic planning, new product development/including software development, sales, marketing, and presentation development, now-established Iowa resident Nock also holds a master’s degree in management from Colorado’s Regis University and is a specialist in leadership development. To learn more, visit https://prescient.us/.
Prescient Consulting founder Jeff Nock underscores the importance of individual leader development and explains how the process differs from more general leadership development.
Individual leadership development, or leader development, as opposed to general leadership development, is, according to business consultant Jeff Nock, vital for senior members of staff and executives within companies of all sizes. With benefits ranging from improved intrapersonal skills to greater self-realization, Nock, who’s based in Iowa City, Iowa, shares more about the leader development process and its place in business.
“Distinct from general leadership development which focuses on the overall leadership of an organization, individual leadership development, or leader development, focuses on enabling individuals to reach their full leadership potential, however” explains Nock, a successful management consultant and founder of Prescient Consulting, LLC, based in Iowa City, Iowa, the county seat of Johnson County, home of the University of Iowa, and located at the center of the Iowa City Metropolitan Statistical Area.
While leadership development entails fostering a group’s capacity to achieve results, leader development, according to Jeff Nock, focuses on the ability of one individual’s capacity to achieve results through strengthened leadership processes. “It’s about individual skills, knowledge, and abilities,” suggests the Iowa-based business consultant.
Individual leader development, he says, is about human capital, whereas general leadership development is about social capital. “Leadership development for individual leaders in a company is an exercise in human capital,” Nock explains, “while general leadership development focuses on building relationships among individuals within a company or organization, which is considered social capital.”
A popular approach to leader development involves a two-part model, illustrating assessment, challenge, and support, before turning to a range of developmental experiences. “The first aspect illustrates how assessment, challenge, and support combine to make a leader and their team stronger,” explains Nock, “while the second part demonstrates how developmental experiences increase the ability of both leaders and their teams to learn.”
Benefits of individual leader development—or an investment in human capital—include, according to the business consultant, improved intrapersonal skills, improved self-awareness, and improved self-motivation. “Leader development,” he adds, “also pushes interpersonal skills, as well as intrapersonal skills, to better an individual’s societal awareness and, thus, their social skills.”
One of the primary goals of successful leader development, Nock points out, further to the above benefits, is improved self-regulation. “Sound self-regulation, coupled with solid intrapersonal and interpersonal capabilities, I believe, serve together to form one of the key foundations for true competence in business, particularly for senior executives and other leaders within a company, which is why leader development for individuals is, to me, vital for success,” he adds, wrapping up.
Founder and CEO of Prescient Consulting, LLC, based in Iowa City, Iowa, Jeff Nock boasts a demonstrated history of growing startups, established companies and nonprofit organizations, alike. Skilled in business and strategic planning, sales, marketing, and presentation development, now-established Iowa resident Nock also holds a master’s degree in management from Colorado’s Regis University and is a specialist in management development. To learn more, visit https://prescient.us/.