Category Archives: Consulting

It’s All About The Triple Bottom Line

I have spent the last three years of my life working in the growing segment of businesses known as triple-bottom-line companies or social ventures. According to the Skoll Foundation ( –a foundation based on the principles that strategic investments can lead to lasting social change) a social entrepreneur is: society’s change agent, a pioneer of innovations that benefit humanity.

Although this is a relatively new movement, all around us we see the growing momentum of companies identifying and implementing aspects of social responsibility into their models. This is as much a financial decision as anything else! Dollars spent on social programs can often make more marketing or operational sense than traditional advertising or waste management methods. In these circumstances everybody wins. As society continues to demand more responsibility it continues to pay for companies to develop and demonstrate a competent social strategy.

There is a wealth of knowledge on the subject, best summarized and directed, (In my personal opinion) on Wikipedia. and the internal and external links provide a very good summary. Applying these principles in a business certainly does not have to be a gigantic overhaul, or a substantial change in the business model. Sometimes it’s as simple as a personal change in perspective. Implementing these principles into a business model however, can create lasting strategic partnerships and goodwill that provide a legacy and public image much bigger and better than money alone can provide.

Clean Water–Profitable Technology

I remember a discussion I had with a friend a while ago where he was convinced that if he was ever going to start a business, or invest in a commodity, he would invest in water. “It’s the biggest thing next to energy!” He cheered.

About two weeks ago I had an interesting meeting with a gentlemen by the name of Hugh Bradley. We had a number of telephone conversations and he told me about the interesting technology he had developed for water-softening / water-purification. It is a powerful mono-pole ceramic magnet that filters water with astonishing efficiency. Perhaps even more interesting is the fact that is manufactured in Payson, Utah. The names of the contracts Hugh professed were very significant, and the technology he touted was very interesting. His product is marketed and distributed through an independent contractor network.

It is a new product line and I couldn’t find anything about his company online. He prefers to keep it that way, as a product which he believes will absolutely sell itself.

I personally could not help him distribute his product, not only for time constraints, but also because I felt that as a business investment his proposal was too much emotionally/religiously based. It was fascinating conversation, none-the-less, and I would encourage anyone to look up Hugh Bradley and his Bioengineering Solutions for water purification to learn more about his opportunity.

My family has magnets and I also spoke with another mentor who runs magnets on a number of different properties. Magnets are great, but they do lose power over time. There are also a number of restrictions with the type of pipe on which you can place them. I would definitely look into it first the company and technology and reviews before either buying or selling magnets for water softening.

Water purification however is an incredibly fascinating and lucrative industry, especially in areas where water is a scarce resource. Magnets, chemical or mechanical each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Checkout the website for this arizona water softener company. This company offers a salt-free solution that still provides the benefits of softwater system. Here’s a list of the benefits they offer with their water softener installation in Arizona. If you are planning on going with a mechanical system rather than a magentic system, I have heard they are reliable. Honestly though, I don’t know much more than that. In any case, you don’t need to take my word for it, but if you are around the Pheonix or Arizona area you could call the owners of the company and they’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

Good Luck!

Webdevelopment Outsourcing

In my opinion, development costs are some of the scariest expenses of a business that integrates the web. Generally speaking, front end isn’t too bad, but a back-end that allows dyanmic interface and webmastery, not to mention shoppingcart and customer accounts can add up fast…

I was first introduced to offshore outsourcing by John Jonas, who was researching its possibilities in his various ventures. I was really impressed with Danny Sullivan and the model he had developed for web outsourcing in the Philippines. The prices seemed reasonable enough but I was concerned about reliability and consistency and language barriers etc.

At first it was a little frustrating… We hired on a trainee. A great price, but really not quite as fast as we were hoping or expecting. We stuck with it, and after a while our trainee began to deliver much more on our requests. Better yet, he even began suggesting some of his own ideas and accomplishable creativity.

It is absolutely different than working with qualified american programmers. The pros and cons really depend on where your company is its development.

I would highly recommend it for any company that has more work to do than it can handle alone. In fact I have often thought that like re-selling webhosting, there might be some money in reselling webdevelopers :) Really.

I also think it would be relatively easy to start a development company and pick up work from anywhere in the world. It would be a simple model, with a fixed overhead of labor and enough qualified programmers to grow as fast or as slow as you would want.

I will not at all be surprised if this model begins to be replicated and re-sold, a lot like webhosting… We’ll see :)


Consult a Consultant… Ask a Salesperson…

I once heard that every sales person is also a consultant. I believe this is absolutely true. Whether selling a product or a service, experience in the industry provides valuable information that can used by someone else.

Today in Atlanta I spoke with Margaret H. Baumann. She is very sharp when it comes to plastic market research and building a market penetration strategy. Previously a distributor, she eventually made the switch to consulting and has enjoyed a lot of success in her field.

As we were discussing the different ways she works with clients and the steps she takes, I was impressed by how she emphasized the execution of the marketing and promotional stages. A lot of consultants want to talk high and falutant strategies, but leave up to the lone businesses to execute. A lot of those business need a coach, not just another strategy. There are plenty of great books out there with plenty of great strategies. Good coaches are invaluable.

It seems that good consultants need to help execute the strategy they developed and make sure they have an innate interest to see it successful. I believe this applies whether some one is a standard salesman/woman or a full blown, full-time consultant. Customers feel it. Track records are developed. Legitimacy grows. More people win.