Solution Bundles Include:
Arbor Dakota focuses on early-stage companies with revenues under $5.0m (normally under $1.0m). Our ideal customer is a CEO or sales and marketing executive trying to focus on growth. We offer bundled solution packages in the most common areas that can impede growth for early-stage companies. Solution bundles consist of tools, content, consulting and other relevant services to help entrepreneurs address a specific challenge.
Consulting and training can be done both in-person and remotely (web-conferencing). References are available for companies of various size, industry and for organizations who used service either in-person or delivered remotely.
Pricing is available both for individual bundles (listed below) or for a fixed fee of $2,000 per month with a 6-month minimum retainer. All prices below are estimates and include a fixed number of consulting hours (which vary by bundle). Actual pricing will be based on scope of work to be done.
Payments can be made directly or through grants offered by Michigan SmartZones or The University of Michigan First Customer Program. In certain circumstances, Arbor Dakota will accept equity instead of cash or some combination of both.
Where do you think you need assistance?
CEO Development (request quote)– Many domain expert, student or academic founders want the CEO role but do not understand it. This causes their companies to stall or even fail. Arbor Dakota offers a series of services to help the founder/CEOs better prepare for the journey through the various stages of company evolution and prepare them for the evolution of the role. If you want the CEO title, you have to do the CEO job, not the founder job.
Proper Customer Discovery ($1,000) – Many early-stage companies get off on the wrong foot by not doing proper customer discovery. Arbor Dakota offers a structured approach to better customer discovery including the right questions to ask and the right way to interpret the results.
Product Launch Process ($1,500) – Many domain expert founder/CEOs think of the product launch process incorrectly. It requires a comprehensive marketing approach that should begin months, if not years prior to actual code completion or product completion. Arbor Dakota has a checklist of required items for successful product launch and services to facilitate this critical process to help ensure success.
Conduct Sales Audit ($1,500) – Selling products in a B2B market requires many processes and factors to be in place. Arbor Dakota will provide a complete audit of your sales process to make sure that you have not left out critical items which can cripple your efforts and then help you plug gaps in your sales approach.
Partner Program Development ($5,000) – Many organizations fail when establishing a partner program. Arbor Dakota provides a comprehensive strategy for building and executing a partner program including tools to help you properly educate, train and communicate with your partner’s sales organization. See also partner.support
Blue Ocean Strategy Canvas Development ($2,000) – Many companies think that they are Blue Ocean companies, but rarely execute Blue Ocean Strategy principles. Arbor Dakota has direct access to the authors of the Blue Ocean books and was written up in the second book as a shiny example of how to use Blue Ocean. Arbor Dakota will help you build a Strategy Canvas to help you better differentiate your product and truly become Blue Ocean.
Full Blue Ocean Strategy Development ($5,000) – This includes developing the ERRC grid, the above Strategy Canvas, Three-tiers of non customer analysis, the full Buyer Utility Map, going through the Six Path frameworks, developing a Blue Ocean lead generation plan, answering the 90 critical questions to implementing blue ocean concepts and ensuring that you are hiring and on-boarding blue ocean (and not red ocean) sales people.
Business Canvas Development ($1,500) – Business Canvas, Lean Canvas, whatever you use, it is essential for your success that you do it properly. Arbor Dakota can help you build a true Business Canvas Model that will define your ongoing strategy and help you achieve your goals.
Objection Handling ($2,500) – Many early-stage (and later-stage) companies fail to properly identify objections that they will get in the market. Documenting them and building your counters to them and then proactively, rather that reactively, dealing with them has proven to improve sales success. Arbor Dakota has expertise in helping to identify objections and help you build defenses for them.
Market Messaging Development ($3,000) – Most companies have market messaging that is confusing and filled with marketing-speak or technical jargon. This can relate to web site or marketing collateral or other concepts and leads to high web-site bounce rates and potential customers not understanding your differentiation. Therefore, sales simply never happen the way you want. Arbor Dakota will help you define clear, concise, compelling and consistent messaging to help your buyers better understand your target market, ideal customer profile and product differentiation and therefore become buyers.
Case Study Development ($1,000/case study) – Having a structured case study on key customers in multiple markets that outlines the issues that they were struggling with, their evaluation of your products, the decision process, how they funded your product, their implementation and success can have a dramatic impact on your ability to sell other customers. Arbor Dakota has developed a process that is proven to provide high-value case studies that generate new business. We interview your customer and write a detailed case study (but not do the graphic design work) for your web site, blog post or other marketing activities.
Building a Structured Sales Process ($1,500) – Having a defined structured B2B sales process offers multiple benefits. First, it lays out a path for buyers to understand and agree to how the decision will be made to purchase your product. Second, if done properly, it can help you better understand where, and therefore why, you might be losing prospects in the buying process so that you can make attempts to fix those steps.
Thought Leadership Program Development (Social Selling) ($1,500) – In order to successfully penetrate a given market, it is often critical that you become a thought leader in your industry first. This does not mean pounding your product into a market, but offering content that potential buyers appreciate which set the stage for your product. Arbor Dakota will help you build a thought leadership program to increase your odds of market penetration and acceptance.
Financial Model Development ($5,000) – Many early stage companies struggle with accurate financial forecasting often required to get funding. Arbor Dakota will understand your business model and develop a 5-year financial model (first 2 years monthly, next 3 annual) to help you understand what revenue and expenses might look like and how much financing is required and when.
Cash Forecasting for Early-Stage SaaS Companies ($1,000) – All early-stage SaaS companies struggle to forecast and manage precious cash. Developing a solid plan to accurately model, manage and do sensitivity analysis on short-term (3 month) cash receipts is essential to these companies. Arbor Dakota will show you the best way to provide best estimates of cash.
Constructing a Board of Directors or Board or Advisors ($2,500) – Many first-time entrepreneurs struggle with how and why to establish boards and then get them to function properly. Arbor Dakota will help you establish advisory boards, company boards, or customer advisory boards and help you make these productive.
Board Management and Meeting Development ($2,000) – Once a Board of Directors is established, many entrepreneurs struggle with how to communicate with boards and how to effectively run board meetings. This can end up damaging their relationships with these boards and then, often leads to losing control of their company and losing their job with their company. Arbor Dakota offers services to help entrepreneurs understand how to properly manage boards and properly run board meetings.
Setting up OKRs or Objectives and Key Results ($3,000) – Many early-stage companies struggle with what to measure and accountability of their people. Arbor Dakota offers tools and services to help you establish the right metrics and clear accountability for them through Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) as used by Google.
Sales Forecasting and Lead Conversion Rate Program ($2,000) – Understanding conversion ratios and time frames from steps in your sales process can make an enormous difference in your success. Most entrepreneurs over-forecast sales because they have not properly implemented processes and procedures to measure both lead conversion rates and lead conversion times. Arbor Dakota can implement a process for you to help you better understand lead conversion and help you do a more realistic job of sales forecasting.
Webinar Development ($3,000) – Many customer swill not engage with you in a B2B sales process until they know more about you in a less intimidating setting. Using webinars can help potential buyers learn more about your services in that less threatening way. Arbor Dakota can help you build a successful webinar series and actually participate in the webinars (priced separately) to make it be more effective.
Selling Your Company (request quote)– When it is time to sell your company, you want to get the highest value possible. Arbor Dakota has been involved in many early-stage company exits and has tools and services to help you best-position your company and better understand your target buyers issues and concerns.
Incentive Programs ($3,000) – Building incentive programs for sales and non-sales people is a good way to preserve cash and motivate employees towards goal congruence. Arbor Dakota offers multiple sales incentive plan options and industry best-practices for how to construct incentive plans for non-sales people.
On-Boarding Key Hires ($1,500)– On-Boarding new employees, especially sales people is a common weak spot for entrepreneurs. Arbor Dakota offers programs and services to make sure that you are doing the best possible job of this critical on-boarding process to help improve the odds of employee success.
Organizational Development ($1,500) – Many entrepreneurs struggle with when to bring on which functions in their organization as they grow. Arbor Dakota can assess your current organizational strengths and weaknesses and help you best determine when to bring on key functions and what to look for in hiring these functions.
Training Classes ($1,700) There are a variety of training courses available from Arbor Dakota which are listed at http://arbordakota.com/training/ Each individual class can be between 1 and 2.5 hours and comes with additional 2 hours of office hours. Training, like consulting, can be done in-person or remotely.