Does Empower Me! help startup companies?
As clients, not exactly. We will work with funded startups who have already received a round of funding from VC or angel investors and have budgeted for our services. Our founder works with select startups via mentoring in conjunction with the Straight Shot Accelerator.
Is there a fee to work with Empower Me?
Yes, there are fees associated with our services and programs. We do not offer free trials. We do offer fee structures to make payments more flexible. There are fee ranges for different services, fixed rates for programs, and in select cases, we will agree to equity stake as a fee.
Does Empower Me! provide funding or scholarships?
No, we don't. We are in discussions about opening up an Angel Investing arm of the company but not until at least 2016. Details will be shared at that time.
What exactly does Empower Me! do?
We're glad you asked. We work with companies, usually past the startup phase, ready to grow and scale their companies. We come in to create and build out the infrastructure of the company (the inner cogs that make it run efficiently) and advise CEOs, owners and founders as they transition from the day to day hands-on operation of the business to handing over the reigns to capable, properly trained employees.
We focus on building out staff (including long and short term staffing plans), customer experience (identifying the true target base, training employees to deliver a standard of care, creating a service level standard that keeps your customers loyal and evangelizing the brand, and procedures to handle many of the issues that come up in customer service), operations management (optimizing functions and systems, automation, technology planning), and revenue, profitability and valuations (monetizing, pricing strategies, profitable revenue models, creating new revenue streams, eliminating unprofitable revenue streams, and assigning proper valuations).
What about marketing? My company needs marketing and to get out in front of more people.
No, we don't focus on marketing. There are plenty of marketing companies out there. But we focus on the inner workings of your company to make sure you have something marketable. We will help you create a marketing plan, and if we're working on customer experience or product/service optimization, we will advise you on identifying your target market. But we can refer yo to one of our partners who specialize in marketing.
Will I work directly with Adrienne Graham?
That depends. You can work with her if she doesn't have an incredibly long wait list at that time. We have several capable consultants on the team. While we know Adrienne is the main reason people come to Empower Me!, she has built a smart team to leverage so she doesn't become burned out or overwhelmed. There are no extra fees to request her specifically, but she always encourages clients to think about their businesses first and allow capable hands to work with them. While she might not be the person who works with you, rest assured that Adrienne always has input into your plans.
OK I see all these programs and I’m confused. What is the difference between consulting services, The Business Owners Club, Growth Clinics and Incubate-Accelerate?
Another great question, and one that is always asked. Each provides different things for different people. Consulting services are customized based on the client's needs. They are more costly because of the amount of one on one advisory you receive. Strategies, plans and solutions are tailor made for your company's needs. And they are designed to get you up and running, and self sufficient.
The Business Owners Club
is a membership based network of business owners who are all interested in growing their companies, but not ready for an actual consultant to come in and do the work. It is comprised of structured networking meetings designed to address specific universal topics that business owners encounter. It encourages collaboration, accountability and action. Monthly learning modules, guest experts and group meetings provide an educational experience that members can take with them and implement into their companies.
The Growth Clinics
are topic specific clinics, 5 week training modules that help business owners with specific issues relating to the growth of their business. They are live 90 minute weekly sessions with assignments, objectives and deliverables. There are currently five Growth Clinic topics. These are designed for the DIY type.
is the brand new growth accelerator designed to prepare business owners to run functioning, self-sufficient companies managed by capable employees. Not everyone is ready or finds themselves prepared when their business gains traction. Business owners are at the stage where the business' demand is increasing and they can no longer serve in multiple roles to keep it going. They participate in the accelerator with the express purpose of preparing their business to expand, pitch for funding, properly valuate, test feasibility and scalability, grow a solid team to take over, and put a plan in place to transition out of day to day management. Most accelerators are onsite and designed for startup or early stage companies. Ours is purely a growth accelerator for those past startup and ready to build a viable company. It is a 6 month program but very intense.
Tell me more about this Incubate-Accelerate program. Doesn’t it conflict with your consulting services?
Sure. First, it doesn't conflict with the consulting services because those services are more one on one and customized for individual clients at different levels. The growth accelerator really is unique in that it's the first true accelerator that 1) doesn't require you to relocate, 2) doesn't just throw information at you at a break neck pace, then kick you out in three months (standard accelerator time), and 3) we prepare you to present to investors knowledgeable in your industry, not merely just place you in a room full of investors with a hit or miss chance of getting funding. We also don't take a percentage of your company like most accelerators. However, we do charge for this program. We prefer to have our participants have skin in the game to keep them focused and committed. Plus we are opening up our own resources and making connections that will lead them to funding opportunities. Some may get VC funding, some may get Angel funding. But it will be based on the viability, scalability and profitability of the company. Fair and reasonable valuations will be assessed and you will learn how to approach, pitch and negotiate for funding. There is an application process and not everyone will be accepted each cycle. But you may be able to be wait listed.
Why should I work with Empower Me! when there are clearly cheaper alternatives?
You're absolutely right. We want you to work with whomever is best for you. But you get what you pay. Never base decisions on price alone. It's about the quality of the results and the experience of the company. We have proven success and our results have been invaluable. It's not about how much press or exposure our CEO or the company has received. It's about what we deliver. We will only work with clients who have been thoroughly counseled and will not put themselves in financial hardship just to work with us. Growth and turn around are not overnight. We focus on the end game. So if price is the only thing that you are judging on, we aren't the right company for you. No hard feelings and we wish you well.