Seven business consultants and the Director of the Minneapolis MBDA Business Center, under the leadership of the Senior Director of Consulting and Financing Services, provide a wealth of talent, knowledge and expertise that is shared in a trusted and confidential environment. Individualized business consultation and coaching can include financial analysis, strategic planning, contract negotiation and assistance with acquisitions. The focus of business consulting is to help stabilize and advance the financial and operational strategies of the client businesses so that they can become long term sustainable employers who are involved in the community, producing quality jobs.
In calendar year 2013, Meda provided 11,305 hours of consulting assistance and training programs to the 425 clients who received more than three hours of assistance. Results included 13 new businesses launched and more than 280 new jobs created.
Collectively, the business consulting team represents over 260 years of business experience. The varied backgrounds include a former Vice President and Controller of International Multifoods Corporation and the head of corporate training for UPS. Six consultants have MBA degrees and one is a CPA. Community activities are important to the consultants; participation ranges from membership on foundation and nonprofit boards to support the arts to leadership positions with ethnic chambers of commerce. Three members of the consulting group have each been named the Minority Small Business Champion of the Year by the Minnesota SBA. The talents of the consultants are augmented by hundreds of excellent volunteers in the areas of marketing, legal, accounting, operations and human resource management.
Business consultants employ a number of advanced computer-based analytical tools to support client engagements such as Business Plan Pro, GovWin Deltak, Hoovers and McGraw Hill software. Sageworks Financial Analysis becomes a strong complement to the implementation of financial systems within the client companies. Sageworks Financial Analysis is a web-based technology that provides an aggregation of financial data for interpretation and analysis. The combination of industry data, real-time projections, “what-if” scenarios, loan product information and the ongoing business consulting services from Meda staff provides the opportunity for hands-on learning and improved business discipline.
In the words of a Meda client, “I am pleasantly surprised with the breadth of expertise and knowledge of folks on the MEDA staff. Additionally I am impressed with the level of involvement and help that MEDA is willing to put forth. Thank you!”