Joey Hendrickson is an entrepreneur and management consultant who has built marketing strategies for countless US artists, music venues, startups, fashion companies, non profits, restaurants, and major music festivals throughout the country. He is also the Founder of the Columbus Music Commission, Columbus Songwriters Association, and several startups. As a management consultant, Joey has worked in digital innovation in the medical and consumer product goods industries, including consulting in surgical robotics for the largest medical company in the world. As an international speaker, Joey has presented keynote and panel discussions for the United Nations, SXSW (4 years in a row), Canadian Music Week, World Music Expo, Fashion Meets Music Festival, Warsaw Music Export Conference, The Power of Music Festival, The Ohio State University, Capital University, and more. His work has been featured in Billboard, NPR, Examiner, Columbus CEO, Business First, Music Canada, Columbus Underground & other publications. As a songwriter (SESAC) and performer, Joey has performed over 1000 shows and shared the stage with 21 Pilots, Josh Krajcik (X Factor), Maxwell Hughes (The Lumineers), Empires, and worked closely with composers Christopher Tyng (Futurama, Suits, The OC), Felix Weber (Toni Braxton, Chaka Khan), Brady Barnett (Alan Jackson, Rascal Flatts, Justin Timberlake), and Brian Lucey (Black Keys, Beck, Ray Lamontagne). *To ensure impact, all strategy calls over 30 minutes will include custom planning and written recommendations delivered via email.
Sounds like you have a non-profit organization pursuing funding resources that typically revolve around grants, private donors, equity-based investment, product review, membership/subscription revenue, or events sales through the community you are building. A multiple revenue stream approach is a good strategy for a new business that's still trying to determine it's primary funding source. But you need to focus your resources and do what's going to benefit you most to get past the early challenges of your launch. You need an assessment of your opportunity and clear strategy with tactics you can execute. Let's chat.
You need someone with digital marketing experience, entrepreneurial experiences, a strong command of Wordpress and digital asset management systems, and a keen mind for creativity when approaching the market. You won't find this easily from job postings. Let's be real -- most people are looking to be hired and trained for the job. You need someone who already knows what they are doing out the gate because they've done it before. These people are rare because they already have their products and know how to make money with them. Why would they spend time working on your product? Maybe because they believe in Clarity.Fm and like the challenge of helping someone else succeed... Let's chat.
I created a process I coin as "psuedo branding" that involves an automated process for gathering emails and testing them around specific products, industries, and value offerings. This process stems from a book called "Ask" and it's been an effective way to whittle down email lists into targeted, valuable potential client segments that doesn't destroy a product brand. Not spam. Smart automation can reel in customer preferences and match them with relevant offerings that actually convert. Let's chat.
I recently licensed a patent to a business. There was a great deal of market research and market understanding that we used to develop a list of prospects. Once you have prospects, you can target key contacts within businesses and organizations that could benefit from the intellectual property. The key is not just have a concept, but materials that effectively communicate the value proposition for the business, without selling. Infographics will become value when clearly demonstrating the market opportunity for the business -- without them having to think too deeply. When it's a fit for their gap and you've jumped ahead and solved a problem they hadn't spent the time or money developing yet, the licensing opportunity emerges.
For us, the license worked best when the business had a vast distribution network, organized logistics, and processes to implement the IP. We stayed on to support the technical implementation and gained extra service fees from expertise in the concept/IP, product integration, and implementation. That was a second revenue stream in our sell that you may also pursue.
A complex question with many variables to consider before you form your strategy. If he was/is your partner, he brings something to the table that also brings leverage into the value of your business relationship with him.
Consider not only the startup cost of the business and market/economic barriers to replicating/repeating your product or service under a new entity, but also the reputational value at stake in terms of current customers or secondary relationships or affiliations that revolve around your partnership. That is, you could jam the guy and save money in the short term, but what other long time value, network or otherwise, are you leaving on the table, losing out on now, or damaging later?
Where is his leverage (beyond equity) in terms of the business — network, product expertise, current or future cash investment? Where does your leverage and work commitment position you? What does your current social contract and written contract look like in terms organizing documents, hiring agreements, and any other emails involving work or partnership commitments?
Usually a partner being absolved removes a lot of value from the business while also freeing up equity. Depending on the value and performance of the business, it may make sense to maintain the business without dissolving it. So long as there is no non-compete, consider adding leverage by diversifying. Nothing is binary. You don’t have to dissolve if there is future mutual value in your partnership. If startup and operating costs are low, you may want to consider having more than one business active and running. Have both.
I like the responses above. As a high-technology management consultant, not sure why you would be trying to impress 'hard core coders.' If you're applying for a product manager position, you should be communicating examples of the value you have created with technology to the hiring managers (HR, consultants, business development managers) who are looking for valuable team members. What you're describing, by pulling different tools and technologies together to create solutions, could be a sign of understanding and creativity around system architecture, but the actual tools you're using likely would not apply to the more robust systems that many companies that you'd want to work for would use when building innovation or managing product lifecycle processes.
Demonstrating that you can learn foreign tools and you've been using what you have at your disposal could be valuable for your story -- but backing that story up with an understanding of the leading systems being adopted for architecture or digital product capability is likely more relevant to joining a team. Truth be told, many great developers aren't aware of all of the functionalities of the tools that a company introduces to them for product innovation, but their ability to understand, learn, and quickly adapt to the systems, so much so that they can alter the process through new functionality aligned to business results, is what makes their 'code' skill valuable to the team and company. Product managers may take a higher view of the process, but need to be able to communicate effectively with all members of the team -- including developers -- to drive client and business outcomes. From data layers, to architecture integrations and functionalities, if you've got a great dev staff and can work effectively with them, you'll be able to ask questions and learn about the systems native to the company's product process. However, popular platforms and systems for different industries are worth knowing. Having a firm understanding of SCRUM, the process developers go through to build new capabilities, emerging digital product tools, and having the personality qualities of a manager who expresses genuine appreciation and acknowledgement to those who know things you don't, won't hurt your case. Overall, there are certainly many ways product managers combine technical intellect and people awareness to create value for a team or project. While learning code can't hurt you (unless time is a major factor), having a real understanding of the big systems that govern product development (or specific systems and tools that a company you love uses in their architecture) is likely a good next step for skill building and preparation.
If you're on a tight budget, you could do a simple combination of Wordpress (WooCommerce/Stripe) and MailChimp to gather and store customer information and preferences, process customer communications and shipping notifications, and automate deliveries. It'd be a bit manual for setup, but I'm convinced you could move the data between the systems at low-cost and enable accurate drop shipping, depending on your products. Of course, you'd rely on customer input to store preferences (allergies, tastes, etc.), and this input could be gathered a number of ways, perhaps through surveys or through a customer preferences profile required during the buying process. Once the customer lists are organized and the systems are connected, you could automate the vast majority of it (at low cost). A little bit of hustle to put together, but way cheaper than the fees associated with many CRM systems.
You could start your own non-profit and try to build the partnerships from scratch based on the existing resources you may already have in place. However, after starting multiple non-profits myself, the best path for something like this may actually be to gain a fiscal sponsorship with a parent organization that has deeper resources and partnerships in non-profit activities, but doesn’t have a food pantry yet. Essentially, finding a private foundation that is interested in serving the needs of this space, has the budget and partnerships, but doesn’t have the human resource or time to create the activities to execute it — that’s your fiscal sponsor.
From an organizational and tax structure benefit, there are many positives to taking this approach: 1) You can still apply for grants when you have a fiscal sponsor and because of the parent organization, you often have better resources, support, and brand credibility to get those grants than if you were starting on your own. It’s like saving 3-5 years of time answering the “why should we support you” question. 2) The parent organization handles all of your filings and accounting to keep you legal, so you can focus on operating. Usually their organization will have a CPA on board that will manage your accounts, payroll, withholding, annual filing, in exchange for a small percentage of your revenue (3-6%). This is a small fee you agree to pay to ensure that the parent organization isn’t taking advantage of their accountant, who is paid to oversee the accounts. This fee should never be seen as the reason to have a fiscal sponsor relationship - as there are many more benefits I’ve listed above - it’s just house keeping. 3) The fiscal sponsor’s board is not necessarily your board, but their broader mission and vision should be aligned to yours. Your board members determine your activity and likely support the major project management decisions involved in the execution of your programming; however, the board of the parent organization has the right to refuse budget decisions on your operations. This never happens if you choose the right fiscal sponsor and are approaching your budget with logical considerations. They are there to help you make those logical decisions and a parent organization often has too many projects to worry about so they would never benefit from micromanaging yours. 4) You’ll leverage additional resources they have in terms of non-profit insurance rates, legal/contract fees if needed, operational resources, partnerships for cost-effective operations, etc.
Overall, you have a very clear vision for what you want to do. This is a project that other non-profits could also easily understand, support, and benefit from the execution of. It’s a win-win when they leverage their existing resources through a fiscal sponsorship that will allow you to operate, not worry about all the legal aspects of maintaining a 501c3 designation with the IRS, or building your brand before you can get others to support your vision. By leveraging the brand, resources, and support from a private foundation or larger non-profit that is looking to expand as a fiscal sponsor, you’ll likely save years of time and jump ahead to making immediate impact.
I'd recommend a lean approach. Do not pay anything for advertising until you leverage your network and learn how to organically grow your potential clients through common social media platforms like Facebook. Once you've organically attracted leads to your landing page through your personal brand influence (often involving posts, ideas, lifestyle, project stories, and overall brand story) you can leverage your strengths into advertising campaigns that will have a higher success rate for converting leads (around your strengths). Where and how to advertise is the next question. The first question is, what makes your value proposition special enough that you can earn business from your service and sustain organic growth? The second question is how to extend your marketing into a strategy that involves greater risk to pickup greater work.
For me, having a business account speeds up my taxes, allows me to more easily track my expenses, and overall make sure I'm getting the best tax break I can when conducting business. Any revenue I collect for my business goes to my business account (typically with it's own EIN, under an LLC or sole proprietorship). When you need to buy something for your business, use your business debit or cred card. When you need to deposit money you were paid as a contractor or consultant, send it directly into your business account. At the end of the year when you go to do your taxes, all of your expenses should be under one account. Your payments to yourself will be a business account (moving cash from your business account to your personal account) and your payments to other contractors who work with / for you will be documented on a 1099 you've collected and within the transactions of your account. Overall, it's easy to see all of your revenue and expenses for the year, see what you paid yourself and others, and record this on your taxes.
Another perk of opening a business account is that if you have a personal account that has a decent amount of savings in it, you can usually pick up $200-500 for just opening an account with a bank you bank with. Protip: Open a business account at a few major banks, pickup the new bank account payment from each, maintain a balance that ensures you do not pick up fees, and then choose your favorite bank / business account to put all of your business expenses and revenues through. So long as you maintain the minimum balance at the other banks, you can pick up those deposits and eventually extend your credit line (through multiple banks) when you're ready to improve your credit, or if you ever need leverage (I do not commonly recommend bank loans for financing a business leap).
Hope this helps!