Our portfolio is partnerships, relationships, and successes.
Our portfolio of work isn’t just words on this website. We are honored to work with each and every client to move their company forward. But don’t just take our word for it. Feel free to visit the websites of our clients, and reach out to learn how our work together has benefited their business. And, stop back often to see a new portfolio of work as we continue to highlight businesses. You may also learn about additional partnerships on our Insights & Blog page.
Portfolio Client: fivestar* development
fivestar* is a custom software development firm providing solutions to a range of companies nationwide for nearly 25 years. Customer sectors include financial services, higher education, manufacturing, and retail. And, practice areas include custom software workforce development, RPA, and complex workflow improvements.
fivestar* desired to complement its existing sales efforts, which traditionally relied solely on direct sales and referrals, and requested assistance in developing a channel strategy. An executable strategy was developed, and MSP firms emerged as the optimal channel on which build an additional layer of revenue. The focus then shifted to guiding the execution of the channel strategy. Working collaboratively with the fivestar* leadership and marketing team:
- In 60 days, a new practice area– robotics process automation was constructed that strongly appealed to MSPs
- This channel strategy fully leveraged fivestar*’s demonstrated capabilities in the areas of workflow integration and custom application development
- Developed a marketing execution calendar targeting the new channel partner targets
- Developed KPIs and other measurements that can be used to validate both the effectiveness of these executions and identify sales and marketing efforts that require correction
- Developed a sales funnel and guided the internal team with messaging, awareness efforts and resource allocation targeting companies in the sales funnel
Portfolio Client: Platypus
Our Service included Business Strategy/Interim COO & Marketing Execution
Platypus utilizes small, cooperative robotic boats designed to collect water data about inland waterways – lakes, rivers and retention ponds, for example.
Platypus traversed its initial phase of corporate development using customer monies to fund the final commercial development of three models of robotic boats, and to develop the initial release of its analytics application, Aquatical Analytics™. Once that phase was completed, it was time to focus on business expansion. Working together, a new strategy and series of tactics was constructed, which included:
Developed an actionable strategic and business plan.
- Focused on solving three challenges which would ultimately position Platypus as a water analytics company. Increasing revenue, scaling deployment capabilities and outsourcing the manufacturing of boats, all enabling Platypus to focus on advancing its analytics capabilities.
- Developed a marketing strategy that could be supported by the company at its stage, and that would evolve with the company as it expanded its customer acquisition activities.
- Constructed a progressive sales funnel, reflective of the sales process that the company observed as emerging.
- Identified a business model which was premised on leasing boats to customers, rather than selling them, to best manage inventory requirements and strengthen the company’s ‘as-a-service’ positioning.
- Created a detailed financial model that could be used to set internal performance targets and communicate the financial opportunity to potential investors.
- Developed a staffing plan to support the company’s growth.
- Serve in the day-to-day role of COO to ensure that the company operated effectively and ensure that the technology and field resources can focus on the areas that are most beneficial for the company and its customers.
Revenue & Growth
Revenues are growing, the operations outsource is in progress and the company signed its largest customer, a leader in the Oil & Gas sector. You can learn more about Platypus here.
Portfolio Client: CORE Learning Exchange
Our Service Included Business Strategy/Marketing Strategy/Interim COO, CFO, CMO
Core Learning Exchange (CLX) is an EdTech company located in Boulder, CO. Its Founder, Jeff Katzman, is a veteran in the sector and decided to tackle one of the most expensive and vexing problems in K-12 education today. That is the legacy approach to ‘teaching to the mean’ using one-size-fits-all textbooks. Our portfolio of work included,
- A business strategy was constructed to focus the product on an emerging greenfield opportunity, Career Technical Education; that is, a secondary school curriculum that focuses on preparing high school students for high-paying careers that do not require a college degree.
- This positioning possesses several characteristics that render it attractive for a company at the stage of CLX – an emerging market opportunity that is well-documented and quantified, historically underserved sector and a lack of incumbent providers.
- Once the strategy was established, a business plan and financial model were constructed to both guide the business and enable the company to pursue outside funding.
- Concurrent with the business plan, a marketing strategy and resultant tactical executions were developed and implemented to accelerate the growth of the sales funnel.
- This plan was used to attract the company’s first-ever SBIR grant at a high school in Maine.
The SBIR project has resulted in an increase of qualified, commercial sales leads, which the company is now pushing through its sales process. You can learn more about CLX here.
Portfolio Client: NextLink Labs
An Extension of the Management Team
NextLinkLabs (NLL) is a digital transformation consultancy focused on delivering strategy and executions with the goal to identify your business challenges and optimize your business outcomes (ROI). NLL was founded in 2014 and is evolving DevOps tools and techniques to be more relevant in the hyper-competitive business environment of 2019. Working with the principal at NLL, Black Ice developed and implemented multiple deliverables. Our portfolio of work included,
Implemented a progressive branding strategy
- Developed a marketing strategy and executions that will facilitate the revenue growth and diversification objectives
- Developing an actionable business plan, focused on both going deeper in the existing market segment that NLL serves, and diversifying from both customer and market segment perspectives
- Constructed a progressive sales funnel, reflective of the sales process, which is used to manage the new, formalized business development function
- Created a detailed financial model, and performance dashboard that will be used to set and measure performance against internal performance targets
- Developed a staffing plan and a Marketing To Recruit plan that will attract the talent needed for both JSS and its clients as it moves forward and executes on its plans
Revenues are growing, the marketing plan is being implemented and NLL is on track to achieve multiplied revenue growth in 2019. You can learn more about NextLink Labs here.