TALON COMPANY CONSULTING
WHAT WE DO
As consultants, we help nonprofit organizations
to be sustainable in their operations
and effective in their missions.
Our Unique Approach
Whether yours is a not-for-profit, a business, or both, tomorrow takes careful planning. It's all about making sure tomorrow is sustainable. Perhaps our unique approach can help you.
Planning without execution makes no sense. Neither does execution whose energy is derived solely from fancy.
The budget is not just a collection of numbers but an expression of our values and aspirations. (Jack Lew)
Why It Matters
How an organization responds to economic uncertainty can define the difference between thriving, and closing its doors. Fortunately, the right response is not that difficult.
And If Your Nonprofit Operates
The competition is purposefully getting smarter every day. Are you?
Return on Investment
"Talon Company brought incredible value for what we paid them — far beyond what we expected!"
"I asked Talon Company for recommendations that we could implement immediately and some we could put in place over time. Rus delivered many creative ideas on both counts. My staff enthusiastically jumped right in on the short-term recommendations — which bore fruit nearly overnight. This is so important, because the great results they achieved made them want to implement the other ideas too. I realize it is rare for a consultant to have such a dramatic impact right away, but Rus and his team are clearly uncommon in this regard."
"When I look at what we paid Talon Company and what we have already reaped, it is evident that Talon delivered a staggering amount of value!"
Established in 2007, Talon Company's goal is to help nonprofit organizations and small-to-medium businesses become more effective in their mission and more profitable in their business(es). It was founded on the core conviction that organizational sustainability will increasingly require accountability for meaningful service outcomes, and more direct responsibility for income generation.
Talon's nonprofit business consulting helps clients develop a systematic approach to business growth and profit-taking. Each offering is uniquely designed to help organizations and businesses develop the skills, tools, and business strategies needed for ongoing self maintenance. Its probative approach helps leaders quickly unpack issues relevant to problem resolution.
Talon Company is deeply experienced in the nonprofit world and can offer a wide range of organizational services. These include:
WHO IS TALON COMPANY'S BEST-FITTING CLIENT? Organizations and businesses that are dissatisfied with the status quo and are seeking growth-oriented outcomes.
COMMENTS FROM A RECENT
BOARD GOVERNANCE SEMINAR
"I needed this."
"I did not realize the power and vision a board needs—and should have!"
"It was an excellent review and I learned
some new things as well!"
"We will be tweaking some of our bylaws
to strengthen some things."
"Rus has a real gifted way of explaining things."
AND A FEW COMMENTS
FROM NONPROFIT EXECUTIVES
"Rus' breadth of knowledge in resale was truly exceptional!
Bringing Talon Company services to our store was a great decision
that justified the cost many times over."
(JB -- CA nonprofit board member)
"If the only good I got from the two-day on-site audit was
the consultant's immediate comments, I would have more
than justified the cost of services. But I got more. Rus's formal
presentation of findings and recommendations helped us
begin to make serious dollars."
(LT - Retail store manager)
"Rus's counsel has been invaluable to the success of our ministry.
His revealing insights come from obvious academic preparation
and years of executive experience."
(JM — nonprofit executive director)
"Talon Company is big into common sense strategies and solutions.
I would recommend this company to anyone!"
(BT — nonprofit executive director)
THE MEASURE OF A BUSINESS' HEALTH
IS NOT IN THE MONEY IT MAKES
BUT IN THE DOLLARS IT KEEPS.
Here's what REALLY makes us tick.
CALL US AT (815) 230-1881
Principal & Consultant
Rus brings more than 30 years as chief executive of various public and nonprofit organizations to his work as principal and consultant for Talon Company. During the latter years he started several retail thrifts and consulted with multiple executives on issues ranging from business startups to complex growth strategies.
His personal philosophy? "To help others do more."
Rus’s substantial creativity and relentless pursuit of the exceptional helped him develop a unique expertise in the fledgling field of nonprofit business development.
He has guest lectured at several colleges and universities as well as served as adjunct professor of management, sales, advertising, and personnel.
In 2002, he was a candidate for the Illinois State Senate, has an MPA from Northern Illinois University (NIU), and did Ph.D studies at both NIU and University of Florida.
As Talon Company's leader, Rus challenges clients to keep aggressively abreast of the changing dynamic of nonprofit funding. He says that extraordinary times require nonprofit leaders to probe proactively for non-traditional funding streams. Aggressive leaders will add business opportunities as a distinct category of their daily environmental scan. "Success is rarely accidental: it must be pursued aggressively, and with knowledge."
Rus subscribes to the Code of Ethical Conduct as adopted by the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers.
Rus can be contacted at RKinzinger@TalonCompany.com
14 Graystone Ct.
Bloomington, IL 61704
Ideas to stimulate your thinking
Ready to Start a Business? Answer These 5 Questions First
The idea of self-support intuitively appeals to nearly every chief executive of a nonprofit organization. It conjures-up longing thoughts of escaping “the man,” and evokes hopeful images of self-determination. But is social enterprise right for your organization, and for that matter, do benefits outweigh the inherent costs?
Here are 5 important questions to ask before you do anything else.
Good luck! Talon Company is always ready to help if the need arises.
I don’t usually position myself to overhear conversations, but recently I did so. Two managers were discussing their store performances and I wanted to hear what they said. Both were excitedly exchanging percentages of sales growth and speaking of the bonuses they were sure to get at the year’s end. That’s when I moved in for a bit more of the conversation. What I heard surprised me—sort of.
You need to know at this point that I expected to hear these managers speaking in excited tones as they talked about sales. Both ran successful businesses and both managers had attractive, well-run stores. What surprised me as their conversation continued was that neither manager said anything about the net—they spoke only of the gross. And judging from their years with their respective stores, their optimism for a bonus was probably warranted. After a bit more time to satisfy myself that I was getting the full picture, I wandered away, neither lady aware (hopefully) that I had conducted a little research while they spoke.
Here’s my finding, and it’s a simple one I’ll admit: Gross sales are sexy . . . but if you focus on the gross alone, you’ll do so at your peril. Gross sales point to a store’s performance, but it’s the net that determines whether you’ll be in business tomorrow. It is not what you bring-in that matters, it’s what you get to keep. Go ahead—celebrate a great return! Just be careful to remember that a great return is only half the picture. It’s the other half that will determine whether you remain in business.
Turn Sensory Inputs Into Sales
The next time you are visiting your favorite apparel store, inhale! That’s right, stop what you’re doing and take a long, long sniff. Notice anything of interest? Chances are you’ll discover a distinct smell. Whether you have noticed it before or not, that smell is part of the store’s distinct brand, and it is part of the brand cocktail that brings you back to the store time and again. I might even go so far as to speculate that if you were led blindfolded to the store, you would be able to identify where you were based solely on what the sense of smell told you.
Sensory marketing is a way of describing the form and function of marketing which has as its goal to create awareness and influence consumer behavior via the various sensory channels to the decision center, i.e. the brain. Whereas I mentioned only the sense of smell, there is also sight, taste, touch, and hearing. Sensory marketing seeks to influence consumer buying behavior through each. One of my favorite retail stores, for example, encourages the shopper to “Please touch.” When I do, I buy. The more senses a retailer can engage, the more likely a consumer is to make a purchase.
Your business not exempt from the benefits of sensory marketing. Done properly and as part of your store’s distinct brand, the customer can be fully engaged upon entry. Remember, however, that marketing effectively via the senses is purposive. It does not just happen. What emotion or memory do you want to evoke with smell? Will any aspect of your offering be complemented by a particular scent? What about sound? Will what the customer hears in your store benefit his or her purchasing choices? What about sight? Taste? One way or another, your customers can identify you through their senses.
Engage their senses and you will increase your sales.
9 Steps for Making Your Day More Productive
Unmanaged time is opportunity lost. Distinguish your store with accountability in this all-important area. Here are 9 practical tips for gaining mastery.
(Check back frequently for more Quick Tips.)
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