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Updated: Jul 4, 2022


TheFitProfessional1’s Positioning Statement – Verticals

The old cliché is true, ‘you can’t be all things to all people.’ To that end, my objective in this blog is to explore what I do at a high level and how it might fit you, ultimately so you can make a better decision regarding the use of TheFitProfessional1’s services. I want to utilize the classic vertical and horizontal market positioning logic to address this question of fit. Definitions vary a bit depending on sources, but we’ll use these.

Vertical positioning is where you focus on a particular classification or type of business, like civil construction, sand & gravel mining, engineering services, or fabricator. Horizontal positioning defines your target in another way by spanning most of the verticals, and these verticals range across essentially all business types in all market segments.

Said another way, across all, or most, industries. Horizontal means selling a product or service to a broad spectrum of consumers in different industries or markets (verticals), while vertical means narrowing your selling focus to a smaller and more specific customer type, likely in just one market or industry. Verticals can be quite narrow in focus.

TheFitProfessional1’s services, by their nature, are applicable horizontally. However, my experience in their application is vertical. Vertically my industries are non-metallic mineral processing, and non-metallic mining, granular packaging, specialty aggregate materials processing, packaging, and shipping (filtration media, wells, industrial, construction, surface treatment, epoxy applications, specialty mineral fillers, decorative, animal and aquarium applications, landscape, sports, equestrian, agricultural, garden and much more), civil materials (including aggregate, concrete, asphalt, epoxy overlays, road maintenance products, traction, select fill, pipe bedding, among many others), civil road & site construction, trucking, civil design-build engineering services, and truck & heavy equipment repair & maintenance. So, this is the best way to say where my experience best fits. However, the insights I’ve gained over time create a particular perspective from the specific services I’ve made available where they can fundamentally be applied in other industries. I’m blessed with experience in this comprehensive set of verticals necessitated by the horizontal diversification of my company. I have owned and successfully operated business or business units in all these verticals over the last four decades. This has developed a solid skillset, applying my knowledge, skills, and disciplines across multiple verticals. I’m not out to make decisions for customers out of my vertical, or any customer for that matter, but rather show them another way to think about finding solutions. Not what to think or what decision to make. Through this approach, customers will analyze what they are doing with sound knowledge and skills they already have as the basis for improvement. Services applied from TheFitProfessional1 will cover the mechanical fundamentals and provide a brand-new lens through which the customer can decide how to move forward. This is incredibly valuable. The customers make decisions, not the advisors or consultants. The customer must be making the decisions, in my opinion. Or ownership of the project change needed doesn’t happen. The old cliché: ‘catch a fish, feed a man for a day, teach him how to fish, feed him for a lifetime.’ I’m teaching how to fish, not catching the fish. In my verticals, I’ll have more insight into an impact in the short run, to be sure.

The services I am offering horizontally will still have a potentially large positive impact because of my experience already applying these services on a horizontal basis. The extent of this impact will also be a factor for the decision-maker. What is her ability in the given vertical to apply the knowledge, develop the skills, and execute the discipline required to procure the target result? This might be a coaching opportunity where TheFitProfessional1 can make a significant difference. I work to teach you how to think, not what to think. It is and will remain your decision regarding shaping your future through results.

My services list, advisory list, and coaching list are quite small relative to what business will develop needs for overtime. I see this service list as the critical few from which other challenges business organizations and professionals face can be addressed in mass. I think this is one reason the coaching phenomenon has caught on. You hire a generalist who is there and has ‘seen something like this in their career and they are vertical, and you feel not alone; rather supported by a professional that really can help. Does the advice you get input regarding really result in a plan of action, the action or execution, and then the result? Do you expect the coach, advisor, or consultant to ‘do it, that is, to make your decision for you? The objective must be to establish the knowledge base, the associated skills, and the disciplines/cadence so you can improve decisions in the future. Moving forward then, it’s the responsibility of the company’s rep in charge of such actions to execute. Some companies hire the consultant to execute and thereby don’t develop the capability to do this themselves, resulting in the ‘high cost’ approach and the possibility of a key process being outsourced, which history and business schools will agree, can put your competitive advantage at risk depending on what that is.

We can look here at some of TheFitProfessional1’s services.

Business valuations. Optimizing employee performance. Asset acquisitions. Business acquisitions and roll-in of same. Family transitional business planning and execution of same.

Operational Planning. Strategic Planning. Entrepreneurial Coaching, C-suite Coaching, Advisory Board Optimization.

Plus, all these services I offer on the website are based on sound fundamentals. An example, albeit simplistic, is a restaurant business valuation vs. a sand and gravel company valuation. For example, both have the possibility of a discounted cash flow valuation and an asset valuation. Financials are like physics, and so is finance, and income statements have revenues and costs and end up with a margin.

Balance sheets have assets and liabilities and show equity or lack thereof. There is, in fact, a substantial cross-over of knowledge, skills, and disciplines applicable in any company in any industry before we get to what matters, or in other words, drives the results in the vertical. Some of these go beyond the scope of ‘fundamental.’ Yet are still transferable horizontally across the vertical markets. Of course, accounting companies are an excellent example of this. An astute accounting company likely does reviews, audits, evaluations, and tax work for restaurants and sand & gravel companies. These are common in most communities across the United States. However, there is a line where the service fundamentals from an accounting firm end and the owner's expertise in the vertical take over.

In this example, the restaurant owner vs. the sand & gravel company owner. So, we can see this and understand. We all know if your business is a sand and gravel business, TheFitProfessional1 will have the edge over your accounting firm in general operations, problem-solving, and how to sustain profitability. With a restaurant, as in this example, if the accounting firm doesn’t’ have a restaurant specialist, TheFitProfessional1 and the rep from the accounting firm are likely on a similar footing for the services TheFitProfessional1 offers. This means the value the customer gets out of the engagement will be roughly equivalent. And to be clear, the sand & gravel producer will likely get substantially more out of the engagement making the engagement a ‘better buy’ given more value is procured above the engagement cost. However, the point is there would still be a marginal gain for the restaurant owner. Let the expert pick up where the generalist exhausts productive input. This takes the unique mindset of both the service provider and the service receiver. However, I’ll submit for prospects' consideration, and there is yet another line.

An owner in a bind with an issue they have trouble finding a solution will get a limited amount of insight from her accountant. An advisor with TheFitProfessional1 is an active business operator and entrepreneur who has likely been in a similar situation; even though my experience is in a different vertical, it still has something additional of value to offer: Insight on what worked. Insight regarding an accurate set of actions. Insight on the costs. Insights on the emotional weight and how to work through it. Insight regarding execution effectiveness. And more. Understanding is not where it stops. The insight I’m refereeing to is the ability of a seasoned advisor to find experiences closest to the prospect's situation and offer an appropriate transfer of information, process, and resources that can be most helpful in providing solutions or help in finding solutions to the prospect. The advisor used intel bundle to solve a similar problem delivering real cash. Additionally, many of TheFitProfessional1’s proprietary tools are just not available elsewhere.

Having said all of this, the insight into the vertical TheFitProfessional1 is familiar with will be more helpful. And again, in verticals I’m not familiar with, there will be value gained, but likely in lower total impact to alternatives familiar with those verticals. To deny this would be simply wrong. The additional depth to the entire situation will be more applicable given more alignment in the prospect’s situation and all that the advisor can bring to the table for consideration. Therefore, the advisor is likely to have more value created for the prospect in their vertical than a horizontal prospect: The non-vertically familiar advisor will have less value but not zero value. This is not to say those in the horizontal space should not hire the ‘horizontal’ advisor. It's not black and white. There will be many situations where the cost of the advisor still creates the desired value for a horizontal client. It could be ‘out of your usual box’ thinking that creates great insights toward procuring desired results. The pricing of the advisor may and should weed out any questionable applications for prospects. Essentially, the advisor will price her offering where the advisor knows the vertical will obtain much value beyond the cost of the advisor. This may not hold at an adequate return on investment level in other horizontals. Again, keep in mind, ‘it depends.’

Please get in touch with me on my website to discuss your situation. I will assess fit. If I don’t think I can get my target return for you (10X your invested cost in TheFitProfessional1 = value on a present value basis over a 5-year horizon at your cost of capital), I will work to refer you to someone in my contact list that can. After all, you may discover you need TheFitProfessional1 services at some future point. I want to do all I can to help get you to your desired destination! If you think I can help you out through product, service, or referral, contact me and Let’s get to work!

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