What is business consulting, anyway?

Meet the BR Business Consulting Group

Bader Rutter does business consulting? You bet. We asked David Jordan, chief growth officer and head of the business consulting group (BCG), to explain more about this service and the value it delivers.

TL;DR: The BR Business Consulting Group doesn’t act like typical business consultants. We provide practical, actionable business solutions based on our disciplined objectivity and extensive networks of subject matter experts. No matter the business challenge, we deliver thinking that drives meaningful business results.

Q: Tell us about the BCG.

A: We formalized the BCG at Bader Rutter three years ago to complement our suite of marketing services and fill a gap for new and existing clients. We provide senior-level consulting and practical, real-world approaches that drive meaningful business results. And our key word is “practical.”

Q: When should clients reach out to the BCG?

A: There are a few simple trigger points. Come to us when:

Your brand must adapt to changing internal organization or team dynamics, evolving market conditions like increased competition or flatlining business results from factors outside of marketing.

Your business needs to address issues beyond communications. We provide guidance on issues like business strategy, sales effectiveness, organizational development and change leadership.

Your company seeks a viewpoint on management challenges like team-building or developing high-potential talent.

Q: What specific types of projects has this group addressed for clients?

A: Our more typical engagements involve issues like: business vision, business strategy, planning, execution, consulting and coaching, marketing strategy, planning, execution and consulting, go-to-market analysis and planning, executive-level mentorship, team and organization dynamics, sales training and sales planning

Q: Do you offer services to startups as well?

A: Absolutely. Our services can be particularly effective for entrepreneurs because we create structure to help bring ideas to life. We offer everything from business consulting and strategy up front to concept testing and brand identity development in market later. A recent example was our work with Bunch Bar: a plant-based protein bar brand. Our development team and agency designers worked in lockstep with the entrepreneur to bring her vision to life. We helped with everything from naming and branding the product to developing the Shopify site and Instagram launch.

Q: How big is your team?

A: Currently there are four of us with a total of over 75 years of experience spanning business, brand, marketing, go-to market, communications and sales. All of these are underpinned by our understanding of organizational dynamics and leadership development. Beyond this core team, we work closely with both outside subject matter experts and select agency talent in strategy, planning and other key disciplines based on project needs. This enables us to not only suggest practical recommendations but also integrate them into the Bader Rutter agency approach.

Q: That’s a great point about strategy and planning. Your BCG team must work hand in hand with other functions. How do you navigate this efficiently?

A: It’s a bit of a “cart before the horse” scenario here, depending on what the specific client need is. Over the years, we have embedded BCG team members on current account teams – we’ve even embedded them in-house with the client. We’ve also added functional experts to our core BCG team. The most important thing is that our group stays fanatically focused on objective problem-solving. That alone has proven critical for success.

Q: What is different or unique about your approach?

A: Pretty much everything. We don’t act like typical business consultants who leave you with a huge binder of recommendations that you must figure out how to implement. We roll up our sleeves and work alongside our clients to make their business better. We focus on solving business problems with disciplined objectivity, enabling us to assess strengths, weaknesses and challenges better than anyone. This objectivity also provides invaluable clarity when making tough recommendations on restructures, closings, reorganizations and pricing models. We’ve “been there, done that” and bring that expertise to help clients solve problems.

Q: Can you provide some real-life examples of where the BCG unlocked opportunities or solved problems for clients?

A: One of my favorites is about a client who recognized that a recession could change their business and wanted to diversify their portfolio before that happened. Oh, and they also really liked dogs, making the project a dream assignment. We did a deep dive into their core business strengths, along with the opportunities in the marketplace and pet care, to ultimately provide recommendations for expansion that made good business sense and played to their strengths. While of course, also involving dogs.

Q: Anything else you want to add here, David?

A: Our counsel will always be practical – not theoretical. We are based on a networking concept and access our extensive connections of deeply qualified people. We know how to involve the right experts on your business for maximum results. We don’t just suggest solutions, we see things through and help until the goal is met because we truly love what we do.

David Jordan

Chief Growth Officer

A member of the Bader Rutter Executive Leadership Team, David leads the agency’s food and beverage practice. He’s passionate about animal agriculture and has held roles for Zoetis/Pfizer Animal Health, was a CMO-entrepreneur for a startup helping farmers unlock yield potential, and managed the genetics program and investments in five states with more than 50,000 dairy cows for River Valley Farm. Also, he consulted on one of the world’s largest animal health company integrations between Merial and BIVI. ​​In his free time, David loves to cook and entertain. He remains active in the dairy industry. In 2019, he and his partners exhibited the U.S. National Champion in the Jersey breed. ​​

Blair McConnel, VMD MBA

Executive Business Strategist

Blair brings extensive experience to the Bader Rutter Pet Care Practice. She is a veterinarian who has worked in the industry for 15 years and led the marketing team for Zoetis. She also has led several startups, including two businesses that provide management and business consulting services to veterinarians. With a passion for growing businesses, her belief is that good strategy is the foundation of growth.

Bill Preller

Executive Business Strategist

Bill is a seasoned business, marketing and sales leader, with experience in multiple agricultural and manufacturing industry segments. He has full competency in both the technology and commercial realms. He got his degree in physics from the University of Illinois and rose to the highest operational commercial levels in corporate agriculture. He is a high-level strategist and change agent, who thinks and understands what needs to happen to achieve different results. But he also is a roll-up-his-sleeves, hands-on operational manager who is not happy until the strategy is in place and producing.

Laura Denissen

Business Strategist

Laura is an accomplished business strategist who combines the capability to see the problem/opportunity, and also see the route/strategy/implementation to success. Her focus has been on helping commercial organizations better align sales focus with marketing knowledge by market segments, using a very customer-focused lens. In addition to her broad commercial business acumen, she also is very people focused, with a master’s in leadership, as well as complementary training in leadership, change and transition strategy, and personal and professional development.