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Case Study

From $400,000 a Year to Over $2,000,000

Through Consulting Success®, Douglas Nelson learned how to identify and target his ideal client and clarify the specific value he could offer them, and leverage a marketing approach and strategies that helped grow his consultancy from $400,000 a year in revenue to over $2 million.

From CEO to Independent Consultant

Douglas Nelson’s consultancy, The Discovery Group, works with medium and large-sized nonprofit and charitable organizations with a focus on four lines of business: board governance, strategic planning, philanthropic performance, and executive search and training. Many of the challenges organizations face are self-imposed, so much of Doug’s work is about helping them get out of their own way by learning how to organize and execute effectively.

He began working with Consulting Success® right out of the gate. Before launching his consultancy, Douglas had been CEO of two large organizations, but when he made the transition to full-time consultant, he went looking for good sources of information. As he explained, “In looking to start this organization, I didn't know how to do it, so I started listening to the Consulting Success® podcast and eventually reached out to them.”

Identifying His Ideal Client and Clarifying His Value

When he joined the coaching program, his business was six months old, and his primary goal was to figure out how to make the business sustainable. He’d quit his CEO job in San Francisco and moved home to Vancouver, determined to make consulting his full-time job, and as he put it, “Because I was new to consulting, I had to navigate a steep learning curve. However, Michael and Sam provided the invaluable advice and counsel I needed to get there.”

Through Consulting Success®, he learned how to put better systems in place to make sure his company could grow by focusing on delivering value to clients. As part of that focus, he learned how to identify and target his ideal client through the specific value he could offer them, and he gained the mindset to have “rigorous focus” and confidence. Consulting Success® showed him how to implement repeatable processes for reaching out to those ideal clients so he never had to worry about when the next project was going to come down the pipeline—a vital element of creating a sustainable consulting business.

From $400,000 to $2,000,000 in Revenue

One of the things he appreciated most about working with Consulting Success® was having, as he put it, “an ally and advocate for my business.” He went on to explain, “When you’re just starting out as an independent consultant, there aren’t many people who want to hear you talking about all of your worries and struggles over and over again, and even fewer people who have deep enough expertise to provide meaningful advice. With Consulting Success®, I found all of the above: an ally and advocate, as well as a coach and mentor.”

Douglas Nelson was part of the Consulting Success® program from October 2017 to December 2019, and as a direct result of the tips and strategies he learned during that time, he was able to grow his revenue from $400,000 a year to $2 million a year, and transform his company from a one-person operation to a seven-person team.

“They didn’t just provide tricks or gimmicks,” he said, “but they helped me understand all of the hard work I needed to do to build my consulting success®. And they made it all achievable.”

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