Making an Entrepreneurial Group Collaboration even Stronger

March 3, 2016 | By


West Dakota, LLC is an exploratory start-up (NuCo) support entity made up of a seasoned team of corporate and agency marketing professionals. 
west-dakota-llcW. Dakota is headquartered in Bucks County, Pennsylvania while each of its members own and operate successful standalone businesses around the country as well as in other parts of the world.  Through a variety of joint ventures, the members have become good friends who enjoy pooling skills and talents to launch products or services for corporate and not-for-profit clients around the world.

This new West Dakota “brain trust” is available to select clients globally for launching, re-launching, branding, rebranding, phasing out, or replacing products and services in the pharmaceutical, consumer packaged goods, construction materials, automotive, sports, healthcare, and food and beverage industries.


One of the W. Dakota members with snack food consumer products in his background was presented a fascinating opportunity to assist a mid-sized pharmaceutical company attack a situation of manufacturing capacity underutilization.  Almost from inception, this member appreciated the need for an external, multi-disciplinary team to bring objectivity and creative problem solving skills to the task at hand.  Through the exploration of the existing product’s potential to “carry” other additives and flavors; together with targeted, focused consumer market research, several potential new business opportunities were identified.

Assistance Provided

As the owner of Trestle Point LLC, as well as having a strong set of financial management experiences and near expert level MS Excel skills, Mike Thomas was invited to join W. Dakota as a team member.  Initially, the contributions were of the business value forecasting and financial return on investment modeling variety.  But, as the project took shape an entirely new consumer market segment emerged as highly lucrative.  Mike was then asked to take the lead on developing the business plan for a U. S. pet product(s) business based on overwhelming positive indicators of an unmet consumer demand.  This entailed examining the market’s genuine potential by segment, exploring ingredients sourcing and pricing, developing pricing, selling and distribution models, assessing regulatory structures and practices, putting together an advisory team of veterinary practitioners, identifying key industry opinion leaders and competitors, and building a compelling business case for the successful launch and building of a viable enterprise within the perimeters of the existing consumer pharmaceutical business.

Outcome/Client Assessment

The resulting business case was well received and viewed as having very strong potential as “low hanging fruit” to make fast and significant contributions to the revenue and profit areas of the originating company.  Nevertheless, the opportunity (as well as key realities) for bringing up a pet based business within a human products production facility was prioritized behind the competing (internal) opportunity for a human product line extension.  The pet product(s) continues to be a viable business opportunity given consumer demand for a superior solution to the pet owners’ challenge which remains unmet by existing products.

As the pet initiative was placed on hold and the human consumer product moved forward, Mike continued to be an important member of the team by providing periodic insight into marketing strategies and plans.  But, most significantly, Mike ensured that the project’s budgeting, on-going spending analyses, and monthly revenue reporting and analyses were world class.

Filed in: Case Studies, Forecast Modeling, Market Assessment, Market Assessment, Marketing Strategy, New Market / Product Support | Tags: , , , ,

About the Author (Author Profile)

Michael brings to clients and strategic partners nearly 20 years of hands-on professional healthcare marketing expertise gained within Johnson & Johnson Corporation. His focus on the fundamentals of marketing as well as emerging principles gives him the perspective needed to provide marketing assistance for both short-term project based needs and longer-term marketing management and marketing strategy development skill areas.

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