Just-in-time expertise to strengthen your company’s operations

Are you struggling to scale your company? Do you need to build out departments and bring on more tactical expertise so you can work on your business instead of in it? The System for Integrated GrowthSM (SIG) program enables second-stage CEOs to tap vetted experts in specific operational areas. This SWAT team of business specialists provides analysis, in-depth information and best practices you need to shore up fundamental areas inside your company.

The SIG program is delivered virtually through a series of phone calls and a secure, online portal. Recognizing that second-stage entrepreneurs know their businesses better than anyone else, SIG specialists don’t dictate a particular course of action. Instead, they provide information and education to help CEOs make better decisions. In addition to being experts in their respective fields, SIG specialists operate under the guidance of the Edward Lowe Foundation to optimize their assistance to second-stage growth companies.

SIG is particularly beneficial for business leaders in the earlier phases of second stage: Although your company is growing, you may feel overwhelmed. Or you may be starting to build your team, but lack employees with in-depth knowledge in certain disciplines.

Fees Costs are covered by regional or state organizations who have pooled funds to support this program.
Time commitment Less than 8 hours.
Focus areas HR (recruiting and retention as well as compliance), operations and finance, global markets, succession planning, supply chain management and primary market research.

The program kicks off with the needs-assessment call, in which the participating CEO and a SIG team leader discuss the company’s strengths and weaknesses. After agreeing on one or two key areas, the team leader will arrange a call with SIG specialists and the CEO to dive deeper into those pain points.

Specialists then spend additional time behind the scenes, working on those issues, and then schedule follow-up calls to walk the CEO through deliverables. Finally, the team leader conducts a call to wrap up the engagement.

The System for Integrated Growth (SIG) program differs from other types of business assistance in several ways:

It’s a virtual program.
Information is delivered to participants by a team rather than one person.
Rather than generalist counselors, SIG specialists are private-sector consultants who have been vetted by the Edward Lowe Foundation.

The SIG focuses on strengthening fundamental operations within your company. It provides the blocking and tackling that’s critical for an organization to scale.

Catherine Koch entered the System for Integrated Growth (SIG) program to get help with overseas markets and human resources. “We need to expand our staff, plus we have some foreign employees. I wanted to learn how to best handle expansion,” says Koch, CEO of K-Tec Systems, a Ferndale, Michigan-based provider of process control instrumentation. “We don’t have that expertise on our team, and I didn’t know where to find it.”

Because I knew the Edward Lowe Foundation (I’ve attended two of their retreat programs), I was confident the SIG consultants had been selected for a reason, that they were good,” she continues. “And I wasn’t disappointed. I was really impressed with the talent put in front of me. These people knew what they were doing.”

In particular, an HR expert provided important insights about hiring staff, along with direction on documentation. Discussions with a global trade expert made Koch realize she needed to slow down a bit to strengthen internal operations before expanding. “Another big takeaway is not feeling alone,” Koch says. “I now have amazing, experienced contacts to help grow my business — instead of picking someone off the Internet who I didn’t know.”

“Not only is the SIG program a place to get answers from trusted sources, but it’s also a connection to continual expertise,” she adds. “I now feel as though I have an expert team in my back pocket.”

The System for Integrated Growth is designed especially for second-stage growth companies. To see if you qualify, please answer the following questions:
Is your annual revenue between $1 million – $50 million?
Yes | No

Does your company have 6-99 employees?
Yes | No

Is your company privately owned?
Yes | No

Is your company based in the U.S?
Yes | No

Does your company have intent to grow?
Yes | No

SIG Team

SIG is not a program where consultants give you advice, rather, they listen and provide insight so that you can be more informed and make a better decision. It is after all, your business.