By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
Rick Day sold his Keizer-based business, Advantage Precast, in July 2017 and he’s now writing the next chapter in his career.
“I’ve done consulting work, during the past 15 or 20 years, but I’m turning it into my primary business with Focus Consulting,” said Day.
Through Focus Consulting, Day is looking to assist small businesses and non-profits with their growth or succession plans, but trying to keep the cost reasonable. Whereas some consultants might charge $60,000 a year, Day is charging a flat fee of $500 a month or 5 percent of the business moving forward.
“$60,000 a year is a full-time employee and a small businesses can’t afford it. $500 a month is a small amount, but I want to provide way more value than that. I can do return on investment analysis for equipment, purchasing other business and market analysis,” Day said.
Day’s experience in business and capitalization is no small thing. At the peak of the economy, he owned a dozen companies and was managing 50 properties. He had to sell off many of them to keep Advantage Precast afloat, but even the losses he suffered came with lessons.
“I used to think I needed things, but after losing almost everything in the recession I realized I wanted some money to cover expenses, some money to travel and money to put into charity,” said Day, 57.
It also helped him realize that not every business owner’s goals are the same. Those experiences now inform his consulting practices.
“I’ve always assumed that most people want financial security and freedom and to be able to walk away from their business someday. That’s true for a lot of business owners, but with farm and forest industries, the owners are looking at sustainability and keeping a culture alive,” Day said.
With Focus Consulting, Day offers a free initial consultation and leaves it up to business and non-profit stakeholders to decide whether they want to move forward.
“With small business, I assess what the owner or the family hopes to accomplish, who their competitors are, what assets they possess and and where their processes might be more efficient. We’ll look at what financial security looks like for them and what succession they need to plan for. I will also be honest in my assessment. I’m not getting paid to sit around and blow kisses at anyone,” Day said.
With non-profits, Day said his long history in the Salem-Keizer area has connected him with the businesses positioned to assist charitable efforts, but he feels he can make a bigger impact the earlier he gets involved.
“With non-profits, I want to talk conceptually about what options we can bring to the table as far funding and construction resources, and then look at what can be done to generate additional revenues alongside those projects,” he said.
The success of the consulting business feeds into Day’s other project, Advantage Holdings. Through Advantage Holdings, Day purchases local homes on the lower end of the spectrum and acts as an interim bank for low-income families.
“Sometimes I pay to have the homes fixed or I loan the families the money needed to have them repaired. Once we get them moved in with low down payments and low monthly payments, I encourage them to get to a credit union or bank and refinance. After that, the home is theirs,” Day said. “I’ve been lucky enough to do well and, through Advantage Holdings, I get people into homes. That changes lives, they become part of the community and a solid family unit. It makes a world of difference.”
For more information about Focus Consulting, contact Day at [email protected] or call 503-999-1736. The business is located at 2195 Hyacinth Street N.E., Suite 110B.