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Consultant shares in higher net

John Seelmeyer

The deal American Business Consultations makes with its clients is straightforward: The Reno-based company won’t be paid unless its clients’ bottom-line performance improves.

But if net income does improve American Business Consultations gets a piece of the increased profits.

The deal has paid off every time in the company’s 15-year history, partly because it’s picky about the clients it takes on.

For starters, clients need to agree to work with the company for at least a year, says Jay Perry, the founder and chief executive officer of American Business Consultations.

“We want to get in there and experience a full business cycle,” Perry said last week.

Then, too, the company isn’t interested in clients who want a magic wand that will solve their problems.

Instead, American Business Consultations provides a methodical review of its clients’ operations, looking for small efficiencies in production, sales and administration that add up to big profits.

“We unravel the process of how you do what you do,” Perry said.

“It’s not a matter of turning the company upside down.We’re there to enhance what they do.”

The care it takes in selecting clients is partly dictated by the heavy investment that American Business Consultations makes.

Its consultants devote an average 456 hours a year more than 10 workweeks to each client, and five consultants typically work fulltime for the first three weeks with a new client.

With that expense, American Business Consultations needs assurances that its clients are committed to significant improvements in profitability.

The company’s typical clients, Perry said, are small to medium-sized businesses with annual sales in the range of $1.5 million to $15 million and five to 65 employees.

They range from private schools to logistics firms and sales organizations.

Most important, Perry said, the firm’s client companies are headed by executives who are experienced enough to know they need assistance in reaching their goals, but far enough from retirement that they’re interested in supercharging their companies’ operation.

The profile hasn’t changed much since Perry launched the firm in Toronto 15 years ago.

The Ontario native grew up in a family of auto dealers and worked in the business himself until he started consulting part-time with auto dealer friends who sought his help.

In 1993, Perry got into consulting fulltime with a firm headquartered at Toronto.

Not much later, he opened a second office in Chicago.

Although American Business Consultations moved its headquarters to Reno about 18 months ago, the seed of the move was planted eight years earlier.

Perry, called upon to speak at automotive industry convention, met the owners of a Reno body shop and started advising the company.

They spread the word among friends, and American Business Consultations soon had about five clients in Reno.

Weary of the travel to northern Nevada and envious of the area’s lifestyle, Perry decided to move his firm.

Its feet now firmly on the ground here, American Business Consultations in the first half of this year is stepping up its sales effort in the Truckee Meadows.

Mike Harlan has joined the company’s staff of seven as director of

sales, focusing on northern Nevada, and the company has made a commitment to devote a significant part of Harlan’s time to volunteerism with business organizations.

While the company might look at one more office this one in the Southeast to serve a growing base of clients there Perry said he doesn’t envision a widespread network of offices.

Instead, he said the company likely will focus on expanding its reach from its current lineup of small and mediumsized companies to include business units of bigger corporations.