Chicago Small Business Management Consulting Firm

Anchor Advisors works with business owners with 10 to 100 employees to help them grow their business, move with confidence and make quicker decisions. We help our clients strengthen the four pillars of their business – Purpose, People, Process and Performance Measures – providing them with a firm foundation on which to grow.

 
$5,000+
 
Undisclosed
 
2 - 9
 Founded
2001
Show all +
Chicago, IL
headquarters
  • 5366 N Elston Ave #203
    Chicago, IL 60630
    United States

Reviews

Sort by

Business Consulting for a Startup Tutoring Company

"They were very good at identifying our needs before we did."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Feb. 2018 - Dec. 2018
Project summary: 

Helping build out a new business model, Anchor Advisors provided business/technical counseling and assisted with developing recruitment and operations systems. 

The Reviewer
 
Chicago, Illinois
Gil Gibori
CEO, The House
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The business expanded tremendously and the in-house team is impressed with the results. Anchor Advisors went above and beyond to meet all needs, while their expertise, technical know-how, and ability to work with a new concept made them stand out among competitors.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the CEO of The House. We're the world's first tutoring lounge. It's a membership lounge for teenagers with available tutors on demand.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Anchor Advisors?

We were developing a new business model, so we were looking for a vendor to provide business counseling to us.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We wanted them to come in and help us build operations for a brand new concept, but they went beyond deliverables. They not only helped us create structure, but also advised us on a lot of corporate level things and helped us build out new recruitment and operations systems. Since the business model didn't exist and there were no direct software solutions, they brought in technology coordination advisors.

In addition, they helped us develop the internal infrastructure in terms of personnel. For example, they reviewed contracts and proposals for us.

What is the team composition?

I mostly worked with Brad Farris (Principal, Anchor Advisors).

How did you come to work with Anchor Advisors?

I found them through a Google search.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent about $60,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with them between February–December 2018. We've launched, but they're still available to us as advisors.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

They helped us develop a completely new concept. They brought in technical know-how and experience in expansion and optimizing systems. When we started working with them, we were a small tutoring company with a new idea. Since then, we’ve grown a lot and opened many new locations. They simply know where other companies have failed, had trouble, or found success.

How did Anchor Advisors perform from a project management standpoint?

They went above and beyond. As a CEO, I had certain expectations on each project. We handed them multiple projects and they did an outstanding job with each one of them. We had regular staff meetings and they were always available. They even designed the project management methodology that we used to run those meetings and keep ourselves accountable. We also used email and text to stay in touch.

What did you find most impressive about them?

We were impressed with their experience and their ability to draw from it. They were very good at identifying our needs before we did.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No. They've become part of our team.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Don't try to save money on their services. It may sound expensive, but the value they provide by far exceeds the expenses. It'd be very hard to find a limit on their expertise because they have so many outlets they can reach out to.

5.0
Overall Score I've already recommended them.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They're on the expensive side, but the value they turned around for the money was outstanding.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Consulting for Web Dev & Design Company

“They've effectively executed on the type of internal leadership we had a need for.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Jan. 2013 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Anchor Advisors provides internal consultancy services to help the company engage the community and current clients.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Oak Park, Illinois
Marty Vernon
Co-Founder, EDUCO
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Anchor Advisors' top notch consultancy services have effectively helped the company define and execute on internal goals. Highly proactive, collaborative, and accessible, working with their team continues to be a great experience overall.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm one of the co-founders of EDUCO, a web design and development consultancy company. We help companies build digital tools that solve sales and other business related problems.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Anchor Advisors?

We were somewhat isolated in our industry, so we engaged Anchor Advisors to help us engage our clients and community.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Anchor Advisors helped with a variety of internal initiatives, including defining our messaging and goals and honing in on the market that we excel at servicing. Some of their deliverables include sales materials and quarterly planning meetings.

What is the team composition?

We mainly work with Brad (Business Growth Advisor, Anchor Advisors) as well as a couple others depending on the expertise needed for different projects.

How did you come to work with Anchor Advisors?

Brad is very well known within our local community and had a great reputation, so I reached out to him as soon as we had a need for consultancy services.

How much have you invested with them?

We've probably invested around $30,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We've been working with them since around January 2013.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We're very satisfied with the results and work Anchor Advisors has provided over the years. They've effectively executed on the type of internal leadership we had a need for.

How did Anchor Advisors perform from a project management standpoint?

Brad is very proactive and keeps projects moving at a steady pace. We're able to meet regularly in person, but they're also very responsive and accessible by email, phone, or chat.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Compared to other consultants, Anchor Advisors is a lot more approachable and understanding of our goals. Brad has a strong collaboration mentality, so he's been great about bringing teams together.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Not really. We're generally the ones holding up deadlines.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We continue to get a lot of value from their services and input.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They deliver quality work and take the time to walk us through it.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Business Consulting for Law Practice

"She kept us focused on our goals and ensured that everybody’s voices were heard, acting as an objective third party." 

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Jan. 2016 - June 2017
Project summary: 

Anchor Advisors, Ltd. assigned a resource to facilitate a technology strategy development process. The resource-led sessions led to the identification of KPIs and the production of a technology decision matrix.

The Reviewer
 
1,001 - 5,000 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
IT Director, Law Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The workshops saw communication that birthed new ideas and a greater understanding of corporate culture. While the resource utilized their considerable interpersonal skills to build relationships that transcended the project, they remained dedicated to deadlines and delivered all promised work.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the IT Director at a full-service law firm in Dallas. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Anchor Advisors, Ltd.?

We needed to shape a strategy for the firm’s technology investments as we were expanding and acquiring a number of firms. We wanted to develop a document that outlined our objectives and take it through an adoption process.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We introduced Stacy (Advisor, Anchor Advisors) to our ideas, some of the reorganization our enterprise was undergoing, the challenges we were facing, and what we hoped to accomplish. She facilitated a series of multi-day/weekend workshops with our most senior executives and partners. These sessions focused on identifying what we should be doing with technology, what our top priorities were, and what outcomes we should aim for. We also discussed how to evaluate our progress in the future and what documentation and communication we would need.

She also explored some of the balances we had to strike such as the one between innovating and making technology changes quickly and ensuring that our users have enough time to adjust and fully leverage the technology.

She left us with a technology strategy that we adopted as the foundation of everything we do—they're our marching orders. We also have a few follow-up tools we can use.

What is the team composition?

We only worked with Stacy.

How did you come to work with Anchor Advisors, Ltd.?

Stacy was recommended to me by our CMO, who’d known her for a number of years in the Chicago market.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent between $25,000–$30,000.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We can now easily determine if we should buy a certain software by using our technology decision matrix, the tool through which we apply our strategy. We’re also better able to judge what degree of success we’re having by tracking our newly outlined KPIs.

Stacy was able to keep us from falling into established patterns of communication and instead elicited new comments and debate. A lot about our culture and history came to the forefront for the first time and was put down on paper.

How did Anchor Advisors, Ltd. perform from a project management standpoint?

Stacy is one of the strongest project management professionals I’ve worked with regarding keeping projects on topic, on time, and on budget. She fulfilled her delivery promises in a professional, collegial way.

She was thoughtful and diligent in her communication and made sure we were kept abreast of everything. We never had any questions about where we were at in the project because she was on top of it all. We communicated in-person and via phone, email, and video conference. She was also willing to work some nights and weekends, going above and beyond to make sure she was always by our side.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I can’t say enough positive things about her as a professional (her delivery and results) and as a human being. She kept us focused on our goals and ensured that everybody’s voices were heard, acting as an objective third party. She works compassionately and has a high emotional IQ, which is valuable in IT and engineering where we're not necessarily the best communicators. I’ve never thought to look for those traits while interviewing consultants but I can’t imagine not searching for them now. It added value to almost everything we were doing.

I felt as if we’d always work with Stacy and have her in our lives, so it was sad when our engagement ended. We sent her a gift at the end of the year to say thank you because she’d become such a friend to all of us.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Everyone could gain more knowledge about our technology and subject matter. That being said, Stacy understood the legal industry and took the time to learn about our organization.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I've recommended them a dozen times.

Business Consulting for Research & Marketing Firm

“He’s great at delving into your business and understanding what your needs are.”

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Mar. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

After developing an understanding of the brand, Anchor Advisors, Ltd. implemented strategies designed to increase market visibility and drive new leads. Their efforts efficiently targeted ideal customers.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Donna Thompson-Brent
Director of Marketing, C+R Research
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

With their fresh perspective, Anchor Advisors, Ltd. implemented effective approaches to boost new business leads. They emphasize accountability, making sure everyone involved follows through on their responsibilities. They overcome challenges with knowledge and determination.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

C+R Research is a full-service marketing insights firm. We do custom qualitative and quantitative research. I’m the marketing director so I oversee corporate and divisions brand and marketing.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Anchor Advisors, Ltd.?

We needed help with brand awareness, lead generation and increasing our digital presence.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Brad (Business Growth Advisor, Anchor Advisors, Ltd.) came in and met with my boss to understand our business and company’s goals. From there, he started working directly with me to focus on what those issues were. One of our biggest challenges was figuring out who ideal clients are. Once we identified the client type, we set out to develop our marketing plan for the year.

What is the team composition?

We worked with Brad. During the first few months of the discovery phase, we worked with one other person on his team.

How did you come to work with Anchor Advisors, Ltd.?

My boss heard Brad speak at a conference and contacted him.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in March 2015 and the engagement is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Brad brought in a fresh perspective to our marketing.  He’s also brought in a lot of great ideas about how we approach acquiring new business, lead generation, etc.

How did Anchor Advisors, Ltd. perform from a project management standpoint?

He believes in accountability. He makes sure we have a plan and the plan is followed.  There’s someone responsible for each part of that plan, and that there’s follow-through on it. We use email and phone to communicate. He comes in twice a month and we go over our plans, work on updates, review everything, and establish our next goals.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Brad is smart, forward thinking and strategic.  He knows a lot of everything!  He’s great at delving into your business and understanding what your needs are. He’s been great to work with.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No. It’s difficult to understand how we approach things in our industry, but he does a great job of working around those challenges. Marketing gets put on the back burner and he’s given us tools to keep us moving along in our projects and helped the marketing team to become more independent and not so dependent on others to get our projects completed.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Keep an open mind. Brad does a great job of immersing himself in your business and getting to the heart of whatever your issue is and coming up with great solutions.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Business Consulting for Religious Organization

“I have never worked with such a top-notch consultant.”

 

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2011 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Anchor Advisors holds staff, stakeholder, and board member retreats to brainstorm ideas for strategic plans and recruitment endeavors. They recently helped interview and fill the position of executive director.

 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Cheryl Rogers
Past Chair, Board of Trustees, ECCS
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Seven years of high caliber and dedicated services have positioned Anchor Advisors as a long-term business consulting partner of choice. They help craft actionable plans and take the busy work out of hiring processes. Many people have praised the newly recruited executive director’s performance. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am a former chair of Episcopal Charities and Community Services in the diocese of Chicago.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Anchor Advisors, Ltd.?

We needed business consulting for our organization and have had Anchor Advisors on our consulting list for quite a long time. They’ve helped us with board activities and retreats to envision and facilitate our strategic plans. We’ve built a strong relationship over the past seven years.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement? 

Most recently, we included Anchor Advisors in our search for a new executive director. Together, we gathered information, developed an all-inclusive plan, and defined our two-tiered interview platform. We used a concise method to approach the daunting task of our national search. Our point of contact spent time with our executive committee, board at large, staff, and stakeholders to articulate the position's requirements. Even though we wanted to rush to fill the open position, Anchor Advisors ensured we did our due diligence. They created templates and write-ups, then stayed on to facilitate our interview process with our search committee.

We’ve compiled multiple strategic plans together over the last seven years. The last one aimed to move our business in a markedly new direction. We held several retreats with investors, board members, and employees to envision how to create an actionable plan for our four-step goal over the next 4–5 years. Anchor Advisors also guided us through a revision of our value statement and improved our style of messaging. This comprehensive process lasted over six months.

What is the team composition?

We have always worked with Stacy (Advisor, Anchor Advisors, Ltd.).

How did you come to work with Anchor Advisors, Ltd.?

When I joined the board, Anchor Advisors was already engaged with our organization. I’ve handled integration and communication with many corporations all my life and was deeply impressed with how well Stacy participates and reads groups. She draws out ideas while keeping the focus on our goals, a talent that’s hard to find. She has always met our expectations, so we’ve continued working together for the long term.

How much have you invested in them?

We spend around $20,000 a year on average.

What is the status of this engagement?

We’ve been working together since 2011.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The search process was phenomenal. Anchor Advisors put together the perfect job posting and created an avenue that drew candidates to us. They held phone screens, so we only talked to the best candidates. Our two-tiered process included five people in each round, which we narrowed down to two within two months.  Since we just have a volunteer board and minimal staff, this support was very helpful. 

We have a high degree of trust in Stacy and Anchor Advisors. Knowing they have our best interests at heart makes it easier to hand off essential responsibilities. Everything they did made the search go smoothly. Everyone agreed that our choice fit the job description the best. This process worked out very well. I still get many great comments about how well our new executive director is doing.

We have already implemented the strategic plans we made together. They are posted in summary on our website now. At each board meeting, we walk through a piece of the strategic plan and discuss next steps. Stacy has kept us focused every time and helped us envision the meaning of our business endeavors.

How did Anchor Advisors, Ltd. perform from a project management standpoint?

Stacy is articulate and positive, which is useful for our quarterly 20-person board meetings. She keeps everyone engaged and on the subject. Our board members come from different walks of life, but they’re all taking time out of their daily schedule to attend. Anchor Advisors also supports our committee meetings in between.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Stacy has a keen insight into our organization’s identity and goals. She is highly professional, confident, and handles herself well. I enjoy her energizing aura. Based on my extensive experience, Stacy has great listening skills. She’s also taught many people on the board how to listen to other people rather than talking the whole time. Religious organizations involve as much politics as regular corporations, and I can’t say enough about her professionalism handling that.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can’t think of anything they should change. I have never worked with such a top-notch consultant.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I can’t think of any time we missed a deadline. They are usually ahead of the rest of us.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Business Consulting for Nonprofit Organization

“There were a lot of pieces and people to manage, but they got everything in on time.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
n/a
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Apr. - Oct. 2016
Project summary: 

Anchor Advisors led separate retreats for a company’s board and staff to brainstorm ideas and set goals for the next five years. They led discussions and compiled the takeaways into a strategic plan for growth. 

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Amber Martin
Director of Development, H.O.M.E
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Anchor Advisors guided disparate groups of internal and external stakeholders through a generative process that manifested in a valuable deliverable. The strategic plan is still in use two years down the road. Timely and communicative, the team laid the foundation for a future partnership.

 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

H.O.M.E. Is a nonprofit organization that serves low-income seniors and the City of Chicago. As the development director, I'm in charge of fundraising and communications. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Anchor Advisors?

We've used Anchor Advisors for three projects so far. The first one focused on a five-year strategic plan to foster growth and deepen our services looking forward. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We held a board retreat and a staff retreat to define our goals should be for the future. Anchor Advisors led and facilitated discussions with our internal and external stakeholders. They got everyone talking and focused on what our plan should be. Working with a committee of our board, they refined all our ideas and helped us set a vision for the next five years. The primary deliverable was an actual strategic plan that came from that whole process. 

What is the team composition? 

We worked with Stacy (Advisor, Anchor Advisors) in person. About 2-3 other people from Anchor Advisors worked on our project behind the scenes, as well. 

How did you come to work with Anchor Advisors?

We found Anchor Advisors through a referral from our previous executive director, who had worked with Stacy in former workplaces. 

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from April–October 2016. After the strategic plan, we worked with Anchor Advisors two other times. We're not in the current project right now, but we would certainly consider them for the future. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

To this day, we're still using the strategic plan Anchor Advisors helped us create. It's a very workable product. Many organizations end up sticking strategic plans in a corner somewhere, but we actually use and refer to it often. Two years in, our employees and our board are still happy with the product. We're still working towards the same goals. 

How did Anchor Advisors perform from a project management standpoint?

Anchor Advisors was absolutely great. We were in close communication throughout the whole project. There were a lot of pieces and people to manage, but they got everything in on time. We met in person maybe once a month. For everything else, we used phone and email. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

We would definitely work with them again. 

Are there any areas they could improve?

There are none that I can think of. 

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

When Stacy makes a recommendation, go with it. She usually knows what she's talking about. 

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • N/A Cost
    Value / within estimates
    n/a
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Business Consulting for Legal Nonprofit

“They took the time to consider each project carefully and tailor the work to our specific needs.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
May - July 2018
Project summary: 

Anchor Advisors provided long-term strategic consulting for two legal nonprofits. They helped in-house staff prepare materials, met with committee members, and facilitated board meetings.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Lisa Colpoys
Program Director, Institute for the Future of Law Practice
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Their nonprofit advisor was professional, accessible, and had a depth of experience that put everyone at ease. All materials and meetings were well thought out and completed on schedule.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m currently the program director at the Institute for the Future of Law Practice. We train law students in disciplines not typically covered in law school. I also worked with Anchor Advisors as the executive director of Illinois Legal Aid Online.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Anchor Advisors, Ltd.?

My current company just got off the ground and we hired them to help us plan a strategy session for our board of directors. When I was at Legal Aid Online, they worked with us on two strategic planning projects.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Since the Institute for the Future of Law Practice is a new organization, we needed to clarify our strategic direction for the next two years. Anchor Advisors worked with us to plan the session for our board, facilitated it, and provided follow-up support. With Legal Aid Online, they worked directly with our entire board and also with a smaller group who represented the strategic planning committee.

What is the team composition?

We worked with Stacy Reynolds, their advisor for nonprofits.

How did you come to work with Anchor Advisors, Ltd.?

We got a referral from another colleague in our industry. We initially reached out for help with a fundraising strategy, but they proved to be a good fit for other projects, so we kept working with them.

How much have you invested with them?

The past two projects have cost about $30,000 altogether.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our most recent project with them lasted from May–July 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Everybody involved in the strategy session agreed that Stacy was professional, trustworthy, and well-versed in the subject matter. She’s been very helpful.

How did Anchor Advisors, Ltd. perform from a project management standpoint?

Their communication style was professional yet accessible. Whether we met in person or touched base via phone or email, they kept things moving smoothly and ensured that each project was finished on time.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Stacy took the time to consider each project carefully and tailor the work to our specific needs. Some companies will give you generic advice, but she was very thoughtful throughout the entire planning process. She made sure to understand our organizations, goals, and business needs, and then contributed her wealth of experience toward solving our problems.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I don’t think so.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Just hire them. They’re very comprehensive. I’ve referred them numerous times over the years and everyone’s been thrilled with their results.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Consulting for Legal Nonprofit

“They have a broad approach that can generate valuable results in a variety of environments.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Sept. 2015 - June 2016
Project summary: 

Anchor Advisors, Ltd. guided a nonprofit in restructuring their priorities to better address their goals. They provided a document that detailed the plans, allowing the staff to efficiently track their efforts.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Bob Glaves
Executive Director, Chicago Bar Foundation
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

So far, results from the partnership with Anchor Advisors have been promising, eliciting praise from internal staff, board members, and volunteers. The team’s background, expertise, consistent communication, and flexible approach to the planning process made their service a great investment.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the executive director of the Chicago Bar Foundation, a charitable arm of the Chicago Bar Association. We’re a nonprofit committed to unifying our legal community into a system that better caters to those who can’t afford lawyers and, more generally, organizing the court processes to operate with more efficiency and fairness for everyone.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Anchor Advisors, Ltd.?

Our organization’s mission is very ambitious. We’re focused on the Chicago Metropolitan Area, but the reality is that most of society can’t afford lawyers right now, so we’re also trying to make an impact globally.

Every 3–5 years, we schedule a planning initiative, where we determine specific areas in which we can best affect change. We build some strategies that can help us efficiently hone in on those groups. We hired Anchor Advisors to guide us through the process and help us prioritize and restructure our core values and goals.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Anchor Advisors led a series of meetings and retreats for our staff, senior executives, and board members to form a well-rounded view of our organization, its culture, and our goals. The events were very structured, including several helpful and productive team exercises. Throughout the process, Anchor Advisors maintained a perfect balance between providing guidance and allowing us to come to conclusions on our own. They weren’t intrusive, encouraging us to think about certain things without pushing their own opinions.

We came out of the engagement with two main deliverables. The first is a comprehensive timeline of our organization. For one exercise, we mapped out the 70-year history of our company, noting our growth, the impact we’ve had, and our future plans. As part of this discussion, our board members decided to plan a fund drive to help promote our continued success. The event will be built around our organization’s anniversary. The second deliverable is a living document that details a set of priorities for the next few years, explaining how they align with our mission, how we tackle them, and how we plan to measure them.

The Anchor Advisors team also provided the necessary follow-up support. Their team stayed with us to help scope out the work for each of these initiatives and set up strategies for implementation. Additionally, they helped us recruit a few specialists to join development staff to supplement our efforts, walking us through the interview and final selection process.

What is the team composition?

We primarily spoke with Stacy (Business & Nonprofit Advisor, Anchor Advisors Ltd.). For the recruitment initiative, we worked with Brad (Principal, Anchor Advisors Ltd.).

How did you come to work with Anchor Advisors, Ltd.?

They interviewed us while working for another organization that was working through their own planning process. We were impressed by the questions they asked, so we reached out. They described how they operated and how they would approach a partnership with our organization. After we reviewed some of their past work and spoke with some of their previous clients, we decided to hire them.

How much have you invested with them?

In total, we spent around $20,000 on their services.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from September 2015­–June 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We’ve implemented the plans, and so far, the results have been promising. The execution process has been very productive; our volunteers, staff, and board members are pleased. Based on the value we got from their services, it clear that our investment was worth our time and money.

How did Anchor Advisors, Ltd. perform from a project management standpoint?

I’m not an expert in terms of project management, so Anchor Advisors took over in this regard, and they were great. They provided a thorough timeline that outlined the entire process, and we stayed on track throughout the partnership. We spoke mainly via phone calls and email, meeting in person as necessary. They also used a survey tool to gather information and feedback before each retreat.

What did you find most impressive about them?

We’ve worked with other agencies in the past, and we’ve been happy with all of them. Anchor Advisors stands out because they offer a service that can easily be transferred to other organizations. They have a broad approach that can generate valuable results in a variety of environments. This ability is supported by a team of very credible consultants with expansive background experience. They have a lot of depth—an added benefit to partnering with them.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can’t think of anything specific. If there was something we weren’t happy with or we didn’t see eye-to-eye on, we’d handle it immediately. They had a firm hand, reminding us that this process was their specialty, and often they were right. When we strictly said something wouldn’t work, they willingly found a new solution. Overall, it was an effective collaboration.

5.0
Overall Score It was a great experience.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They stuck to our schedules.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The cost was great.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We’ve recommended them several times.

Business Consulting for Real Estate Firm

"Their expansive knowledge is extremely valuable. I highly recommend their services."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
May 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Anchor Advisors, Ltd. provides business consulting services, establishing a stable internal organizational structure to support company-wide growth. Mainly, they advise recruiting, HR, and overall management.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Founder, Real Estate Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

So far, the Anchor Advisors team’s organizational strategies have generated excellent results. The finance and recruiting departments are better equipped to support business growth, delegating responsibilities more efficiently. The team’s level of industry expertise is key to this success.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the CEO of a real estate firm. We work in construction, property management, investment brokerage, and residential leasing.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Anchor Advisors, Ltd.?

At the time, we were a 60-person company looking to scale our business. We wanted to adjust our internal organizational structure, preparing a solid foundation to support us as we continue to grow.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We started with a comprehensive interview where Anchor Advisors asked a series of questions. For example, they asked us how we measured our performance, which none of us could properly answer. With that response in mind, they quickly helped us implement key performance indicators (KPIs), allowing us to manage our responsibilities.

The team also restructured our finance department to better accommodate our rapid growth. In addition, they assisted with recruitment and HR processes and updated our company's vision, mission, and core values to accurately reflect our brand.

Now, they're helping us find a new director of construction, a role that will lead a new department we've implemented internally. Anchor Advisors is leading that campaign and designing the new position's role and responsibilities. 

What is the team composition?

I work with Brad (Business Growth Advisor, Anchor Advisors) and Barb (Business Advisor, Anchor Advisors).

How did you come to work with Anchor Advisors, Ltd.?

We interviewed three people that we found through a Google search. Anchor Advisors outshined the other candidates with their technical abilities, problem-solving skills, and overall potential. We were confident that they could help us realize our vision and meet our goals. 

How much have you invested with them?

So far, we've spent $60,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in May 2017, and it's an ongoing partnership.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Internally, we've improved a lot. Before partnering with Anchor Advisors, our finance group was in rough shape. The staff was talented, but they weren't necessarily working efficiently. Restructuring that department was a huge help, alleviating some stress from the CFO and better allocating responsibilities among employees. We implemented a new hiring plan, which was also very well received. 

In terms of HR, Anchor Advisors taught one of our resources how to phone screen and how to use ZipRecruiter. They also provided several relevant questions to ask throughout the recruiting process. With our improved HR department, we're able to scale more effectively and grow our business. We've landed on the Inc. 5000 list multiple times.

How did Anchor Advisors, Ltd. perform from a project management standpoint?

Overall, they do a great job. The team excels in larger, overarching projects, but when we get into the smaller details, we sometimes lose focus on the big picture. We meet every couple of weeks at a minimum, but communicate via email as necessary.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Because Barb was formerly an investment banker, she has a holistic view of organizing companies and deals. Brad worked in private equity, so he's experienced in buying organizations, restructuring them, and selling them. 

With that background, they thoroughly understand the inner-workings of a company. Their expansive knowledge is extremely valuable. I highly recommend their services.

Are there any areas they could improve?

With everything considered, they're not bad. During one of our specific onboarding initiatives, our chief learning officer (CLO) requested a more detailed approach, but Anchor Advisors, Ltd. didn't deliver. They provided a basic framework, but the CLO had to make several adjustments to get it up to standard. I assume this was because they had a busy schedule and didn't have enough time to address those needs. To avoid this, we've upped our engagement with them recently.

 

 

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We’ve recommended them.

Business Consulting for Startup

“They provide insights that maximize the impact of decisions we make.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
July 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Anchor Advisors, Ltd helped with company growth for two companies. They developed personality profiles and behavioral interviews for candidates and play a major role in the hiring process.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Jorge Newbery
CEO, Debt Cleanse Group Legal Services LLC
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Anchor Advisors opened a new staffing path for the first company and shepherded the growth of a completely new business. They have a broad vision that allows for nuance and are communicative collaborators.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I currently act as the CEO of a company called Debt Cleanse. When we first engaged Anchor Advisors, I was the CEO of another company. They worked with me for both companies.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Anchor Advisors, Ltd?

I initially hired them while working for a previous company. We wanted to grow the business by working on our compensation plans and optimizing our hiring processes. After I started Debt Cleanse, I re-engaged them to help grow my current company.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They provided consulting services across two companies. In the first company, we collaborated with them to refine our compensation plans, interview new candidates, and hire employees. They introduced us to personality profiles and did behavioral interviews with a number of candidates.

However, over the course of the work, I realized that I was better suited to growing businesses at the startup level, so I decided to hire a CEO to take the reins of my previous company and start a new one. Anchor Advisors helped us identify my replacement and design her compensation package. I became Chairman and principal shareholder. As we drafted her contract and engaged her, they also provided valuable feedback.

We disengaged for a while as I built my new business, but I eventually brought them back on to help craft my company vision. They provided input on pricing, design, marketing, and other important aspects of the business. They also helped me refine my ideas and assisted with hiring new employees; again, personality profiles and behavior interviews played a major role in this process. Currently, they continue to provide consulting services.

What is the team composition?

I work with Brad (Principal, Anchor Advisors, Ltd) and Barbara (Business Advisor, Anchor Advisors, Ltd).

How did you come to work with Anchor Advisors, Ltd?

I’m a member of a group called Vistage. I asked the chair of our group for recommendations and she referred me to Brad.

How much have you invested with them?

I pay $4,600 each month, plus a few hundred dollars every time they do a personality profile for a candidate. We’ve spent about $50,000 over the course of our relationship with them.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in July 2017. Our engagement is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The new business is set to launch in a few weeks. We have no revenue yet, but are optimistic about the launch. They have a good instinct for what will succeed and have been a very helpful dose of reality. We feel we can build a long-lasting business that doesn’t necessarily depend on just me to make it successful. We’re avoiding costly mistakes and engaging them was very worthwhile.

How did Anchor Advisors, Ltd perform from a project management standpoint?

Their communication is very high-quality. They are responsive and timely and they’re good listeners. They realize that projects are subject to change and they are open to nuance. They draw on their experience in different sectors and are very thoughtful in their approach. We meet in person at least twice a month. We also email frequently and occasionally speak on the phone.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I’ve learned a lot from them. They’re very helpful and we’ve become personal friends. They provide insights that maximize the impact of decisions we make. They also help keep our vision broad and avoid problems that arise with a narrow viewpoint.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No. Whenever I have a question or a problem, I can ask them and the answer is usually really good. They’re good advisors and they give appropriate input. There isn’t anything I’d like them to do differently.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Their costs are something to consider, but their work is definitely worthwhile and it’s money well spent.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve recommended them to friends and colleagues.