Michael Nelson

Hi, I'm Michael Nelson and I make life easier for small business owners through small business marketing mentoring and improved strategy and automation.

Welcome and thanks for viewing my profile!

“Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.” Albert Einstein

“Business has only two functions - marketing and innovation.” Peter Drucker


Michael Nelson is known as the most sought after small business marketing and strategy coach and consultant.  He is famous for creating wildly successful digital marketing and strategy programs that also skyrocket the value that businesses deliver to their clients, without being complex or costly. 

Our clients have included music labels, internet start-ups, construction companies, financial firms, graphic design shops, music producers and musicians, fitness studios and many others. They have seen their digital marketing results soar, the value of their businesses climb and have saved on key resources such as time and money.

I founded The Cogent Consulting Group in 2006, am a Managing Partner of Centripetal Network Consulting, which we founded in 2013 and I am a Managing Partner of the soon to launch Curatti. These platforms have given me the privilege of working with some truly outstanding people as co-workers and clients.

I’ve also been honored to serve on the Staff of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, provided strategy consulting to the Executive Office of the President of the United States, written several publications on small and mid-sized businesses, and recently my blog was identified as one of the top 10 resources on the Internet for marketing information relating to small and mid-sized businesses.

These experiences, as well as my lifelong history as an entrepreneur, have helped form my passion for helping SMBs thrive. I delight in working with organizations where immediate impact is a decision away and nimble operations are the name of the game. It’s immensely rewarding working with companies, seeing their trajectory rise, new jobs created and options opening up for owners.

To receive complementary copies of my three best selling books, visit: http://bit.ly/143Gx3D

If you’d like to discuss your marketing and business growth with three experts, we offer a one hour session preceded by a brief questionnai

Michael Nelson's Background

Michael Nelson's Experience

Partner at Cogent Consulting Group

April 2006 - Present | Washington DC

o Designed small business marketing program targeting increased revenues of 50% annually while reducing stress and hours worked for owners. Authored over 100 articles and handbooks for small businesses. o Created an enterprise operations business process model integrating services, processes, technology, and data relationships. Recognized as crucial to maintaining stellar growth in a challenging economy and results have become the backbone of all future analysis. o Designed and piloted a Program Management process to support a public firm's Portfolio Management Office. Led to creation of a Records Repository program. o Conducted analysis of procure-to-pay environment for public firm to facilitate rationalization of IT portfolio, determine future funding requirements and priorities, and consolidate processes. Resulted in savings of over $2M annually. o Created a program reporting structure for the SBA analyzing existing data, modeling processes, and creating a measurement structure and reports supporting strategic goals. Efforts labeled as instrumental in saving the program by the program director, a McKinsey alum. o Led team conducting a CIO Assessment for a large consulting firm. The effort to define the as-is state will provide an initial savings of over $1M annually with greater savings generated as the interrelations between business processes and systems are mapped and modeled. o Led Business Process Management program spanning a $50 Billion agency and was liaison with C-Level sponsors. Managed teams of 20+ in 4 discrete projects. Defined and sequenced 15 projects for the implementation plan. Personally recognized by Agency Commissioner for transformational successes. o Acted as proposal manager and writer for multiple partner firm proposals. o Created savings of $500,000 annually within the transportation department of a high-growth firm via a Lean Six Sigma project and increased measurable productivity by $1,200,000 annually.

Director at Customer Value Partners

2010 - 2011

I am a Director at Customer Value Partners, a boutique management consulting firm with a mission of dramatically improving our client's Organizational Development, which we deliver with a focus on Voice of Customer and an intention of creating enduring value. I lead the Operations and Performance Management practice for the firm and we currently have clients at the highest level of the Executive Branch, the State Department, the State of Mississippi, etc. Our three primary solution areas are: Strategy and Performance Management, Organizational Resilience, and Grants Management. o Strategy and Performance Management: we align strategy, budget and performance and enable organizations to operate effectively and efficiently. We also offer a range of IT enablers suitable for a variety of organizational maturities. o Organizational Resilience: we ensure that your essential functions work, rain or shine. We execute Continuity of Operations and Business Continuity Planning projects including assessments, plan reviews, managing programs, and organizational design. We cover the key elements; policy, standards and performance, and infrastructure. o Grants Management: we assisted the State of Mississippi in distributing disaster relief funds quickly and accurately with transparent and audit-ready program management. I have recently created a partnership with Sopheon to incorporate Accolade(TM) into our solution offerings. Accolade(TM) is a software tool that can be added quickly to an existing environment (local or hosted) and enables ideation, strategy and roadmapping, and program management and incorporates a performance and reporting capability that covers all modules and integrates with MS software.

Principal at SRA International, Touchstone Consulting Group

March 2007 - October 2007

Trusted adviser to senior Federal and DoD clients. Facilitated solutions to "wicked problems" which have no clear ownership, funding, chain of authority, etc. Create lasting strategic solutions to significant challenges facing various organizations. Business development roles from informal meetings and needs analysis to major ($240 million) RFP responses. Solutions created involving Strategy Development, Change Management, Communication Plans, Organizational Design, Process Improvement, Performance Measurement, and Knowledge Management. Created mitigation plan to support organizational relocation (BRAC) including: survey analysis, knowledge management, process mapping, organizational design, change management, and communications.

Operations Director at Professional Jet Management

April 2000 - March 2006

Planned and executed operations and missions with C-level client executives on behalf of $12.5 million aviation management corporation. Trained and led 10 employees and directed purchasing, maintenance, transportation, and budgets. Created domestic/international training manuals and conducted crew resource management and process improvement classes. Standardized procedures across functional areas and developed program/project management functions at company. Recognized as organizational resource on strategic planning. oSaved $2 million per year by pooling maintenance resources among clients and bringing outsourced maintenance in-house. oReduced planning time 50% and maintenance time 75%, and achieved $20,000 in annual fuel savings with introduction of operational planning system. oManaged projects producing $32 million aircraft, $2 million interior completion, and $2.5 million heads-up display. oKey role in acquisition of 2 additional clients increasing revenues by $5 million.

Worldwide VIP Transportation Officer at CMC Flight Section USMC

January 1997 - April 2000

Managed worldwide operations planning to support top military and government officials. Directed 12 personnel in mission execution and equipment maintenance. Served on review board evaluating status of all aircrews. Coordinated global transportation functions with domestic and foreign representatives. o Saved 500 man-hours per year by implementing planning technology. o Implemented process improvement function and trained crews from other branches. o Devised overseas mission planning processes adopted as organizational standard. o Integral in research/selection of next generation of transportation aircraft. o Achieved zero failed missions during more than 3 years.

Planning and Operations Officer at USMC

January 1996 - January 1997

Planned and drove operations and preventive/onsite maintenance worldwide for organization with 250 personnel and 14 aircraft. Administered training program and advised commander on aircraft operations. o Doubled average daily aircraft readiness rate from 3 to 6 and optimized supply chain to reduce aircraft grounded due to unavailable parts. o Successfully recommended aircraft rinse facility to correct corrosion problems. o Realigned schedules and enhanced efficiency to reduce Saturdays worked from 75% to zero.

Marine Air Group 36 Logistics and Supply Officer at USMC

June 1994 - January 1995

Managed logistics and supply for 2,000-member organization, overseeing 80+ technical experts, 300+ subcontractors and $50 million worth of supplies across multiple warehouses. Also directly managed Hazardous Materials disposal, IT and an armory with 2000+ weapons. Prepared strategic plans and ensured optimum transportation and deployment. o Transported 1,800 people and 400 tons of supplies between Japan and Korea for first full organizational deployment since Vietnam War. o Directed return of more than 10,000 personnel from Korea following exercise. o Restructured warehouse to minimize loss and enhance equipment issue efficiency. o Redesigned facilities for arrival of new aircraft and support personnel.

Human Resources Officer (MAG-36 S-5) at United States Marine Corps

January 1994 - June 1994

Coordinated all HR department functions, including training, drug testing, equal opportunity, and sexual harassment resolution for 2,000-member organization. Led 10 employees and standardized HR programs. o Built department from ground up to organizational standard in 6 months. o Created weekly HR newsletter distributed to over 20,000 personnel. o Established key volunteer function to provide information to family members.

Michael Nelson's Education

Duke University - The Fuqua School of Business


St. Olaf College


Concentration: History

Michael Nelson's Interests & Activities

Small businesses, entrepreneurial activities, strategy, technology, history, soccer, woodworking, hiking, and international travel