For more than twenty five years, Paul Jermain has served as a consultant, teacher, and coach to a diverse group of individuals interested in starting, improving or growing small businesses.
Following a successful five year stint in industrial sales, Jermain started consulting while enrolled in Penn State’s MBA program. After graduation in 1986, Jermain was recruited to participate in Nortel Network’s executive development program. Jermain’s initial assignments at the Dallas headquarters of this global telecommunications equipment provider involved marketing communications activities such as collateral development, and trade show and special event management. While the environment was dynamic, Jermain quickly grew restless and offered his consulting services to outside agencies to more actively participate in the growth of area organizations and companies. In 1987, Jermain worked with the North Dallas Chamber Of Commerce staff to implement a portfolio of new small business programs, and served as a consultant to the Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) to assist clients interested in starting new small businesses and accelerating the growth of existing ones.
In 1988, Jermain transferred to the Norstar Division of Nortel, a start-up established to aggressively compete for small business telephone equipment sales. During Jermain’s eleven year tenure with Norstar, he delivered extraordinary results across a broad spectrum of areas, including: competitive analysis, market research, sales incentive programs, public relations, advertising, technical training, strategic and annual planning, channel management, and new product introductions. From 1988 to 1999, the start-up division grew from a position of monthly losses to annual revenues of $.5B.
In spite of the time demands that characterize any successful start-up, Jermain became involved, early on, in providing services outside of the company, serving as a business consultant to private companies, and SBDC and SCORE clients. Over his eleven years of small business consulting, Jermain offered sound business advice to hundreds of aspiring and established small business owners. And, during this period, Jermain was tapped numerous times to deliver small business seminars, relating primarily to marketing and business planning. As a Nashville Chamber Of Commerce industry team member, he was actively involved in the launch of the Chamber’s first wave of small business-related programs. And, in 1998, Jermain was selected by Chamber management to co-lead the widely recognized Kaufman Foundation’s FastTrac Business Planning Program to a group of forty small business owners. The program, an unparallel success, was considered a benchmark by other organizations interested in providing small business education in their local markets. In addition to the aforementioned activities, Jermain also served on the board of the Nashville Incubation Center, a small business center affiliated with the local university.
In 1999, Jermain left Nortel and during 2000 he served on the management team of Linx Communications, a VC-backed telecom services startup. After introducing a number of innovative and effective marketing approaches during 2000, while serving as the director of marketing, Jermain left to start Jermain and Company, a successful independent consulting practice providing business planning and marketing consulting to companies in a variety of industries.
In 2001, Jermain became more deeply involved in consulting and teaching small businesses through involvement with the Entrepreneurial Training Program (ETP) sponsored by the state of Massachusetts. The twenty week program, established in 1989, was designed to train people in how to create effective business plans to launch new businesses and improve the growth of existing ones.
In 2003, Jermain, working as a consultant to Commonwealth Corporation, a quasi-public state agency responsible for ETP program implementation, spearheaded the introduction of the program into the Merrimack Valley area, in partnership with North Essex Community College. The program, currently still delivered in partnership with NECC, is characterized by a high number of successful new businesses, with approximately 70% of the start-ups still in business after two years, a reversal of the normal business statistics in this area
Since 2003, Jermain has worked with over two hundred entrepreneurs involved in retail, service, and manufacturing businesses to enable them to create effective business plans which have led to the successful launch, or re-launch, of their businesses.