Thank You for Asking

You have come to this site to learn if Third Nature’s approach to business coaching is right for you or a business leader you know. We’re happy to answer the questions we frequently hear from people in your situation, to help you make an informed decision about talking with us.

What is Third Nature?

Third Nature is a small business management coaching, consulting and advisory firm, founded in 1998. We help our clients generate sustainable improvements in their business results. This happens as we expand the talents that are second nature to them—and led to their initial success—with third nature business management skills and systems.

Who is Third Nature?

Dave Bruno serves as the principal coach and consultant to Third Nature’s small business clients. In addition, we draw on a core group of proven and skilled professionals when a client needs specific expertise to meet the objectives we set. Here are some examples:

  • Quick Books systems
  • Financial and cash management systems, processes and practices
  • Project management processes, practices and systems
  • Product lifecycle management
  • Inventory management and control systems, processes and practices
  • Product costing
  • Distribution systems and management
  • Marketing communications planning, tools and integration
  • Business-to-business sales, marketing and sales management
  • Pricing strategy

What is Dave's professional background?

Dave brings over 35 years of professional business management experience to Third Nature’s small business clients. He began his career with Xerox Corporation and later moved to mid-sized organizations in positions of senior marketing, sales and general management. Dave has been a business coach and consultant since 1987. Click here to learn more about his expertise and philosophy.

What kind of small businesses do you work with?

We are most successful with companies that have these characteristics:

  • Headquartered in the Chicago metro area
  • Established small business
  • Reached a performance level that can no longer be effectively sustained
  • Struggling because of more “moving parts,” such as customers, revenue, employees, products and financial obligations
  • Experiencing chronic challenges in getting to the higher performance its leaders desire
  • Straining to move to the next level of business development and an expanded, scalable and higher performing “comfort zone”
  • Business leader feels stuck and stumped in his or her efforts to move to sustainably higher performance levels or to remedy a clear decline in the business

How does Third Nature define a small business?

From our perspective, this is an organization ranging from a sole owner up to 20 “active stakeholders” and revenue up to $5 million.

How does Third Nature begin working with a client?

Our typical engagement begins with a no-cost diagnostic process, which we call Snapshot. We do what no other business coach does: spend up to 30 hours on a discovery and diagnostic process. This spotlights the company’s current business situation and clarifies the desired results we will accomplish if we choose to work together.

After completing this process, we have a good sense of whether or not there is a “fit.” If there is, then both of us will sign a Letter of Understanding and Engagement and begin addressing the three foundational pillars of business success. If we decide not to proceed, there is no obligation and we wish the company well on its journey.

How do your services differ from other consulting firms?

Small business management coaching and consulting is all we do. We’re so committed to working with the right business owners and companies, that we invest the time up front—at no charge to a potential client—to determine if this is right for both sides.

This is a unique professional relationship. It involves an unusual blend of specialized individual coaching and team-based business consulting. The goal is to produce uncommon and sustainable improvements in the business. Companies generally do not see this result with traditional business consulting services alone.

How much do Third Nature's professional services cost?

All of our engagements are customized to meet a client’s specific needs. After completing the complimentary Snapshot pre-engagement process, each side has a clear view of the bottlenecks and opportunities we need to address. That allows us to develop a price based on a mutual understanding and agreement about what we intend to accomplish, how this will be measured, and the duration of our work together.

In addition, we build specific controls into the agreement to ensure no “project creep” artificially extends the relationship—on either side. This eliminates a problem that is all too common in traditional consulting engagements.

May I speak with some Third Nature clients about their experiences?

Yes. You may want to begin by viewing the video on our home page, where Jeff Newcorn, CEO of R. Jeffrey and Associates, talks about what it has been like to work with Third Nature.

Our work is highly confidential. However, if you are seriously considering a relationship with Third Nature, we can connect you with one or more clients who have agreed to share their stories and results.

Do you have other questions? Contact Dave to discuss them today at 847-690-0338 or