What We Do
Sterling Associates is a boutique business research and consulting firm operating out of Cleveland, OH.
We help clients identify, prioritize, and answer the key questions that underpin business decisions, including strategy development, potential investments, salesforce effectiveness, new market entry, and other initiatives.
Each project is designed to address the specific and unique issues our clients face.
We are a generalist firm–our work covers a wide range of industries.
These values are the foundation of our success. They are Sterling’s DNA—not platitudes. They shape our approach to our work, our clients, and each other.
We deliver high quality insight
We work very hard to deliver the best information and insight to our clients. We engage as thought partners and bring relentless curiosity to our research efforts—we take the challenge of answering client questions personally, and we’ll go the extra mile to make sure we do.
We continuously improve
We are always working to build a better approach—better processes, better methods, better outcomes. Rather than asking a version of the question, we strive to ask the best version of the question. We have structures in place to ensure our people develop as professionals through training and feedback. We reject complacency.
We are flexible and nimble
As a firm, as teams, and as individuals, our size and skill set enable us to pivot quickly and effectively when new challenges arise. If we encounter a roadblock, we will find another way.
We build through trust
Trust is the foundation of our relationships, both internally and with clients, vendors, partners, and research participants. We build this trust through respectful, professional interactions, integrity in our process and our results, and transparent communications.
We are truly a team
Everyone pitches in at every level of the organization. We work together towards common goals. Each member of our team takes ownership and accountability for their role in ensuring the best outcomes. We compete collectively, not amongst each other. We promote camaraderie and confidence—without ego.
As we learn, we adapt.
Good researchers need to be nimble. Sometimes, initial findings reshape client priorities or suggest a change of course. If we think the original plan is no longer the best plan, we say so.
Teams that flex.
We’ve designed our organization to be fast, efficient, and flexible. A core consulting team is staffed for the duration of a project, and they are supported at different phases by our Outreach and Market Interview teams. These groups help us surge our primary research capacity and access personas that the expert networks can’t.
Transparent, flexible pricing.
Clients appreciate our transparent pricing model—where dollars are linked to specific work streams—which allows them to easily add or subtract from the initial project scope.
We’re curious people. Once we engage, we want to get to the bottom of an issue—we want the answers as badly as our clients do! Our clients get genuine thought partners.
We call it like we see it, whether the information is favorable or unfavorable. And if we can’t draw a firm conclusion, or if our experience leads us to doubt a result, we say so.
We focus our reports on what matters most to our clients and at the level of detail they want to consume. Our output ranges from highly comprehensive slide decks to summary level documents, based on client preference and the nature of the project.