You can’t be an expert at everything
Knowledge is plugged directly into your business
You gain fresh perspective and objectivity via collaboration
Change can be facilitated quickly and efficiently
So what are business consultants good for?
I remember how, in the early stages of my business career, the phrase ‘business consultant’ would conjure up images of huge day rates, confusing language and fast-talkers who didn’t ever quite ‘get’ what we were trying to achieve.
I realise now that this feeling was due, in part, to my inexperience and lack of confidence in the process, but that’s still how I felt. And if a consultant isn’t prepared to take their client on the journey, it’s how many early-stage business owners will continue to feel: confused and unconfident.
I was put off business consultants back then by another factor: a repeated lack of real-world experience. None of the consultants I encountered had ever started a business from scratch! But if your advisor hasn’t walked through the fire themselves, how on Earth will they know your pain and your obstacles, let alone how to surmount them?
Consultants are often ‘all theory, no business reality’. No thanks.
Broadly speaking, good business is about creating certainty in an unpredictable environment. It’s undeniably tough and sometimes outside expertise is essential.
To invite an outsider into your business to help you manufacture this certainty is a huge leap.
With that in mind, my personal interpretation of ‘consultancy’ is to earn trust, build partnerships and develop mutual understanding.
I work hard from the outset to create clarity around the following:
- The client’s purpose, motivations and desired outcomes.
- The business’s purpose, motivations and desired outcomes.
- The relationship between the two and how they influence each other.
With this established, and utilising my 16 years’ experience, we can start to build in effective strategy, planning and milestones to progress the business landscape and tackle present and future challenges.
Questions to ask yourself:
What is the risk attached to not bringing in an outside eye and practical experience to my situation?
What is the cost of solving any challenges or problems through unguided trial and error?
If the problem is solved, what else can I spend my time on to progress my business?