Are you allergic to consultants?

Are you allergic to consultants?

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Over the years, I have worked with many clients who managed to grow their businesses, often with a difficult change at some level. They all managed to do it successfully and achieve their goals. However, they all had had experience with consultants who came and told them what to do and, as a result, they abhor the word “consultant.”.

Consultants’ reports and presentations are sleek and stylish. Afterwards, they disappear and leave behind a huge bill. If their recommendations don’t work so well, it is easy for them to claim that execution, not strategy, is to blame.

I think this approach doesn’t work for small businesses. The job of a consultant must be to repair things, develop a strategy that actually makes a difference and be responsible for the execution.

Small businesses don’t need consultants for everything. But they need dedicated experts, these are their main traits.

1 – Dedicated experts have experience working for large companies and small businesses. They know what works and what doesn’t. They understand the pressure on business owners and senior decision-makers and how that pressure affects their daily decisions, whether it is a small family business or a major change in a multi-million pound product portfolio. They can put their proposals into practice for you.

2 – Hiring just one person can be enough. Their skills can extend into many overlapping areas of entrepreneurial expertise, such as strategy, marketing, business development, restructuring and financing. This means you can make smart decisions without endless meetings with large groups of people.

3 – They are open, honest, knowledgeable and committed to making your company a success. They are ready to work hand in hand with your company at the deepest employee level. They stay when you need them.

4 – In times of business growth it is easy for companies to spend money on flawed marketing plans, product launches and campaigns. You can avoid this approach and focus on proven strategies that deliver maximum return on investment (ROI).

5 – Profitable expansion can be good news for a company. However, it can also lead to growing pain when the business needs to be redesigned and reorganized around different goals, products, services and customers.
Experts can empower you to plan ahead so you can prepare for these additional challenges in advance. In this way, you can adapt, avoid the pressure of unforeseen consequences and protect the morale of your employees. With their help, you can also make your profitability more sustainable.

Try to find someone who asks questions without giving answers. This is a good sign that they are more focused on how to solve your problem than on making a quick dollar or a quick escape.

This post was also published as an article on SME Insider and on the Great British Entrepreneurs Award website.

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