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Every Business Can Use a Hand

This may seem like tooting my consultant horn but I wanted to share this story and some compelling observations.  It starts off with the typical referral to a small business that is struggling with sales, marketing, operations… basically direction. Morale is low and customer experience is not tracked.  I sit down with the owner who runs the show and begin the question and answer session to find out the details. I am appalled at the state of disarray and potential risk the business owner is completely ignorant of. We dive into his personal Pandora’s box and uncover many problems and few glimmers of hope. He rattled off answers in a dejected tone and comes across as beaten down. At that point I stop, wait and ask, “Do you really love what you do?” He said, yeah. “What made you start this business?” He spent 15 minutes talking about his original ideas, how great they were, his marketing strategy, beta customers… on and on. I stopped him in mid sentence and said, “Looks like you have all the answers to correct this situation.” He looked at me puzzled. “You need to rediscover your drive and get back on the right path, the rest will take care of itself.” He said, “really?” I replied, “are you ready?” He nodded and immediately sat straighter in the chair, took a deep breath, eyes began to sparkle, and he leaned forward. “How do we start?”

Business Consulting is StrategyGet a “Good” Consultant

This story is played out in many offices, boardrooms, coffee shops, and on kitchen tables every day. The common theme is a gutsy small business owner becomes lost in the daily grind and loses touch with what made his business great. Enter a “good” consultant. I mean “good” not a hack looking for cash. Stimulation, direction, formatting, processes and brainstorming lead to rekindling of the fire and the business is off.  All this sounds great on paper. What happens when the rubber meets the road?

What to Watch

Evaluate the following areas of your business and decide if they are adequate: revenue growth, operational standardization, risk avoidance, work force stability, product development, sales and marketing efficiency, and intellectual property. These are just a few of the critical areas in a business but positive change in any one category can create immediate value within the business.

Sales Operations Example

Let’s just focus on sales operations. If you are experiencing high employee/contractor turnover, low morale, lack of team work, theft, disorganization, poor reporting, lagging sales, inability to delegate, and troubled account management, then it’s time for you to bring in an outside resource. All of these symptoms come from poor company structure and can be immediately corrected with frequent meetings, clear communications, influx of technology, and adjustments in roles and responsibilities. In many cases the results will be simply astonishing. Ask yourself, “are you ready?”

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