It’s not easy asking for help. Maybe even harder is admitting that you need it. But the fact is, at some point in your business you’re going to reach a point where you’re not going to be able to see the forest for the trees, and bringing in outside eyes will be the smartest decision you can make.
If you’re a smart business owner, you’ll realize that bringing in a consultant isn’t even a sign that you need help—rather, it’s a sign that you’re ready to take your business to the next level.
Consultants don’t stick around long if the advice they give doesn’t work. They are experts in areas of business.
Think about it. You know your business like the back of your hand—after all, you built the thing. But a consultant may have seen 101 businesses just like yours, and over the course of years has amassed more information about what’s worked and what hasn’t. Are you telling me that you don’t want to hear what he or she has to say?
The following excerpt is from my new book, “Uncomplicate Business: All It Takes Is People, Time, and Money.” The book comes out in October 2015 and is available for preorder at HowardFarran.com.
Excerpt: Consultants exist because they work. Modern day economies are so efficient that people who don’t provide value for the price usually don’t stay in business very long. Many entrepreneurs are arrogant because they know what they know and they know they’re “successful.”
Yet as I like to say, you know what you know, but you don’t know what you don’t know. You live inside your business. You know everything about your business. What consultants bring to the table is the knowledge they have gained from observing scores of businesses within your vertical. What works and what doesn’t work tend to trend across a sector. …
Recently I sat with a couple of dentists during lunch break at a dental meeting. They were commiserating, sharing war stories from “the front.” I figured the two were good friends, because they were talking about some major problems they were having in their offices. One dentist asked the other how her office scheduled patients, admitting that his days contained a host of frustrations. There was no rhyme or reason to how his scheduling coordinator organized his day. His practice’s production was nowhere near where he thought it should be.
The other dentist listened and then recommended he hire a consultant.
It took me the first two years of running my practice to realize I didn’t know it all. Although my team and I had already doubled our annual income, I brought in Sally McKenzie, a consultant specific to dentistry to help me streamline my management systems. I knew it was the only way to bring my business to the point where I could reach my goals and thoroughly enjoy going to work everyday.
Her experience proved invaluable. I lived all day long in my dental practice, while Sally lived in up to a hundred dental offices day in and day out, year after year. She enabled me to look at my practice more objectively by telling me what worked and did not work for all those other offices.
Years later I brought in top consultant Sandy Pardue who took my already successful business to even higher levels.
I cannot stress this enough; the service of a consultant is time wise and cost efficient. …
Consider your own business. Aside from simply feeling things should be better, there are a number of tangible indicators that could benefit your business were you to bring in a consultant: increasing sales and customer retention, as well as reducing your overhead and employee turnover.
Perhaps you are missing specific measurements to evaluate your employees’ performance, or your bonus and reward systems are not targeting the specific actions and behaviors you’re looking for. Perhaps your current job descriptions need clarification.
A consultant can help you with all this and much more. Consultants can save you time and money.