Every business owner knows the stresses and strains when there simple is not enough time to achieve what he or she needs, that is why I like B. C. Forbes quote.
“The most successful executives carefully select understudies. They don’t strive to do everything themselves. They train and trust others. This leaves them foot-free, mind-free, withtime to think. They have time to receive important callers, to pay worthwhile visits. They have timefor their families. No matter how able, any employer or executive who insists on running a one-man enterprise courts unhappy circumstances when his powers dwindle.”
So what happens when the project is a one time affair, like a re-structure, large changes, ISO9001? There are times when it may not be feasible to find or pull in the expertise in house and the benefits of using a consultant far out-way the costs. Now I can anticipate some of the instant reactions and historically I feel the word consultant equated to necessary evil sometimes. Certainly in the engineering industry I never met anyone that wanted to look for outside help; “they won’t understand the way we work, they will force us to do it their way, it is too costly and too disruptive” are just some phrases I remember. It is for these reasons I never wanted to label myself as a consultant – I became an expert, a specialist or I just help people I would say.
I wrote this blog because I believe consultants have a purpose, pick a good one and they become a mentor and a friend who wants to see you succeed. It should be someone you can work very closely with. Use a consultant wisely and they can inject new life into your business, lately I have been hearing the term “you are like a breath of fresh air” from many different people and it is slowly dawning on me what they mean. My personal quest is to educate and help individuals use that knowledge to their advantage, with extra guidance and support from me. So what are the benefits?
- A consultant can provide expertise & advice that you do not have in your skills base
- You will have a completely impartial view of the situation – a new light
- A consultant can ease conflict and enter a situation as a non threat
- You will gain extra time that it may not be feasible to release staff for
- You can depend on them to co-ordinate and facilitate changes leaving you free to focus on the business
- A new communication channel to fire up innovation
- You can inject expertise for the term of a project without having to employ someone at that skill set
If you need help just identifying what you should think about before even looking at a consultant just get in touch and I can help you with your questions and brief. Most importantly meet them, trust them and like them you need to work closely together. You will need to commit time and energy into the project together.