When it comes time to hire a consultant for your business, intentions and expectations are high. The business need is great and the consulting firm is solid, but in the end, the results are unsuccessful and unsatisfying. How did hiring a consultant go bad?
Here’s a common scenario:
You are a successful yet overworked business owner (not a stretch). Imagine that you recently invested a portion of your annual budget ($40,000 – $120,000) into the hiring of a consulting firm specializing in one of the aforementioned areas. These consultants spent months at your business, interviewing key members of your team, studying your established processes, and even engaging in frequent Q&A sessions with you in order to finally hand over a sleek, fancy binder stuffed with their recommendations.
Having just spent the equivalent of an employee’s yearly salary for such advice, you immediately make the time to leaf through the binder, devouring every word. You are immediately pleased by the breadth and depth of suggestions and overall quality of work housed between the flaps.
But seeing as how it is nearly 8:00 pm on a Friday night, and you’ve already worked somewhere around seventy hours for the week, you decide to think on the suggestions over the weekend and place the binder in your credenza…where it languishes for months.
Not one of these owners ever intentionally fails to follow through. These are very smart, engaged, active owners that have real expertise in their niche market; yet they fail to act upon the document they invested significant resources in both time and money to get produced – and it sits there unused!
The majority of the time, this failure isn’t due to incompetence or disengagement, but is the result of one, key person being pulled in too many opposing directions. Even the most active owner with savant-like niche market expertise needs help instituting big organizational changes.
Imagine the frustration of recognizing the need for help, spending weeks or months vetting consultants and agencies, negotiating parameters, settling on price, setting timelines, dedicating appropriate personnel and resources to this project that will inevitably disrupt day-to-day operations, finally receiving the report, and then being unable to act upon the recommendations in a timely manner because of the various demands on your time.
It might sound like a simple problem to avoid but it happens all the time. To learn how to avoid this pitfall, and others, download our eBook ‘Why Consultants Are A Waste of Time And Money’.