Frustrated small business owners frequently reach out to me after months, even years of failed attempts to fix their problems. Problems vary; some struggle to expand their customer base while others struggle to improve efficiency within day-to-day operations to increase their bottom line. One of the first questions I ask when meeting with a new client is “What have you done in the past to remedy your problem?” Almost always the business owner lists off a series of attempted strategies that are either identical or only slight variations of one another. All too often, business owners invest time and money in a “solution” that has proven to be ineffective time and time again. When I question these practices I hear responses such as “I couldn't think of any other way of doing it,” or “it’s worked in the past; I don’t understand why it isn’t working now.”
It is easy to grow complacent in one’s work; people struggle with it constantly. One of the biggest advantages of hiring a small business consultant is your business gets a fresh, unbiased mind working on your issues. Consultants are highly skilled in developing creative and unique solutions to problems. We are natural problem solvers. Paired with the experience gained while working in a variety of industries, consultants have an arsenal of problem solving techniques up their sleeves. Analytics and creativity should be equally used when coaching any client. Additionally, in my practice, I strive to develop strategies that are not only effective but also budget and environmentally friendly.
I encourage all of my clients to be open-minded to alternatives rather than continue with mainstream techniques. The marketplace is constantly changing; businesses must maintain adaptability to be sustainable long term.