Updated: Sep 29
Was it the title that made you click? Sorry- I don't believe that. I do think some consultants are a waste of money. I think there are a lot of funny jokes about consultants. And I think they/we are a necessary part of the economy that saves people from reinventing the wheel, time and time again. And I am glad you clicked.
So is a consultant worth the money? If you find the right consultant- absolutely. They should save you money.
Have you ever gotten in the car and started driving in the wrong direction? If only you had used Google Maps! Now you have wasted time and gas, and you are frustrated. Now imagine doing that on a larger scale- investing your savings in a business that is on the wrong path. You can't always just turn around and begin again. A good consultant won't let you go down the wrong path. How do they do that?
Consulting is about meeting people where they are and guiding them toward their goals in a very personalized way. Everyone needs something different. A good consultant has to have a knack for personalities and psychology. They need to identify how you work and what drives you. If you are not cut out for the role you are crafting, at some point that will catch up with you. It is very important to be honest about your abilities, skillset, likes, and dislikes, to avoid procrastination, and ultimately a struggle- or worse, a business failure. It can be very hard to analyze oneself. Having "a mirror" can be invaluable. "Oh mirror, mirror on the wall. Which road leads me to a sustainable business that will make me feel satisfied?"
A good consultant will go through the myriad options for moving your business forward. There are always multiple paths. Knowing which path is best for you often takes the insight of a person who has been there, done that- and can match-make your personality with the right business structure and find the best role for you.
Strong communication is imperative- you want a consultant who will be forthcoming and deliver hard messages and then balance that with sparking insights and motivation. You should feel challenged from time to time, and you should feel that other perspectives are being presented. After turning over each stone, you should be able to move forward with confidence that you are on the right path. And that's when you dive in and take the plunge. Maybe that looks like getting the loan, starting your ad campaign, or hiring your first employee.
A consultant should have the ability to see the bigger picture and how all the moving parts come together. This is obtained through experience. A consultant who hasn’t run a business can’t intimately understand the pressures of wearing so many hats simultaneously. Small start-up businesses require delicate balancing in order to beat the odds and thrive. A good consultant teaches you how to think about your business, leaving you smarter and more prepared- not dependent.
Making mistakes in business is almost always costly. The value of one sentence's worth of guidance can be equivalent to months or years spent pursuing the wrong path and an unlimited amount spent- on a mistake. Do you know those moments of "hindsight clarity"? “If only I knew then what I know now…?” A good business consultant’s fee is an investment that pays for itself multifold. It saves time, money, and preserves morale. A good consultant provides invaluable insights only gained through having walked in your shoes. Yup! Those big start-up shoes.
The beginning is a crucial time. You are setting up the foundation for the business that will carry it for years. So yes, being on the right path is crucial. Most of us don’t have the luxury of paying to redo mistakes and clean up oversights.
So what’s your idea? Have big shoes to fill? Book in for a free consultation. What’s the worst that could happen? Oh- yeah- you never start... Hey- don’t be that guy.