1. Do not rely on a consultant to “do it all” or “run your business” for you
Consultants are a great source of industry expertise and up-to-date best practices. However, nobody can be an expert at everything, or replace a business owner’s unique vision and specialized knowledge.
Consultants are a great source of knowledge and experience. However, they also have their weak and strong suits. Consultants’ work also requires management. After you hire a consultant with knowledge in the areas where you want improvement, you need to direct them to those areas and work together with them. This team approach is capable of improving even the most challenging situations.
A dangerous trend is to bring on a consultant and then renounce all responsibility, allowing a consultant to operate your business for you. This is a mistake. Being an effective consultant does not make one a vested, caring and competent business operator. The latter is your job, and yours alone. All key decisions remain your responsibility, and all risks remain yours as well.
2. Use the consultant with maximum understanding of your specific field
“One size fits all” solutions, or strategies borrowed from other industries, often do not work for your particular industry, especially if your challenge is specific to your organization.
Hiring medical technologists, for example, has different challenges than hiring nurses or secretaries. Infection control in a medical laboratory is different from infection control in the operating theatre.
Acquiring laboratory instruments is certainly different from acquiring vital signs monitors or medical furniture.
There is just no substitute for relevant specialty knowledge. Accept only the real deal.
3. Insist on useful, relevant, actionable information
A man taking a ride on a hot air balloon was lost. As he was flying over a group of people, he shouted “Where am I?”
— “You are on a hot air balloon!” was the answer.
Although the answer was technically accurate, it was useless and the man continued his flight. Then, he saw another group of people below. Again he shouted “Where am I?”
— “You are about 50 feet above the ground, and about 300 feet above sea level!” was the answer. Again this answer was technically accurate, but useless. The man kept flying, and before long happened upon a third group of people. Exasperated, he screamed “Where am I?”
— “Your coordinates are 56 degrees and 11 minutes of Northern latitude and 37 degrees and 23 minutes of Western longitude!” was the answer.
When seeking advice, request actionable solutions. You came to a consultant with a challenge; after the consultation, you should be equipped to effectively deal with this challenge. An experienced consultant will tailor the advice to your unique situation, optimize the solution and offer implementation guidance, or (if appropriate) implement the solution for you.
For example, a hot air balloonist could have asked “How do I get back to the hot air balloon port?”
4. Get some free labor out of your consultant
Sometimes, consultants offer a free assessment of your case. We do even more than that. When you call us, we will perform a FREE audit and a diagnosis of your case. Then, we will offer you a FREE business plan to get you moving in the right direction. This is an all-benefit, no risk offer. Give us a call at (876) 678-5898 today!