Success Starts Small - Observations and Advice for Small Business Owners
You get what you pay for – so use it!
How many of us go to a restaurant, look at the menu, place our order, then go to the kitchen to tell the chef how to make it? Or we get on a plane, put our bags in the overhead, and then go up to the pilot to tell him that we can just fly ourselves? Or head to the salon, put on the apron, sit in the chair, then grab the scissors from the stylist and start cutting?
Nobody, right? That’s just crazy. Because you are paying someone to do what they are trained to do: cook, fly, style. Even if you have experience in the field, you are still deferring to them at that time to do the job you are paying them to do.
I find, however, as a small business consultant, I am often hired, paid and begin working – only to have clients want to do parts of the job they are paying my team and I to do for them.
In many of my blogs, I talk about the “passion” of small business owners. It’s the passion to their service, business, product or brand that makes them successful. But sometimes that passion spills over into areas that negatively affect their results.
Example: One recent client hired us to take over marketing for them. They use an internal system to create a client database. One goal we have is to create an email system so we can reach all their clients at one time with announcements, updates, etc.
The owner assured me that we couldn’t export a list of her clients and email addresses properly. I set up a time that I could go to the office, log in and start poking around the system. After I did that, I went to do some research on the software & system. Sure enough – it could be done and I planned to head back the following week.
Then I got a call from the owner, “Ok. So I had Denise* start going through all the clients and making a list of their emails so we have them. She spent yesterday and today doing it, but it’ll take her a couple of weeks.” *changed name
Obviously, I told her to stop having Denise working on it and that I had it handled.
The morale of the story? The owner was paying me to do a job – trust me to do the job. Just like a pilot, chef or stylist, the goal of every consultant is to have the customer be happy with the result of our efforts. We research, train, and practice what we do every day. The owner wasted time, money and energy having Denise do a job we were being paid to do.
And this happens again and again. Owners letting that “passion” leak through to effort. Almost feeling that they are somehow lacking in skills or desire if they let someone else do parts of the job for them. But, that’s why you hire consultants in the first place – to do the things they are good at doing.
So, if you trust your judgement enough to pay a consultant and reward them with a contract, trust their ability to the job. You’ll save yourself time, energy and money in the long run.