In a recent article of the Financial Post Entreprenuer, Jameson Berkow shared his views regarding when a company needs to consider seeking help from outside resources, how consultants can support growth and how to find the right resource. Excerpts of the article follow. To read the entire article click here.
Who needs outside resources?
“The bottom line is great ideas make for great startups, but great companies require something more. And those great startups who think they can become great companies without any help from outside their own walls are risking the very lifeblood of their business. In my experience, those are the ones that fail.”
Why do companies hestiate to use outside resources?
In the article, Eric Morse, associate dean of the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario who comes from a consulting background, contends small businesses are reluctant to go out and find a consultant despite outside professional advice being an important part of the growth process.
“Most small startups obviously can’t afford the McKinseys,” Mr. Morse said. “They have different issues and different price points, so finding an independent consultancy that has a really good sense of the sector . can be very successful.”
How can consultants help?
Originally looking for some specific advice related to growth, Quadrangle (architectural firm) quickly found Mr. Rowley Mossop’s (consultant) usefulness to be much broader than expected. “We started using Rowley primarily to help us with our strategic plan,” Mr. Curtner said. “But now he has become such an integral part of our team that he is helping us in a variety of ways, whether it is in training, helping with marketing training, some creative writing, and we did a brand audit and Rowley was part of that team as well.”
“What Rowley was able to do better than anybody, and maybe this sounds trite, was to draw it out of us,” Mr. Curtner said. “That is really the key. He helped us to say things that we couldn’t have articulated ourselves.”
How to find the right consultant?
Simply asking for word of mouth recommendations can often lead to the ideal consultant, said Ronen Tal, a business analyst at Innovia.
“Looking to your own network of colleagues, clients and acquaintances is an excellent starting point,” he said. “There is frequently a wider variety of experts there than one would ever expect to find.”
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