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Business Consulting

Business Consulting has become much more widely accepted in recent years.

In the past when a business owner was having problems with his business he would turn to his accountant, his lawyer or a trusted business acquaintance for help.

Today, awareness and openness to hire the services of a business consultancy firm has improved greatly. It’s no longer common opinion that these firms are only meant for large companies. However, as the owner of a leading business consulting company who meets more than 500 executives every month I’m sorry to say that 98% of small / medium businesses only turn to consulting services when facing a crisis!

Most crises are financial; usually it’s one of two situations. The first is where the owner of the business ran into a crisis before and didn’t handle it correctly, so now he’s facing a hopeless situation. The second is the manager who simply made a significant financial mistake. It could be the investment of time and money into project for which he hasn’t received compensation. It’s clear that with proper management either of these situations could have been avoided.

Every business owner opened his business with the desire to succeed. Some wanted to prove to themselves that they could do it and others wanted to prove something to someone else, but all were driven by a goal to succeed. I have not met one manager who said he didn’t want to succeed when he started his business. His intent was clear “I’m going to succeed and nothing will stand in my way.”

Life has a way of introducing obstacles to success. Each manager has a certain energy reserve. Every failure in his efforts to win lowers his energy – the phone call from the bank asking “what’s up with the deviation?”, the employee you’re so dependent on telling you he’s found another job, all these and more bring down his energy. Of course there are also the times he make some positive progress, when he closes a good deal. This fuels the energy, puts some wind back in his sails.

The problem begins when there’s more losses than gains, the energy gets depleted and the manager begins to think that maybe he shouldn’t have gotten into this game in the first place. Maybe it would have been easier to choose the easier game in life, at the level called “employee” … but what is he going to do right now stuck at the level of “business owner”? He has no choice but to confront and defeat the business problems that weigh on him, because even if he clicks “End the Game” he knows the game is not over because there are still the debts and liabilities and employees he has to consider.

Once it becomes clear that the business owner can’t withdraw from the game, he starts looking, like in any adventure game, for the “magic” that will provide him with the tools to beat the Dragons – like a marketing trick that will attract thousands of customers with zero investment. This is typically where the business consulting firm comes in. A good and fair business consulting firm should evaluate the business and it’s owner and determine whether they are suitable for business advice. Not everyone can be helped, although it sounds a little cruel, but unfortunately those are the rules of the game.

The first obstacle to overcome has to do with the subject of help. If a person doesn’t admit that he needs help and that there is not even one area where he is lacking knowledge, it will never be possible to help him.

The second obstacle for a business looking for consulting is whether the product or service it provides has real value. I can expand and describe much more about these first two obstacles, but it’s not really the purpose of this article.

The third barrier that not even the biggest consulting company out there can help is the barrier where the manager, the person who was running the business, gave up and  stopped taking responsibility for certain areas of his business and his life. The problem is often worsen when, as in many cases, the manager himself wasn’t even aware he had given up; he still calls himself the business manager, but is no longer fulfilling the duties of the position.

Responsibility is a big and meaningful word that few people fully grasp. It is not a chore or obligation. Simply, responsibility is a gradient scale that exists in every area of our lives that determines what level of ability we have to be “cause” over that area. When we take responsibility for a particular area, we immediately assume control over the situation.

Responsibility is often seen in a negative context. Some of the reason for this viewpoint goes back to when we  were kids, when our parents tried to “force” us to perform different tasks at home and made sure that we were being “responsible” for them, like taking out the garbage, feeding the dog or watering the garden, without asking if we were willing to take on this responsibility.

Responsibility can’t be imposed on a person. A person must make a conscious choice and willingly accept the task and only then would it be considered real responsibility.

Of course as we get older our responsibilities only increase. Often this responsibility is forced upon us and no one gives us the opportunity to choose, so it’s not surprising that the word responsibility has a bad “reputation”.

For example, a bachelor who wants to meet a girl who sits at home all day complaining about how difficult it is to find good girls, is just showing us that he isn’t taking responsibility for this area in his life and he has chosen to be the “effect” of the situation. On the other hand if he decides that this year he is getting married and he starts to actually do things to meet a girl, such as getting out of his house three times a week to cafes, calling friends to ask if they have someone nice to introduce him to, even engaging in an online dating service  – I can assure you he would have a much better chance of meeting a girl and getting married in the coming year. The only difference between the two examples is the level of responsibility that the person chooses to take in the situation – that’s all!

Sadly, I often see people who spend a lifetime avoiding responsibility for almost everything; most of these people live a very empty and unfulfilling life.

Business Consulting will never work if the business owner doesn’t take full responsibility for his business, the consultation process and even his own personal life. The owner that buys advice or business support and is now waiting for the” Wizard that will save the day”, is setting himself up for failure.

A good business consultant gives the manager the tools and knowledge to help him take more responsibility for areas that until now he was, to one degree or another, the effect of. Only when the manager assumes a position of control in the process will success be certain.

The manager needs to understand that he was and always will be the manager and he has to control the process and move it forward. I always say to each client who starts the consulting process: “Make sure that your consultant keeps up with you and not vice versa” – if the consultant has to push the client to perform tasks to completion, then the potential of each consultation process is small. A business owner who gets a task and the next morning calls and ask ” What’s next?” is on the road to success.

The successful formula for business consulting is this: the consultant provides the knowledge and thus provides the customer with the confidence and ability to perform – what determines the degree of success is the level of responsibility the manager takes.

Look around and see for yourself, successful people are the ones who have taken a great deal of responsibility and control over their lives.

Become a great success yourself!

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