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WorldsCoolestExterminator
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are your thoughts on paying a consultant business/marketing advice? What areas are most needed for a consultant? What part of your business could a consultant help with?

I feel like they have a place but with so much free information, I don't know if the time saved is worth the money traded. OTOH, I've never tried it so maybe they provide enough value that they actually pay you to work. Ex: If a consultant could provide $100,000 in sales for $10,000 then it's a no brainer.

Your thoughts:
 

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Talking Head
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5,388 Posts
I've had some experience with consultants. My feeling is that people usually only hire the consultants that tell them what they want to hear so you're really paying for someone to pressure you to do what you already know you need to do. That's an oversimplification, of course. Some consultants can draw on previous experience with people in your line of work to help you meet more accurate benchmarks.

Either of those scenarios can be helpful but you need to actually be committed to the change. You might find a peer business group, such as a Mastermind or S.C.O.R.E group, just as effective and a whole lot cheaper
 

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WorldsCoolestExterminator
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've heard a lot about consulting and my first reaction is 'no way, do it yourself'. But then I kinda get the voice in the back of my head that says, we tell clients 'don't do it yourself, get a professional' and then we do the opposite.

I prefer the business strategy/marketing/tactics aspect of my business way more than the actual work on my business (that's not a indication of quality, just my personal preference) . So I'd be hard pressed to hire out that sort of consulting. But I'm sure there are accounting consultants or hr consultants that could be a huge resource and help in areas that I don't have a desire to learn more about but know are important.

I guess a better way to word my question is.... would you consider a consultant and for what reason? Can you imagine that hiring a "pro" could be as beneficial to our businesses as we are to our clients homes?
 

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Banned
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What are your thoughts on paying a consultant business/marketing advice? What areas are most needed for a consultant? What part of your business could a consultant help with?

I feel like they have a place but with so much free information, I don't know if the time saved is worth the money traded. OTOH, I've never tried it so maybe they provide enough value that they actually pay you to work. Ex: If a consultant could provide $100,000 in sales for $10,000 then it's a no brainer.

Your thoughts:
Consultants come in all shapes and sizes. If there was an area to focus on I'd suggest you have someone help with your marketing. However, I can only assume your company is in need of marketing consulting based on the fact that a large number of professionals in our industry seem to lack the latest in marketing strategy.
 

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Marketing Consultant
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35 Posts
I think it all boils down to R.O.I.
If there are areas of your business you feel could benefit from some expert advice, you probably arrived at that conclusion based on performance history, and you should have a pretty good idea of the kind of obstacles you are facing.
As long as you have a clear goal and a good idea of what you want to accomplish, I think it is a good idea to hire someone who is committed to delivering the results you expect. Only then you will have a good return for the money or time invested -- because as someone else in this thread pointed out -- there is a lot of free and low cost quality help available.
 

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I think first you need to identify the biggest problem you have. From there you can prioritize.

Couple of years ago when I was scaling my business, I realized I needed more leads to expand. I put a huge push in marketing (hiring consultants etc) and now I have created another problem, streamlining communication between my growing team. I think it depends where you are in your companies life cycle.
 

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Hiring a consultant is just a form of outsourcing. If you are competent and have time then do it yourself. Most contractors, including myself, don't have the time or the inclination to handle marketing well. So, I contract it out. If I wasn't busy I might do it myself but my time is better spent on operations, personally. Bottom line is that it is an individual situation play. If you do outsource though, don't do it on the cheap (see comment on Small Business Development Council). Get the right person that knows what they are doing.
 

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I've consulted for home improvement companies before and there are a few things to consider:

1. The more defined the scope of your need the more effective we can be. Otherwise you'll pay me for the time it takes to figure out where my time is best utilized. Think "I want a sales methodology to assist my sales team in transitioning from EDDM, home show, and referral leads to canvass leads" as opposed to "I want a program to help my sales guys close more"
2. Consider your ROI. Discuss how much more revenue you can generate vs the investment. I know a company that invested over $1M in a sales consultant. They would have to see an increase in sales of $10M to recoup that. ..good luck.
3. Does the consultant have a background and successful track record in that area. The aforementioned company was a canvassing window company. The consultant never sold a window in his life let alone a canvass lead...hence the problem.
4. How will the consultant be utilized? You said marketing. WAY broad. Creating a marketing strategy? Creating a campaign? Collateral? Making the connections for you? Block time? On call?
5. How will the consultants help impact other areas of your business? Example just this month a guy says, "I want a canvassing program: Ads, job descriptions, comp plans, training modules, performance tracking, etc. I'll roll it out myself." "No problem....can you handle the data coming in?" "Yeah. I just need a system." Guy calls back. "You were right. We've got to many contacts coming in...I need a call center"...okay. BAM! Guy calls back. "My guys are struggling with canvass leads. Can you train them?" My point is that a small investment can turn into a headache if you don't anticipate the ripple effect or take a question your guy asks you seriously.
6. Be ready to hear things you don't want to hear. I'm not there to be your friend or agree with you. I'm there to help you reach whatever goal you have and sometimes you won't want to hear the truth.
 
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