Small business execs need to do homework before outsourcing
By Leanne Hoagland-Smith April 6, 2013 8:06AM
Leanne Hoagland-Smith. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media
With the economy still struggling, many small business owners to even C Suite executives are outsourcing roles to maximize profitability.
This is a proven business growth strategy provided those vendors include an assessment before embarking on any solution. Without the assessment, this can be a very expensive joke to the business.
Small business consultants -- including organizational development, social media, training and development to sustainability -- who provide solutions without first engaging in a formal assessment are committing malpractice. If you disagree, consider this.
You have an ongoing headache. Finally enough is enough and you schedule an appointment with your physician. You meet with him or her and share the story of your illness. All of a sudden your physician is scheduling you for exploratory brain surgery without any MRI, X-rays or other medical tests. You may be asking if this doctor is joking. Who in his or her right mind would undergo this surgery without any diagnostic assessment?
As a small business owner or executive, why would you ever consider any solution that did not include an assessment? If doctors believe in the use of proven diagnostics, consultants should, too.
While diagnostics add some dollars to the overall investment, the inherent value is that diagnostics can provide much greater clarity about the problem.
Over the years, I continue to have sales meetings with small business owners or sales professionals who have a “sales problem.” Within 15 minutes, I can usually summarize the inability to increase sales is a symptom while the real problem is inconsistent executive leadership, ineffective marketing, no profit model to a lack of internal processes just to name a few.
Through different assessments, both organizational and individual, the client as well as the consultant can gain clarity regarding the best solution. The incorporation of a diagnostic assessment is a proven strategy and tactic to ensure the dollars are directed to the right solution for the right problem.
Most organizational challenges can be channeled into one of these three critical business growth categories:
The good news is there are a plethora of proven diagnostic assessments to work in any of these areas. The bad news, from my experience, is that far too many consultants fail to include any proven diagnostics. This failure helps to explain why repetitive problems keep happening and sustainable solutions continue to elude so many small businesses.
If you are not happy with your small business results, then stop with what I call the insanity tunnel (holding onto past practices) and begin your next solution with a proven assessment. If you expect your physician to provide you with diagnostics, shouldn’t your consultant, small business coach or trusted adviser do the same?
P.S. Shout Out – Great breakfasts are to be found at Big Wheel in Hammond and LePeep’s in Valparaiso.