There was a day when starting your own business, growing the business, and thriving was accomplished by lone wolves. Independent, hard working people who rejected help and prospered. Today it is a different world. Everything changes faster and everything is more complicated. Business owners can no longer just open the storefront or office and expect the phone to ring. You can no longer take out a Yellow Pages ad, or put an ad in the local paper and think that that will drive your business. Word of mouth is now Twitter, Facebook, and who knows what. And this ignores government regulations. The lone wolf who rejects the need for help is becoming extinct.
So if it’s not a matter of “if” it is now a matter of who—or how you should get help. Old school instinct says that you need a relationship with an accountant and an attorney but when you have a leak in your plumbing you don’t call a carpenter. Accountants and attorneys still have a very vital role in the success of small business but they cannot fill all roles and their misuse can be an expensive mistake. The role of management consulting has become more and more critical. Articles and testimony abound (including some posted on this blog) to the fact that a disproportionate number of successful companies utilize the services of management consultants. Be aware however that it is not a “one size fits all proposition.”
Simply hiring a management consultant is like hiring a general manager—you will get what that person can offer and little more. Everyone has limitations—you do, that is why you are seeking help. The same applies to “experts.” Don’t be lulled into thinking that a person is smarter simply because he lives out-of-town. The old consulting axiom is that their perceived value is equal to their knowledge times their distance from your door. In fact, what owners need is a local person with whom they can develop a relationship. Someone who can be a mentor, a coach, a consultant and a friend. Someone who understands their business, the local environment and can give objective, third-party advice. This however limits the scope of their contribution to their own skills. So how do you get the best of both worlds? A local person and the advantages of a larger firm with greater resources and a greater breath of persons with specialized knowledge? This was the challenge of The Fremont Group.
The Fremont Group has addressed this issue through the use of a single person who becomes your confidant who is supported by a staff of persons with specialized expertise. You benefit by having an on-going, long-term relationship with a lead person and by having access to the skills of numerous consultants. This package is put together and designed to work within your budget. Compare the cost of hiring a full-time manager with a competitive salary and benefits that you have to pay every month—even after they have contributed to the extent of their abilities—to the investment in an advisor relationship that can be turned up or turned down to match your needs.
A one-time fix may be a one-time answer, but a relationship is the way to achieve the results that you deserve.