Don’t Be Afraid To Hire A Business Consultant

Don’t Be Afraid To Hire A Business Consultant

By Stacy Karacostas – Thu, 10/07/2010 – 3:14pm.

Yesterday, I was interviewing guest expert Jim Norris on a teleseminar on the subject of creating your own Peer Advisory Board. And he made an interesting but right-on-target statement that, “In larger businesses, hiring consultants and contractors to improve your business or strategies is perfectly normal and accepted. But most entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and small business owners see that as a sign of weakness or failure.”

Maybe that’s because hiring a consultant is often a last ditch effort to save your business when what you’ve been doing hasn’t worked. Really, getting help from experts, coaches, consultants and other experienced entrepreneurs should be part of your formula for success right from the start (Let’s face it, very few entrepreneurs know much about actually running and growing a successful business when we first start out!).

It might also be, in part, due to most entrepreneurs’ inherent do-it-yourself ethos. It’s their business, and they’re going to do it their way. As a result, many would rather use the trial-by-fire method and see for themselves than take anyone’s advice.

That’s just silly. Trying to reinvent a perfectly good wheel is nothing but a waste of time. It’s better to find someone with experience who can show you exactly what works and what doesn’t. Then you can always tweak it to suit your needs.

Finally, I think there are some entrepreneurs who just don’t want to admit they’re struggling—even to a coach or consultant. It’s that whole “fake it ‘til you make it” mentality taken way, way too far.

Okay people…If you’re struggling to grow your business, you have got to get over these issues…Ideally before you’re exhausted, out of cash, and on the verge of giving up!!

Because asking for help is not a sign of weakness or failure. It’s a sign of intelligence and forthcoming success. And it’s the best way to shortcut the process and skip a lot of the struggle.

I know every time I’ve hired a coach or consultant, or signed up for a high-priced training session, my business has taken a huge leap forward!

While it’s awesome if you can afford to hire a consultant or business coach on an ongoing basis, not every entrepreneur can. So below are five ways to get help that range from free to serious investment. All can be worthwhile. But you do often get what you pay for.

1)      Create your own, structured Mastermind Group or Peer Advisory Board that meets regularly to offer each other advice and support

2)      Join an existing business support or mastermind group

3)      Meet regularly with another entrepreneur at a similar stage in business to exchange ideas, or even co-work (get together to work on your own separate projects so you have someone to give you feedback and bounce ideas off of)

4)      Hire an experienced consultant or coach with a proven track record for just one hour to help you gain clarity, get answers, and create a plan for going forward

5)      Invest in a multi-week group coaching program

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