Ford changed the face of the automobile industry forever when they created the manufacturing line. Instead of relying on one person with a little expertise in everything, they formed a team in which each employee was an expert in just one thing. This idea was a tremendous success, and I appreciate that there is a lesson to be learned from its success.
I will never be an expert in everything; I can’t possibly know the ins and outs of tax law, audit law, tax software, AND accounting software. There are not enough hours in the day. I can do one thing, and I do it very well. Ok, maybe two things, but it’s important to become the ultimate expert in area number one before shifting focus to other subjects. I will never try to fix my air conditioner or put down my own carpet because I want it done correctly the first time. Time is the most precious thing we have as owners or consultants, so instead of wasting tons of it reinventing the wheel, hire a consultant. The right consultant will help you get the job done properly and efficiently.
Finding the perfect consultant will take some research. With a little homework, you’ll discover true experts in your field of interest. Be sure to look for vendors with customer service awards and recommendations from large institutions. These people have experience and great referrals to back it up, so you can have faith in them and their ability to get the job done. Keep in mind that grade-A experts are going to cost slightly more, but these seasoned veterans may actually save you money by getting the job done quickly and without issue.
When you are ready to reach out to a consultant, take a deep breath and shake off any pent-up grievances about the job at hand. You will want a consultant who wants to work for you, so making a good first impression is key. Walk into every consulting relationship with an open, positive, and respectful attitude.
It’s important to remember that consulting is not an opportunity to employ cheap labor. You are hiring a skilled professional to do a job better or faster than you could do it yourself. The best consultants in the business will have enough clients to walk away from rude or unfairly cheap potential clients. I find that reasonable rates make us more inclined to write off time, while low rates ensure that the client gets billed for every second dedicated to their project. When you recognize the value of a consultant’s time from the beginning, they will be more supportive of your goals and attentive to your needs throughout the consulting process.
In the end, you will never be able to do everything yourself. However, you can hire experts to help you. They can help get your company on track or to take it to the next level. Consultants will get the job done better and faster than you could by yourself, leaving you without a headache and with more time to focus on the area where you’re truly number one.