When I first saw this picture, I said to myself that it describes the consultant's destiny remarkably accurately. No matter how brilliant ideas you, as a consultant, might have, the main difficulty is to convince your leads or clients to listen to you. Listening is the easier part. Your client and their team need to execute the actions you agreed on. Otherwise, there will be no results at all.
Our daily life is terribly busy, and we are not willing to interrupt our stereotype unless it is absolutely necessary. Staying with the "good old" can be ok, if the old system still works. You might be missing new opportunities or higher revenue, but actually, nothing critical is happening.
On the other hand, there are many businesses having serious issues in management, operations or marketing. They keep doing their daily tasks the same way as always, but unfortunately, in the quickly changing environment, it might not be enough anymore. If you are spending much more money than necessary, or you miss a lot of opportunities, or your clients are leaving you, it is time to stop for a minute and think.
To stop and think about your own work and business might be much more challenging than it sounds. It is extremely difficult to see the big picture from inside your business. It sounds to be perfectly clear, but unfortunately, the experience shows many entrepreneurs and managers like doing the same mistakes over again.
Why and How is consulting useful?Consulting
cooperation should start with the business explained by the client. It is beneficial to summarize as many facts as possible, such as - the number of sales, conversion rate, traffic statistics, targeted group of clients - gender, age, location, interests, education, etc. Further, it is necessary to understand the competition; everything the client can tell us about his niche is valuable. However, the consultant is ought to do his/her own research. The initial analysis is essential for all the following steps. Without the proper data, it is similar to being blind and trying to drive a car.
The next vital step is to define the goals of cooperation and discuss possible ways how to achieve them. At this stage, goals are more important than the way towards them. It is not as easy at it sounds. In online business, majority of the business owners will tell you they want more traffic. But this is not a very well defined goal. If you sell donuts then thousands of visitors interested in weight loss are almost useless. You would be happy while looking into Google Analytics and seeing the nice traffic numbers, however, your business will still struggle.
A consultant is supposed to guide you through these issues and make you think about the whole process in more detail. We can keep the example of driving more traffic to your website. There are many ways how to do that with different costs and time effort. PPC will have an immediate effect on the traffic. As mentioned before, it might not be enough to make some actual sales. SEO might be expensive, and it will most likely take weeks to see any results. However, these results are more stable, the traffic will be better targeted, and no monthly expenses occur again.
Video marketing and Social media marketing might have no direct impact on traffic. It depends on the clientele and the way of shopping in your niche. However, there is a significant impact on reputation and conversion rate.
A skilled consultant should provide not only a lot of new ideas and connections to other niches, but especially help you create a system to achieve the goals. Not everything has to be perfect from the first minute and expecting miracles is naive. However, if you have a system in place, you can evaluate every step and make improvements. On top of that, you can learn from others if you know what to search for.
Summary and Conclusions
People like stereotypes. Many claim they don't, but they might not realize that stereotype brings a kind of safety feeling. If you know what is going to happen, you feel more comfortable than trying the unknown. This is, however, a double edged sword. If your model does not work well, staying with the "good old" is a way to failure or total desperation. Many times, the required change is so small that it is silly not to do it. Sometimes, the only required action is to change your way of thinking.
An experienced consultant will provide a helping hand and guidance that might establish a entirely new way for your business and personal life.
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