Would your company consider using external business support or advice?
A large proportion of SME’s would say no before even looking into the idea, despite the fact it could be the better option.
Here’s a quick example… I have just returned from a client in Norfolk. They were experiencing problems with their reception team, such as jobs not being done and customers being abandoned in there time of need. The owners approached me, so I reviewed the situation with a fresh pair of eyes. My findings produced a list of issues that needed to be resolved.
Without going into all the details, the changes are being made and they are very pleased with the results.
But why external help?
You may be asking yourself, what’s so great about external help? Why shouldn’t we deal with the issues internally?
Well first of all, working with an external adviser or mentor means you benefit from their unbiased, outside view on everything. Someone from outside looking inside the company is more likely to pick up on any issues/potential issues than those working internally. Like in a game of football, a team performing poorly may not know what’s going wrong, but those on the sidelines may have identified the problem.
Secondly, an external adviser will bring innovation, new ideas and fresh thinking to the company. Internal staff often tend to reproduce the same ideas, whereas someone from outside the company can bring in new approaches and look at things from an entirely new perspective.
Third is experience. Reputable advisers have a wealth of business experience across a range of industries. The chances are they have probably come across issues identical to yours at some point in their career. As a result, they will quickly be able to identify issues, as well as plan and implement long-term fixes.
Still not convinced you will see any positive results from external support?
Here is a great infographic from Enterprisenation. It shows how many companies were using business advice and mentoring services back in 2012, as well as what they were using it for, what percentage had seen benefits and finally, what mentors could do for your company.