Sep 08, 2017 My Article Published by the RI Small Business Journal – A Consultant Can Help with Small Business Challenges
I am very pleased to tell all of you about an article I wrote that was just published in the August edition of the Rhode Island Small Business Journal print and online versions (www.RISBJ.com). In it, I describe the initial interaction that a small business owner would go through at the beginning of the process of working with a business consultant.
It usually begins with a phone conversation between the small business owner and the business consultant. I try to get enough information to be able to develop a questionnaire that I will use at the first meeting. In that meeting I will try to determine what the needs are in terms of profitability improvement, business strategy, marketing plans, operational improvement, etc. I need to probe and listen a lot. I like to recall similar situations from my experience to see if the small business owner can identify with the issue. This leads me to validate my suspicions about the problem to solve or leads me to more questions.
At the in person meeting, I make a mental list of what the likely problems are – need more customers, improve service, etc. Then back at my office, I come up with an attack plan where I will outline exactly the steps I will go through and what the deliverables are. These could be a profit improvement plan, pricing strategy, a marketing plan, a strategic plan, optimized workflows, a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis, a technology plan or even a project management plan.
Then I return to the client with the action plan and try to gain agreement to begin the paid work.
See the full article on page 13 of the August issue at https://issuu.com/gillantini/docs/risbj_v6_no7_issue_proof or reach out for a reprint.