Transformation: stepping out of the circle.
“My how you've grown!” Grandparents, aunts and uncles, and old friends notice the change.
It's much easier to spot growth when you only see a person occasionally. They are comparing with a mental image from the past, so change is obvious.
Using the support of an external consultant brings you this advantage. Meeting monthly for instance, they notice things that business owners and managers don't.
That can be very useful – most business owners are very busy within the business. Perhaps working very hard to improve things, but surrounded by To-Do list problems. And staff are surrounded by their routines. It's very difficult to separate the woods from the trees.
separate the woods from the trees...
With their viewpoint, consultants are likely to spot opportunities that owners do not. They may see unused assets and ask if more use can be made of them. They can offer different ways to achieve the same goals – easier, cheaper or quicker.
And that can help you change gear, which can sometimes be surprisingly valuable.
“My perspective has changed. I no longer run myself ragged every day. I used to assume I had to operate the machinery because I would ever find anyone else as skilled as me. I lived in a fog of urgent-jobs-to-do and much as I wanted the income, I didn’t want the pressure.” said Toby Beardsall of Beardsalls Stationery in Shanklin, Isle of Wight.
“I had originally said I couldn’t manage any growth, I just wanted to improve profits. But now I’ve shed those assumptions, I’ve been through a seismic change. The horizon looks completely different from above the fog, now. And opportunities seem to be arriving all the time.”
All transformations start somewhere. It's nearly impossible when we are spinning in the circle. Often we can only identify that first step in retrospect. This shows we are capable of more than we think.
...or the trees from the woods?
Finding outside help to separate the trees from the woods can change the problems you work on and therefore bring in new answers. And that can start you down a whole new path towards exciting goals you'd perhaps never thought possible.
Call it what you will – consultancy, mentoring, coaching – it can trigger transformation.
Support for Thriving Businesses
While the obvious place to support the economy is with start-ups, it has been said that supporting scale-ups generates more jobs, more exports and even more ambition.
Government research shows that most businesses gain from external consultants and are already secure in their business-building journey. They have successfully developed control of their operations and of their market.
New impetus to review and reinvent* your business plans comes with the perspective from outside the woods.
* see previous post 'How To Reinvent Your Small Business To Get Going Faster'