Now, don't confuse activity with growth. Holding three meetings and replying 100 emails per day does not necessarily equal results.
If you don't want your profits to fall flat, it's important to pull yourself (and your team!) out of the never-ending loop of "busy work".
So here's how I overcame this problem... I invested in business coaching, so that I had someone to hold me accountable and keep me and my team on track.
Think about it this way: we often get attached to our teams, and find ourselves making excuses for them. Your consultant, on the other hand, can assess the situation objectively, and make the tough but necessary decisions.
Now, hiring a great consultant doesn't come cheap, so it pays to make sure you get the right fit for your company. Here are three questions that you can use to decide if a consultant you're interviewing is "The One:"
1. Does the consultant ask a lot of questions?
Let's say you're meeting with a consultant for the first time, and they come in, all guns blazing. They start talking strategy, they promise you results, and they've even got a detailed proposal for you at the end of the meeting. If you don't know any better, you might be impressed... but these are actually the guys whom you don't want to work with. Here's why:
There's no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to business, and your consultant shouldn't be pitching you a generic strategy right off the bat. Instead, they should be asking you a shitload of questions about your business and customers to understand where you are at first. Only then will they be able to come up with an effective, targeted strategy.
2. Does the consultant understand the root of your problems?
Many business owners focus on fixing surface-level problems, but the job of a consultant is to get you to look beyond that, and help you uncover the root of your problems. That's how you will effectively address the problem, and not just apply a bandaid solution.
For example, let's say you're not getting as much sales as you'd like. A not-so-great consultant might fix the surface-level problem by recommending that you replace your sales reps. An awesome consultant would do a deep dive and find out that the real problem is on your marketing campaign that is not warming up your leads properly.
3. Does the consultant also focus on the "why"?
Apart from telling you what steps to take, your consultant should also be able to explain why these steps are important. At the end of the day, it's all about selling the vision.
There's no two ways about it - the consultant needs to get the buy-in of you and your team. If your team doesn't see the value in whatever the consultant is recommending, you can bet that things are not going to get done.
Business coaching is all about getting that fresh perspective. As business owners, we put our blood, sweat and tears into our business, which makes it hard for us to look at things objectively.
Consultants, on the other hand, come in detached, and can provide certain insights and recommendations that we would've have been able to arrive at on our own.