Seeking TherapyBy Lynn Haber | Posted 2008-07-07 Email Print
When the business gets messy, solution providers turn to consultants for help.
It can be lonely at the top, so where does the CEO go when in need of strategic business guidance?
4-Profit also hammered home the importance of always recruiting the best talent and having a solid customer service department. "The value of working with consultants is the philosophy they lend around sharing best practices," says Heitner.
The fear of being perceived as weak for having outsiders peek under the company sheets is why many solution providers won’t engage consultants. But for small-business owners, including the brunt of solution providers, working in the business rather than on the business can prove fatal, or nearly so, as Schram discovered.
One step ahead
Working with a business consultant wasn’t on Eric Dykes’ radar screen until a few years ago when he heard Service Leadership's Dippell speak about managed services at an industry conference. Dykes is president of United Technologies Group, a company he launched in 2004 and which sold its first managed services contract in 2006.
"We embraced the managed services model and stayed in touch with Service Leadership for a few years to bounce off ideas, stay abreast of what we were doing and throw out red flags," he says. Today, UTG has 13 employees and more than $3 million in revenue.
In 2007, Dykes brought in Service Leadership on a more formal basis "to understand mergers and acquisitions in our space, understand financial reporting, and for an assessment of our current situation," Dykes says.
With large vendors, such as Dell and Microsoft, for example, asserting themselves in the SMB space, Dykes believes it’s imperative to be educated and ready for risk. "This is no time to turn a blind eye," he says.