“Hired Guns” When you absolutely, positively need a solution!

By Steve Header

Hired guns IV credit illustrationsource (4)

Credit: illustrationsources

Like the gunslingers of the Old West – they appear out of nowhere, save the day, and then just as quickly disappear into the sunset – Business management consultants are the hired guns of the small business world

Entrepreneurs start a business because they have a passion for what they do, and usually are quite good at what they do; and want to make a living at what they’re good at and enjoy doing. Then why do 50% of small businesses fail within 5 years?

Is it because they chose the wrong product, field or industry?

Nope. That’s not it. According to the Bureau of Statistics, Business Employment Dynamics – the rate of failure after 10 years is approximately 80% for all businesses across all industries (see below), and that statistic hasn’t changed for 20 years!

chart 1

Why, or perhaps a better question is, how is it possible that 8 out of 10 small businesses will no longer be in existence 10 years from today? We’re talking about the most passionate, the best of the best, the best bakers, the best carpenters, the best fill-in the blank; in every industry, in every economy and in every political landscape.

The answer 
The answer is simple. What is the one common thread in entrepreneurship that has no connection to any one product or field or industry?

For instance, take the hypothetical example of a renown neurosurgeon who has a 100% patient recovery rate. There is little doubt she is the absolute best at what she does, but would she know how to administer the anesthesia? Could she perform the surgery and monitor the critical life support equipment? Could she even tie her surgical gown, search for the next instrument or dab her forehead, and still keep her concentration? Of course not. Her focus would be diverted in so many directions that her true passion for saving lives would soon be compromised.

Yet, this is exactly what most entrepreneurs are trying to do with their small businesses. They are the best at what they do, but many lack the support staff or skills necessary to run their “operating room” efficiently. They are lacking the business management component required in today’s uber competitive marketplace.

This is not to say they do not have the ability or gravitas to succeed and should hang-up their metaphoric scalpels. On the contrary. Granted, they could go back to school and study for their MBA or find a successful business and get tight with the managerial staff for a few years. Or they could hire a business management consultant on an as needed basis.

Level the playing field
All large businesses have full time business management consultants, they just have different titles, such as: product managers and directors. Unfortunately, most small businesses will not have the budget for a full-time product manager. Oh, but take heart, because this is the exact scenario for a business management consultant to ride in and save the day.

Business management consultants normally have formal educations, most have MBA’s, and at minimum 5-10 years’ experience working in a business environment. They have been trained and conditioned to spot areas of concern that are or could become roadblocks. From simply “how the books are managed” to a “convoluted competitive strategy.” Uncovering these flaws early can potentially save entrepreneurs huge $$$ and more importantly, save their business from the 80% statistical going-out-of-business sale.

Small business management consultants are like “hired guns.” They can be hired for one month or one hour depending on your need. When your problems have been identified and corrective actions ascertained, they are no longer part of your payroll. And, if you ever need them to save the day again, they are but a text or phone call away.

Published 29 June 2017