Let’s talk about “insights” for a second. As with any situation we have information. We have two buckets we are usually concerned with, what we know and what we don’t know. In management consulting, we hope to provide you some insights on the third bucket, “What we don’t know, we don’t know”. This is the stuff that we never knew existed. Our past experience is different from yours and your past experience is from ours, which makes us all unique. What we hope to do is just bring a different focus on the situation that will result in a positive result.
What we call “management consulting” is really nothing more than someone else’s view on how managers manage their business. Typically, in our experience we are called in to assist companies with their marketing efforts and what we find is there are some other things going on that they could also use help with. For example, they could be having personnel issues or business model issues, or in some cases they want help in raising private equity or even planning on an exit of the business.
Business model issues come up ALL the time. They are not easy to solve. However, I do see trends. The trends are to provide your clients with low risk/high value solutions and products, so that they will continue to come back for more. Often problems occur when we do not do the research and “ask” the client what it is that they really want and what will provide them value. Too often I have seen talented companies create and deliver products that the market couldn’t care less about. So it is a lot cheaper to bring in a management consultant to shed some light on the subject and bring things down to reality. We all love passion, but passion can be like love. Love is sometimes blind and it can sometimes get us into worlds of heartache and bliss.
More often than not we see fearful managers going into the “unknown.” Going into the unknown brings uncertainty and risk, whether it be a financial investment as simple as attending a trade show or as complex as selling the business or buying a business. What we attempt to do is add additional information and insights to the situation, so the manager can make a better decision on how to approach the situation. We want our clients to be confident when making decisions and not second guessing themselves or their teams.
As Warren Buffett says, “Stay away from credit cards, and invest in yourself.” I think what he is really talking about is negative debt vs. constructive debt. Negative debt is like buying the expensive company car and constructive debt is like investing in a new lead generation or a training program that you will help you grow your business. Here is another quote that seems like it can be applied to many situations, especially in marketing, “Test fast, fail fast, adjust fast.” — Tom Peters