I know what you are thinking. Why do I need a consultant? I know my own business better than everyone else! An outsider has no clue what I deal with. Plus, that consultant will charge me money to learn my own business. And if I do choose to work with a consultant, how will I know if the ideas will work? And will he or she keep things confidential?
These questions, comments and concerns may sound logical, but the truth of the matter is, top businesses in every field engage consulting services. And guess what? That’s why they are the tops in their field. They realize several things:
• We all become very subjective in our thinking and get used to things the way they are. We are afraid to get out of our comfort zones and into our challenge zones.
Consultants will challenge the status quo. They will ask you smart questions that will get you to think about why you do the things that you do, and the way you do them.
• Successful consultants consult for a variety of firms in their chosen field. So, they have seen what works, what does not work, and what may work for you.
• Every catering company has issues that have gone on way too long. These issues are costing their firm lost revenues and bottom line dollars. No firm is exempt from this.
• There is no harm in admitting that we can do better. I’ve been catering and producing events since 1968, and I know that the biggest room in the world is the room for improvement. I have worked with a consultant in the past three months whose advice has saved me tens of thousands of dollars for only a $1,000 fee.
Bill Hansen presents at Catersource 2017
There are also issues that you cannot discuss with your team, and if you’re like me, I don’t like involving my family. Who else can you talk to and get good, objective advice?
If I were to ask you to invest $1,000 with a 75% probability that a consultant could either increase your revenues by $10,000 in a year or save you that amount, would you move forward? I know I would. That’s somewhat of a no brainer. And that is a normal rate of return for businesses that invest in consulting services (if the hire the right consultant and that consultant can identify their challenge).
Every firm should consider allocating funds for consulting services in their annual budget. The return on investment can be off the charts. For example, if you are a one million dollar per year catering firm and you budget half of one percent for consulting (about equal to $5,000 for the year) and you would reap a return of $50,000 in increased revenues or decreased costs, would you think that would be a good investment? That’s up to you, but it’s something to think about.
Parting shot: Think about one problem that you would like to fix in your firm, then check out the site certifiedcateringconsultants.com. I’d suggest you email or call managing director Carl Sacks and he will hear your issue and help you find the right consultant—maybe it will even be me! It’s that simple. We all have one major issue that’s been bothering us. Maybe 2017 is the year to fix it.
Bill Hansen is the CEO of Bill Hansen Luxury Catering and Event Production.