Why I hired a consultant: Confessions of a serial loner
I hate asking for help. Anybody out there identify with that? My business depends on other people asking for help, and just like many other business owners I struggle to do so myself.
I recently began a branding process for my business. After a couple of weeks I was deep in a rut. I kept cycling through four ideas. None of them were any good. I decided to hire a firm to help with the process, and it has been an amazing process.
Today, I am opening my brain to you. Here are the four reasons that I hired a consultant:
1. To get a solution to a problem
I had a problem that I didn't have a solution for. Could I have come up with a solution to this problem on my own? Sure, eventually. Would it have been a good solution? Maybe. Would it have been the best possible solution? Probably not. By turning to an expert in their field I not only was provided with one possible solution to my problem, but an array of solutions. I was able to choose the best of a variety of solutions to the problem that I faced.
2. To save resources
Hiring outside help comes at a price. Sometimes the sticker shock alone is enough to keep me from asking for the help that I need. When I compared the price of getting branding help versus the opportunity cost of doing the work myself (ignoring the quality issue addressed above) it was still a no brainer to hire the work done. The cost of hiring a partner to come in and assist with this branding process was a fraction of the value of my time that would have went into solving that problem for myself, and now I could spend that time pouring value into my company in other ways (two birds, one stone).
3. To expand my network
Knowing people is essential in the business world. All of my clients have come through relationships that I have developed. Every new connection and every new relationship that I develop opens a door to even more new connections and more potential clients. Additionally, every new connection is another resource that I can potentially point clients to for services that I can't provide efficiently. The team I have worked with at my branding partner has been incredible and I would have zero hesitation working with them again or pointing others toward them. I'm glad to have them in my network of connections.
4. To learn new skills
I have not come out of this branding process as an expert in graphic design or branding, but I have come out of it with a greater understanding of current trends in branding and how to evaluate the work that comes out of a branding process. That new knowledge will serve as a basis of service that I will be able to provide to clients going forward--helping them evaluate their current branding strategy or to select from an array of options pointed at them in the future by a branding expert.
FusionPoint: What are you thinking?
I'd love to hear from you. What value have you found from reaching out to a consultant or partner in the past? What has frustrated you in those interactions? What is holding you back from seeking outside help?