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The Scary Things You Hear as a Consultant

The jack-o-lanterns are lit, our porches are covered in cobwebs, and the kids are hyped up on sugar. Halloween is just around the corner and in the spirit of all things spooky, we’ve asked our team to share some of their greatest scares as consultants.

Take a look at some of the scary statements we hear and how you can prevent such a fright in your business.

“I don’t have a business card or website.” 

This is scary because your clients cannot do business with you if they don’t know how or where to contact you. As a consumer, one of the first things I do when I hear about a business is check them out online. if I hear that a business doesn’t have a website or some other web presence, I cringe to think of all of the lost business potential when a would-be customer is interested in the services the business has to offer, but can’t even find the business to do business with them. – Kristen Guidry

“Why would we need an onboarding plan?”

An onboarding plan communicates 2-way engagement with your firm’s new recruits. Laying out structured expectations builds trust and alignment (and your business!). Items to build into your onboarding plans include software and hardware purchase/set-up, review of policies and procedures, introductions to coworkers, and assignment of a mentor or supervisor. Believe it or not, using onboarding plans has been shown to decrease turnover. – Emily Housley

“We’ve never had a budget.”

Rather than tell you why this is bad, I’d love to share with you the benefits of creating and living within a budget.  First, it’s the ultimate goal setting tool in terms of financial growth and targets.  Second, establishing a budget for all revenue and expense line items forces you to know your business intimately and determine where you’ll make investments.  Third, without a budget you have no idea how well you are doing – no comparison points to your actuals exist.  Fourth, a budget actually frees you to make decisions more readily and confidently.  – Catherine Fuss

“We don’t have a job description.”

I am always shocked when a company does not have a job description for each of their roles. I once spoke with someone who had worked at a firm for more than 20 years and while he was certain he had a job description, he had never seen one. Without one, you cannot hire among other things. – Betsy Wallace

If you’re not trembling with fright from these statements, then you’ll want to brace yourself for one last horror story…

“Our Ideal Client Profile is one that generates revenue.”

I was working with a gentleman who was rather quirky – not the best communicator and perhaps a bit creative with the truth.  Be that as it may, he was a referral from a client and we both wanted to grow as well as impress our client. One day, his lack of communication was even more acute – we couldn’t get an answer from him, he wasn’t at his business, and his employees didn’t know where he was. Concerned, I reached out to his spouse who informed us that our client was, you guessed it, residing comfortably at the DeKalb County “Grey Bar Inn.” Of course, we sprang into action (our core value isn’t “Caring” for nothing), but it was an important milestone for us. It became a lesson that revenue for revenue’s sake isn’t a good idea, and it illustrates the value of having an Ideal Client Profile. Having an Ideal Client Profile reminds you that it’s okay to say “no” sometimes. – Alex Muñoz

Happy Halloween!


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