Article Written by: Stacey Huish
Stacey Huish from Free Spirit Creations had spent the first two years of her Business Life Not Knowing there was a difference in consultants and the results showed this at the end of the day.
“When I met Iain MacKenzie, I knew my troubles were over. Iain, showed me what the Business Assessment Tool was capable of doing. I was very impressed with the depth of knowledge and how it pinpointed with accuracy what each business needed to implement to move forward. “
Stacey had spent most of her teenage years dreaming about becoming a Massage Therapist. She dreamt about helping to fix all the aches and pains that people would have, helping to relax tired muscles from long weeks at work. Assisting people to unwind and find happiness in their bodies again. Fixing sporting injuries and seeing people bounce back to the playing field again.
It was a long journey but an exciting one to become a Massage Therapist. This is only one aspect to being a good massage therapist. There is so much more to running a successful business.
But, there was a tragedy. Yes! I had a dream of being a massage therapist. I had dreamt about it for quite some time, done all the training, gave away countless free massages to get all the practice I could. I opened my own clinic with big hopes and only one person came through the door.
Yes! I was a massage therapist, a really good massage therapist, but, I was not a business person. Sadly I lacked many business skills. While I had trained to be a therapist, I had not trained to be a business owner. Now, instead of getting a coach at this point, I decided to comb through the internet looking for information about how to get leads, how to be fully booked, get all the customers flooding in through the doors.
I had paid for a consultant to help grow my business from day one. But alas the consultant had only just left his own Massage Therapy Business to become a business consultant. Ok, I thought this sounded good, he at least had some business knowledge, but what I did not know is that he had not grown a Massage Therapy Business past a full time, 7 day a week job. This consultant did not have any experience and was not able to grow my business either. I ended up working more hours than I cared to, not being able to spend as much time with my family as I wanted to and starting to regret this whole decision.
So, I then decided to take matters into my own hands.
I paid for a few courses that had made promises and did not deliver.
What I was finding was the people were telling me (Selling me) on the widget they were selling.
They were not telling me exactly what was wrong with my business, Why?
Because they themselves did not know what was wrong. Wasted Money.
I still was not any further along this journey then when I started two years ago.
I became very annoyed with this and very dis heartened. I was mad because all these people were selling me something that my business did not even need. And worse still, they could not actually tell me what was wrong with my business. They did not know what was causing the marketing not to work.
Just when I was about to give up all hope in finding the business information I needed to succeed. I was at a Networking function and by pure luck I ran into Iain MacKenzie.
Iain listened to my tragic story with a compassionate heart.
He told me the very first thing we need to do is to assess your business and find out exactly what is not working and what is causing it not to work. Give me a call on Monday to discuss this.
FOR more than 30 years, Iain Mackenzie has managed IT and business projects for some of the biggest, and smallest, companies in Australia - all from his Beenleigh base.
His clients have included IBM Global Services Australia, the Royal Australian Navy and National Westminster Bank in London. In that time Iain has been witness to all sorts of consultants. Some good and some not so good. In the words of Iain MacKenzie “Not all Consultants are worthy of the title”
“Being there for a Business Owner is really important to me.” MacKenzie says.
“Making sure every business owner has the right information to move forward with is every more important to me.”
“Even though I work in rapidly changing business environments, there are some problems that are universal for Businesses. and, as business owner myself, I knew I can contribute to making a difference in a Business Owners life by making sure they had the right information to move forward with.
Now he is taking a stand and Making sure Businesses have the right tools to succeed.
Ok, I was hesitant but curious at the same time. This sounded like exactly what I needed. This man knew instantly that no one had the answers to my problem because they did not understand my problem. After taking the assessment, Iain was able to identify instantly what I was doing right, and where I needed assistance. This was so different from the other consultant and very different from all those people selling their own personal widget to make a sale.
For the first time I had real knowledge, real information about what my business truly needed to move forward with to actually be successful.
From there the rest is history!
Because today, I am in business.
My calendar is full.
As you can see from the above story: Not all consultants are equal, and by that I mean some are not worthy of the title. Stacey found herself with this exact same problem. The problem with consultants is most of them have done their few weeks of study and with no real business experience proceed to start business coaching new clients with a questionnaire supplied to them in their consultant pack. Predetermined questions designed to only find the surface problems and never the real problems. A questionnaire designed to only find the surface information of your business will lead the consultant in the wrong direction. This spreads chaos amongst their clients, and the reputation damage they do to the industry at large. I remember attending a presentation by someone who had purchased a bunch of stuff from a large consulting organisation.
The chaos Stacey found herself in was devastating. First hiring a consultant who did not have the experience necessary to grow and build a business leaving her to then try and figure things out on her own with no success either.
I had just moved interstate, and I was looking at maybe opening my own business instead of working for the company I just left. The presenter proudly said that “On Friday he was a chef, and on the Monday he was operating a successful business consulting business”. At that point I thought about the company I just left – the then biggest consulting company on the planet – and the 30 year ‘apprenticeship’ I had completed to learn all about my career, and mentally scratched their name off of possible futures for me and my family. I did learn a lot about how they work though, so it wasn’t a complete waste of an evening.
It seems they have ‘A questionnaire’. The problem with their questionnaire is that it has questions like “How often do you follow up sales leads?”, with “Always”, ”Mostly”, “Sometimes”, and “Never” as possible answers. Not the most useful questionnaire I have ever seen. The potential client can easily see what the survey is trying to find out about, and maybe already knows what they should be doing, or is too embarrassed to give the correct response, so they give less than accurate answers. Of course that prevents the consulting firm from giving helpful advice, given they have been supplied with the wrong starting point – and it’s worse than that.
Questions like that can only identify problems that the respondent is already aware of. The real value in engaging outside help is in discovering problems that you are not already aware of, and that requires a completely different questionnaire.
Back in the mid 1990’s a Forensic Accountant developed a questionnaire to identify strengths and weaknesses in 10 areas of business. In case you don’t know, Forensic Accountants are the people that the Police bring in to find out of a company is breaking the law or not. That questionnaire covered every aspect of business, and accurately identified what was working and what wasn’t.
It went beyond the normal questionnaire in that it identified actual capability, and it also identified what the market thought about the business. That’s important because if there is a problem then it’s important to know if your capability is not what it should be, or if your ability to communicate that ability to your market is failing. In other words, the market may not have a good opinion of your company because they think you don’t know what you’re doing – but you could be really good at what you do, just not so good at letting the market know. So already it covers more ground than an ordinary survey.
This questionnaire is designed to tell you if your company is attracting, gaining, losing or repelling your customers in all 10 areas of business. Information you need to know.
A psychology practitioner then looked at the questions and pointed out that they had the same issue as the ordinary questions – the respondent would know what information was being asked for, and could ‘tailor’ their responses. So the questions were rephrased, and asked in a way to still give answers providing accurate information about issues of concern to the business. Better than that, because of the way they were translated, they identified issues that the business owner was not aware of, as well as those that they knew about.
So now this questionnaire identifies known issues, unknown issues, and what the market thinks as well as what the business does internally. Each of those is important, and here’s why.
Nearly all questionnaires –assuming accurate responses – identify issues. This one identifies problems with your capability, and with what the market thinks as well. Let’s look at that a little closer.
If your business is capable, you know it, and your market knows it, then there is no problem. If you think you are quite capable, and the market doesn’t, then you have a problem. It could be that your industry has progressed, and your skills are no longer up to date – your business isn’t as capable as it should be – or the market has not understood your message when you have told them about your capabilities. Either way, you have a problem: your business is suffering, and you need to fix what’s wrong by either improving your capability, improving your communication with your market, or both.
The confusing part is if it’s your message that is letting you down, and you improve only your capability then you have expended perhaps huge time and effort on something that can’t help. That will just get your business deeper in trouble, faster.
The business capability and communication questionnaire available by Clicking this web site Link with the optional one-hour consultation to make sure you are fully aware of the details and how to implement the recommendations will point the way to improving your business, to increasing your margins, and your profits, and that will improve you and your family’s lifestyle.
Contact Iain MacKenzie by Clicking This Link: