In the days of “Gotta have it now” we are always looking for the quick fix to our problems. I am constantly bombarded with ads telling me that their product or service is the answer to all my prayers. Continually the words simple, easy, fast, and guaranteed are used to demonstrate that little work on my part is needed other than shelling out my credit card. It must work because there are more and more solicitations each day.
When I speak with companies about the challenges I face, I often speak of the “Simple not easy” approach. In other words, the ideas that need to be implemented are simple, but they aren’t necessarily easy to accomplish. After all, if they were you’d be doing them already, wouldn’t you? To be fair, sometimes there is low hanging fruit that can be dealt with quickly. Many times though, the roots of the problems run much deeper.
Companies that need change to happen fast are often looking for the magic wand as I call it. They want some miracle to come in and fix all their problems right away so they can get on with business and get back to the good times. Unfortunately the magic wand does not exist. It never has no matter what anyone has promised you. Changing your situation now involves work plain and simple. Zero effort on your part equals zero output on the other. Yet many out there prey on the vulnerabilities of people with promises of the good life if you just buy into their system.
In order for anything to work, do your research. Know what you are getting in to. Understand that there is no “one way” of doing things. And above all, be committed to put forth the effort if you truly want to make change happen. Here’s five steps to do when seeking the help of an expert.
- Interview – Get to know the individual and the company that will be doing the work. Understand their process and how they will work with you. Know their guarantees, if any. A good company should guarantee their work. Just be sure you know what their deliverables are and where it becomes your responsibility.
- Research claims – If they promise double digit growth they should have examples to prove it. Also learn the circumstances with which those results were created. A reputable company should explain to you clearly the efforts you are going to have to take on in order to get the results you want. Nobody rides for free. An expert should be clear about the work you have to do.
- Watch for one-size-fits-all approaches – Sure they tell you their approach will be unique to you. Yet they are inflexible on aligning their system with your business. Good companies research and understand what their clients need and are flexible to address those needs.
- Billing – Have you ever paid for something only to discover you are nickle and dimed for everything after the sale is closed? Hidden fees and surprise bills are not something you want to see from someone who is supposed to be helping your organization. Know their pricing structure and where you might incur extra fees. Do they bill by the hour? The project? Are there extra services that may not be included in the proposal? Understand these things to avoid surprises and headaches down the road.
- If it’s too good to be true it probably is – We have all heard this one before. Yet I have met some pretty intelligent people who somehow get suckered in on some wild claims. Buyer beware. If someone makes outrageous promises they should be willing to back them up. Just be careful they are not taking you to the cleaners.
There are many great companies out there that are capable of helping you solve virtually any problem or challenge you face. Your business is your life blood and something you have worked hard to build. Find reputable service providers that will give you the care you deserve and not look to make a quick buck. If in doubt, seek a second opinion. Got questions? Ask. If they promise to wave their magic wand and make it all better.. Run!
If you have questions about a company, a process, a system, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to listen and will help you discover what best suits your needs. firstname.lastname@example.org