Frequently when we are in grief, and cash issues often deliver the highest degree of anxiousness, we should seek consultation to help us relieve our dismal sense of money control. We feel overwhelmed and baffled about where we are and doubt our level of money management skills. Top quality credit counseling services are available to help you see clearly just where you are financially. During the consultation the agent should be able to supply you with the most efficient options readily available.
Whatever the nature of your monetary disease, right in the midst of the initial consultation you should begin to approach emotions of alleviation, hope, and satisfaction, with a vision towards monetary independence and well-being. If this is not the case take time to explore other agencies, you do not have to settle on the first credit counseling service that popped up on your search.
As crucial as this primary step is, consumer credit counseling services may try to convince you that they are the only way out and their method is the only one that works. Agents who are trained properly are committed to walking with you through every step of your unique method of debt elimination; not every solution will be solved the same way. The preliminary interview should lead you straight into the exacting process of sorting via offered alternatives and forming a plan for financial wellness and consistency.
Experienced money mentors will enable you to start the debt elimination process exactly the way you want it done. A good consultation will initiate an ideology that puts your understanding of how money should be handled in perspective. True money mentors listen to your concerns and chronic mishaps to determine what the real cause of the issue is. Consultants should not be there to sell you consolidated credit counseling or approve you for a high interest loan; if the consultation leads to a money management course that is exactly the route you should take. The goal when contacting money management consultants is to help with debt elimination as well as preventing you to ever fall into another issue of bad money management situations in the future. This joint partnership should definitely open up access to sensible and effective sources not just for avoiding debt/financial chaos but likewise avoiding debt and bringing order and wellness to your finances and your life.
Let’s talk about what your real job is when you’re leading a consulting company. There are many hats you need to wear in order to keep your business moving forward, but you certainly don’t have to wear all the hats within the company. There are tasks you should focus on in order to ensure the success of your business, while leaving other tasks to your employees. This article will help you focus on what your job is as a leader of your consulting business and what you should and should not be doing.
What your job isn’t. Your job is not to be the face of the business. You don’t have to put your name on every single product or on every single white paper or business card that goes out. You don’t have to put your face on everything and that should not be your primary focus if you’re the leader of the company. You also don’t have to be the “know it all” expert. It isn’t your job to know everything, not to mention it is extremely hard. If you put yourself in a situation where only you know and understand every single issue that your clients come across, you are setting yourself up for failure. There will be something that you don’t know. Moreover, you don’t have to be the core client romancer. You need clients, you have to interact with them and you need to be seen as their ally, but that is not only your job. Therefore, you don’t have to attend all of their sessions, go to all of their networking events, attend every meeting and give every presentation. That is not your core responsibility. As you step back from these responsibilities, let me provide three other behaviors that are foundational if you’re going to lead a consulting company the right way.
Recruit / Hire. You are responsible for recruiting and hiring. You have to make sure that you hire the right people who are attached to the right responsibilities. You have to assess someone for what they already bring to the table and match them with an appropriate job description. Second, you have to make sure you are putting quality inputs (people) in your systems so that you can get quality outputs (work) out of your systems. You have situations, processes, and systems in your business that are supposed to create a certain output. People need to come in to your organization, experience those systems, and then interact with clients at a high level. If you don’t put in the right inputs, then you’re going to end up with poor outputs. Third, you have to make sure you enjoy the people on your team. You must be sure they enjoy you and the culture you have prepared in your organization. If you don’t enjoy them and they don’t enjoy you, it doesn’t matter how talented that person is. You cannot talk someone into a good relationship and a bad relationship doesn’t fix itself later on. It is better to hire for attitude and train up their skills, than to hire for skill and try to convince them to improve their attitude.
Visionary. You have to be the core visionary and make sure that you, as the leader of the business, are always owning and articulating the big picture. There is a direction your business is going in, a certain client that you’re trying to reach, and an experience you want that client to have. You have to own that big picture and explain it to everybody else in your organization. If you aren’t focused on that, at some point the big picture loses clarity and your business loses potency. Second, you have to refine that big picture as new information comes. As you continue on the path of your big picture you will be introduced to new challenges like evolving competitors and changing client requirements. All of those things affect your big picture and you have to refine it as time goes on. Third, you have to catch new opportunities. New things come along and you have to be able to pounce on them. If your eyes aren’t open for new opportunities you can’t catch them, and if you can’t catch them you don’t experience new growth. Again, if you’re not focused on your vision than all of these things pass you by.
Violently defend the culture of your organization. This might be the most important point of all. You must protect the sanctity of your environment.
Realize that there are threats to your environment: There are things that will otherwise interrupt your environment if you don’t stop them. It could be competitors, bad internal attitudes, or wrong messages in the media. These are all threats and you have to work against them to keep your environment healthy.
Understand threats don’t fix themselves: If you make a mistake and hire the wrong person in the company, it doesn’t fix itself. You have to get in there and fix it, either by having one-on-ones to adjust their attitude or letting them go, if that’s just the right course of action. Whatever the threat is, it will not fix itself and you have to directly address it.
No one is going to care like you: It is your company, your vision, and you gave birth to it. It’s really important to you, but everyone else is going to care less than you. By definition it’s not their baby, it’s your baby. You have to make sure that you exhibit the highest level of caring for the overall business; it is a behavior they must see from you.
No one will see the threats like you will: No one is going to see the threats like you will and no one is going to be excited about eliminating them like you are. Again, you have to make sure that you exhibit the highest level of care and understanding about your business and you have to defend it, otherwise the threats will come in and take over.
If you’re leading a consulting company, there’s more to do than just being a friendly face on the business card. There are some behind the scenes responsibilities you must own because no one else can do them, but you.
Let’s talk about the invisible systems that run your business. Every business is composed of systems to ensure things get done. These systems can be created consciously or unconsciously. The most dangerous systems are created unconsciously. Since you don’t know they exist, you don’t know if they help or hurt. In your own consulting business you need to take the time to be aware of how work is done every day. Use this article to pinpoint what systems are helping or hurting.
Do you believe in systems? Some consultants believe that systems are everything and you should have them in place in order to avoid failure. Other consultants believe that systems stifle creativity and should be avoided at all cost. My argument on this matter is that not only are systems important to your business, but you also have invisible systems in place that threaten the success of your business.
Invisible systems are a silent threat. Whether you realize it or not and whether you believe it or not, there are invisible systems at work. You have processes, methods, and procedures that help you get work accomplished. Do you all of your systems? Do you understand all of your systems? There are predictable systems that are present in your everyday business, regardless of whether you understand them or not. Here are some checks to see if invisible systems are present in your business.
Checking your business for invisible systems. In order to help you check your business for invisible systems, there are a few tell-tale signs you should consider:
You get the same result over and over. You know what your expectations are, but you get a sub-par result every time you try. Something you can’t see might be affecting these results.
You don’t know how a certain result is achieved. You may know that a specific person, software or equipment gives you a result in your business, but you don’t exactly know how that works. It is best to understand what gives you the result and make that a visible system to you.
You only do a specific task when something breaks. You scramble to solve an issue when a customer makes a complaint, software breaks down, or an employee leaves. This happens because you didn’t see the issue coming and you were going day-by-day, instead of working with a process. That occurrence has revealed an invisible system, which gives you the opportunity to take a look at it, understand it and improve it.
Developing better systems. Now that you understand that there are invisible systems at work, we can focus on developing better systems by following a few simple steps:
1. Get a clear picture of what you want. Be clear with your team, clients and vendors so that everyone clear understands your intended results.
2. Create metrics you can believe in. Now that you know what you want, be clear about the steps required to get to your desired end result.
3. Commit to a process. Make sure you see the process all the way through. It is important that you keep going, even it if doesn’t work perfectly the first time.
4. Get help. This is a new situation, so it is important that you get any help you may need. You can ask your employees for feedback or hire a consultant to see if they can provide an outside perspective to pinpoint the invisible system and bring it to the surface.
When I was relatively new to the consulting world, I was unsure what I would be getting myself into when I made the transition from corporate recruiter to consultant. Would I have the skills necessary to solve problems that may arise? Would I be able to articulate my thoughts into clear and concise solutions to those problems?
Would I have the PeopleSoft knowledge the client needed? If not, would I be able to pick it up quickly enough? Maneuvering through the learning processes and gradually understanding what consulting was all about, I tried to piece together what I felt were important attributes of a great consultant. I didn’t want to settle for being just a “good” consultant, helpful to our clients; I wanted to be a great one, offering exceptional service to them. I targeted specific qualities to work on to aid in my growth in my new role. I will outline a few of the basic attributes I believe are necessary to provide clients with creative and effective solutions to promote the successful alignment of business processes and technology.
• Collaboration – Collaboration among the consulting team and with the client is essential to consulting. Working together and taking into account what each person has to offer not only creates a positive work environment, but also is key to building successful relationships. At my company, we have regular scheduled meetings with our clients and with our team to assure we are all on the same page and are meeting requested deadlines.
• Great Listener – Listening skills must be utilized in every aspect of consulting. The more listening occurs, the better, because more information is taken in, and well-thought-out solutions can be crafted. The consultant can truly grasp what is being requested.
• Being Professional – Finding a delicate balance between professionalism and still having a personal touch can be tricky. The client should have every bit of faith and trust in your knowledge and provided solutions (professional) and feel like you truly have their best interest at heart (personal).
• Passionate – Having a passion for problem solving while still keeping an eye on the future is a necessary attribute for a great consultant. Many times, projects require an immediate solution to a problem. While it is important to work through the pressing issue at hand, we must also keep in mind that our solutions can have future implications on other facets of the client’s business – users in different departments, the system itself, or the company’s business processes.
• Time Management – Time Management skills are much appreciated by the client, especially when it comes to the schedule and budget of a project. A great consultant must be flexible and look for ways to complete the job on time, in scope, and within budget; using technical, business, and leadership skills while keeping the organization and department strategies aligned. This is critical for many of our clients as we assist in running their payroll.
• Communication – Communication skills are utilized daily; clients appreciate clear, succinct and timely communication. Written or verbal, communication is the life line in this business. We do this by communicating:
To clients with questions for clarification or with information regarding their requests
To team members to leverage experience and advice to provide the best solution or options to the client for review and selection
To team members on action plans to achieve requested results
To managers about requests from clients or receiving approval for SOWs
- all of which can drastically affect client satisfaction.