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A Small Business Consultant Can Help in Many Ways... But One Thing He Can?t Provide

A consultant must remember that the business belongs to the client. There is always a danger that the consultant will take a dominant position to the detriment of both of them.

Let me tell you a story of when this was forgotten?

It's not often a small business consultant will admit to a failure in a small business but my first adventure into small business consulting was a failure. I closed the business within two years.

In 1980 I had planned to offer Mom-and-Pop sized businesses cheap but effective small business help. I saw many who badly needed something to pull their businesses out of the doldrums. But consultants were asking minimum fees of $3,000 which they could not afford.

My thinking was that if I computerized and systemized my services I could offer a low-cost service which would rejuvenated their enterprises. They, of course, would be so thrilled that they would retain my firm to do their general tax and accounting work.

Like the curate's egg I was partly right. Kelvyn Peters CPA and Associates still retain clients from that era who still think I'm wonderful (but expensive). My small success blinded me for a while to where my plan was doomed to fail.

The first trap was that the 'oomph' for the business had to be supplied by the client. It did no matter how passionate and excited I was in improving a sick business if the client had no excitement. The punch and the drive to run a business have to come from the owner. The consultant can only steer that drive in the right direction.

The second pitfall was in not realizing that small businesses are sometimes run by 'small' people. Nice people; generous and kind people who you'd be glad to have as friends?but people with low horizons who are comfortable where they are. They know they should be concerned about their business. Everybody tells them so.

But in their hearts they are not.

When these people engaged my services it was because they felt they had to. The bank or a creditor had advised it. Sometimes a well-meaning son or daughter had said, "Pop you've gotta get some help! You're killing yourself here!"

However, what had to be done made them so uncomfortable that they just did not do anything and fell by the wayside. (probably blaming the consultant).

If they retained our services they became high-maintenance clients phoning us (no e-mails then) before they made almost every new decision. Sending out a mailbox drop? Please design and produce it for me. A monthly newsletter? Could you do it for me because you are so good at it.

This normally would have been great except in this case they could not pay for the service and felt it should be included in the initial fee. We lost heaps of money providing these extra services without charge.

My staff said I was too good-hearted. I do not agree. Here were people really needed our service and they couldn't pay for it. How could we let them sink alone.

We could not continue and had to close the service?and the world continued. 'Mom-and-Pop' businesses still need help but now we know how to interact with them so that neither of us is burned.

The third problem is one I discovered only yesterday from a book called Success Engineering by Phil Gosling.

In the book he tells of clients who on the face of it believe in what he tells them. They seem eager to follow his suggestions. and seem eager to do what he tells them. They attempt to do every thing he suggests, but things just don't work for them. They work for everyone else but not for them. I experienced the same thing.

I felt that they were psychologically sabotaging themselves because of their fear of the unknown. Phil has a completely different explanation which he explains in his book.

So now our number one criteria for accepting a new client is that they should have the passion and persistence to see it through. An ailing business shows signs of improvement week by week but sometimes it will be two years before vigilance can be relaxed. Those two years are too hard to deal with for some people. They would rather surrender.

Previously, I have said that to me accounting wasn't boring or dull. I am passionate about being an accountant. I have an excitement about helping people because I can make a difference to their lives.

If my experience and knowledge is added to the excitement and drive of a business owner we, together, can really make things happen. Dreams really will come true.

Keep the dream alive.

About The Author
Kelvyn Peters is one of Australia's longest-serving Tax Agents. He was registered in 1962 and became a CPA in 1964.

Kelvyn served on many charitable boards including St Aubyns Hospital, Alzheimer's Association and Older Peoples Advocacy Service. As a young man he won the Outstanding Jaycee Award three times. He is a compassionate, generous man who loves people. That's why he is so skilled at helping people in trouble.

Kelvyn Peters was Mayor of Kingaroy Shire Council from 1982 to 1987 and campaigned as the 'Young Man of Action". ver 20 years later he still regards himself as a 'Young Man of Action'. He is a director of Restaurant Catering Qld Inc the peak employer representative in Queensland, and has advised the hospitality industry for many years.

His specialty is moving in to rescue a sick business. Kelvyn has spent over 20 years experimenting and researching methods to help small business in ways that are affordable. He has perfected it with local clients now he are going global and he is only an email away.

http://www.profitstrategies4business.com

In The News:

NASA launched a spacecraft Tuesday night on a mission to smash into an asteroid and test whether it would be possible to knock a space rock off course if one were to threaten Earth. The DART spacecraft, short for Double Asteroid Redirection Test, lifted off from Vandenberg Space Force Base atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
The federal government is embarking on a new attempt to explain the unexplainable.
NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, the world's first planetary defense test mission, is scheduled to launch early Wednesday morning.
The historic November 2021 partial lunar eclipse stunned viewers around the world on Thursday night.
A partial lunar eclipse will take place on Thursday night and into early Friday.
A prosthetic-tailed dolphin named Winter that starred in the "Dolphin Tale" movies died Thursday evening at a Florida aquarium despite life-saving efforts to treat a gastrointestinal abnormality, aquarium officials said.
Four astronauts returned to Earth on Monday, riding home with SpaceX to end a 200-day space station mission that began last spring.
If you don’t want to believe tech companies at face value, take your privacy into your own hands
A U.S. survey of astronomers puts the search for extraterrestrial life at the top of their to-do list for the next 10 years.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Hubble Space Telescope is in safe mode yet again.
Climate change may impact the production of corn (maize) and wheat as early as 2030, according to NASA researchers.
Humans introduced a new life form to outer space on Friday as NASA astronauts harvested the first ever chile peppers onboard the International Space Station.
The Northern Lights may be visible just in time for Halloween.
On Thursday, the sun released a significant solar flare toward Earth, peaking at 11:35 a.m. EDT, scientists say.
A good cleaning goes well beyond just the screen. If that’s all you’re focused on, you’re making an expensive mistake that could take years off your TV’s life.
The scale presented contains seven levels that NASA said are "reflective of the winding, complicated staircase of steps that would lead to scientists declaring they’ve found life beyond Earth."
The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance announced Thursday that two female critically endangered California condors had successfully hatched eggs without the help of male condors.
NASA is now targeting February 2022 for the launch of its powerful Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.
The U.S. military launched three suborbital rockets this week from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
As cooler temperatures move over the eastern U.S., the West is forecast to see heavy rain and mountain snow, including what's known as a "bomb cyclone" near the Northwest.

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