Transforming Consultants' Recommendations into Business Improvement: A Model and Action Agenda
As the company grows, successful small business owners often find their management lacks sufficient sophistication. They are good at what they do, but a small staff cannot be knowledgeable in all areas of business. Seeking solutions to major growing pains, many owners engage consultants. The aim is improving the dynamics of running the company. The use of consultants is a way for small businesses to gain quick, access to management expertise. Unfortunately, too often, both the owner and the consultant feel frustration at the conclusion of the consulting engagement. The owner feels the consultant recommendations are too general. The consultant is disappointed with the owner follow-up on key recommendations. No one is willing to take responsibility for implementation.
This article explores how to deal with the follow-up challenge. It covers four main topics: why business owners do not follow-up; why consultants do not follow-up; an eight-part model for organized improvement; and an action agenda for improved follow-up. Both owners and consultants can use the action agenda to help turn consultant recommendations into business improvement. An appendix offers advice to Small Business Institute directors and advisors guiding student consultants.
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