There is a chicken and egg challenge about finding business resources. You cannot really find the best resources at the price you can afford unless you know what that resource or service is named and the benefits will help address your need. Here are three steps to finding resources to get to a better future.
- Figure out what kind of resources you need
- Ask for services that meet specific need/needs
- Select a service provider you trust to generate results and outcomes
Figure out what kind of resources you need
This is actually the hardest step because our egos as owners gets in the way. We start worrying about failure rather than the path to results and outcomes. Focus on what your business needs are and put the ego aside.
In these times, all businesses in hospitality need more sales and revenue. Then you may have gaps or out of date strategies for product offerings, marketing plans, and consistent promotions.
Other needs related to the pandemic are:
- Securing enough inventory due to backed up supply chains
- Managing stressed employees
Once you know the top one or two you need. Now you can identify the appropriate services you need. Then you can go to chamber of commerce, economic development depart of your city, industry groups or colleagues to get referrals to marketing, operations management, or human resources specialists. Many of these professionals are volunteering to help small businesses now.
Ask for the services that meet your specific needs.
Select at least three service providers to interview and prepare for the interview by:
- Writing down a brief description of your business and the needs you have identified. Identify your specific needs when you contact the service provider and ask:
- Do you work with small business owners with needs like mine?
Asking that question saves a lot of time for you and the service provider. You can also ask:
- If you do not deal with my business needs, can you refer me to a professional who does?
If they are an experienced and ethical consultant, they should refer you to a professional, who can meet your needs.
When you find the right specialist, then create a few interview questions to ask potential services providers:
- What is your specialty within your profession?
- How would you work with me to address my needs?
- Do you work with business owners on payment plans in these challenging times?
- Can you provide referrals to prior clients?
By comparing the answers to the same questions, you should be able to decide on the best fit resource for you and your needs.
Contract with a service provider you trust to generate results and outcomes
Use the contracting process to establish the foundation for a professional relationship focused on business results and outcomes. Ask for a proposal with a cost estimate and payment plan. Read the full proposal and ask a lot of questions. Make sure you and the service provider are clear about the purpose, steps, and work effort to achieve an improvement in the condition of your business.
Adjust the agreement to describe clear steps that focus on your needs. Work with the service provider on how to make changes as conditions change over the contracting period. Work through creative ideas and suggestions to improve on the work plan and activities to achieve your results. It is important to share your work style and confirm that it works with the service provider.
If you are uncomfortable in the contracting discussions, courteously end the discussions. Improving company performance is based on trust and confidence in the owner’s relationship with the service provider. If that trust and confidence is not there, you cannot force a project to be successful.
When the contract captures the results of all these discussions, then you have increased the potential for a successful engagement. More importantly, improvements should be visible in customer behavior, operations or financial position of your company in the future.
Using these three steps should lead you to the formation of your trusted team to call on for success in the short- and long-term to make a better future.