If you are looking for someone to solve all of your problems and turn your business around, a marketing consultant won’t be able to do much for you.
I published this on LinkedIn Pulse this week, and it received more than 2000 views and more than 110 thumbs up, and generated 19 comments in the first two days.
Consultants aren’t miracle workers.
A lot of small and medium concierge medical practices and medical tourism businesses hire consultants because they are looking for miracles. I hate to break it to you, but I can’t take a business that is doing very little in revenue and quickly turn it around. The fact of the matter is – no consultant can do it.
See, consultants are “consultants” for a reason: they specialize in something. In my case, I specialize in strategy, product development, market analysis and social media marketing innovation. I can help you to drive traffic to your websites. But if you have a poorly developed (or downright “bad” or “useless”) product, a low converting site, or an offer that just doesn’t make sense or have perceived value by consumers, driving thousands of visitors to your website won’t fix your business.
In fact, if people get to your website and find nothing they want to discover, engage with, learn from, share, or purchase, they “drop off” and probably won’t come back even if you fix everything later!
You need to figure out how to create a sustainable business before you commence business. That’s what being an entrepreneur is all about. If it were easy, everyone would do it instead of working for others.
Not all people who work as independent contractors are “consultants”, either.
Entrepreneurs take risk and accountability for their recommendations and actions. Sometimes they hire consultants to guide them to a quick start or past landmines. Other times, they might hire people to do a specific task. The person they hire doesn’t design the strategy, doesn’t suffer consequences of bad decisions, bad investments, sunk time, or bad strategies. They simply arrive, do a task, get paid, and leave. Those are “contractors“. They are like the 9-to-5ers except they are itinerant. Sometimes that happens because they cannot focus, don’t get along with others, or don’t have the skills, experience and competence to be the strategist, entrepreneur, or accountable risk taker.
Creating a concierge medical practice or health tourism business is like building a skyscraper.
If you tried to erect an 80-story building without laying a solid foundation, you’d create an unstable structure that would collapse. A marketing consultant can’t help you pass your building inspection.
The same goes for your business. Without a good product or service offering, your business is bound to fail. To prevent that from happening, you need to figure out how to create a business model that allows you to get paid for solving other people’s problems. These can be health problems, time problems, access to care problems, or something else. You aren’t selling medical appointments or checkups or diagnostic services. First, determine what you are in business to do.
Your business doesn’t have to be unique. It just has to be different.
There’s a huge difference!
For example, when I started my consulting business about 34 years ago, I wasn’t the first in the space. The difference was that I only took on a handful of clients so I could offer personalized services, while my competitors focused on taking on as many clients as possible, offering cookie-cutter services, often from junior consultants who were recent graduates with zero experience!
Once you figure out a business model that works for you, marketing your business will become much easier. Focus on creating a great product or service before you talk to a marketing consultant. Consultants are expensive, and you don’t want to pay us to twiddle our thumbs. You want to be able to move extremely fast when you bring us on as you are either paying us by the hour or have us on a monthly retainer. We bring the extras… the finesse.
In order to ensure that we can help you grow your business at a faster pace, you need to be prepared. Handle all of the basics and test the waters. If you don’t know what the waters even look like, you need a different kind of a consultant. A marketing consultant comes later — when you have a product to sell.
Where the rubber meets the road
If you are looking to accelerate your growth and you know where you can use help, you can always consider reaching out to a consultant. But if you are looking for someone to solve all of your problems and turn your business around, a consultant won’t be able to do much for you.