Benefits of Hiring a Consultant to Help with Your Business Plan

Michael Gallagher, .

Dad teaching his son to driveOf course you should be reading this with a grain of salt: a consultant telling you why you should hire a consultant. But remember back to when you were learning how to drive; you didn’t know what you didn’t know. You didn’t consider that when you shift before you stop completely, you’re ruining your transmission, or that when the breaks squeal, it means that you should change the pads, not turn up the music. You needed an experienced driver to say, “Hey, consider doing this,” or “Stop!” This, in a nutshell, is the benefit of having a consultant help you with your business plan.

3 Reasons People Avoid Business Plans Plus a Painless Solution

Michael Gallagher, .

Man with a computer over his headYou don’t need a business plan. Just ask Craig Newmark. “We don’t have much in the way of a business strategy. Like no business plan… The deal is, it’s a mixture of luck and persistence.” Newmark’s little startup, Twitter, was founded, he claims, with “no vision whatsoever.” He likes to give the impression that it just grew up, like a kid with hippy parents, free to be who it wanted to be. I claim no psychic ability, but I know two things for certain: one, this won’t happen to you, and two, even Twitter realizes you need a viable business plan to survive.

4 Steps to Building a Happy Team

Michael Gallagher, .

There is unprecedented diversity in the workforce; there is also a gap between the values at one end of the spectrum and those at the other. Traditionalists live to work; younger employees work to live. These workers expect to be happy at work. Their grandparents or great-grandparents would have found this an absurd requirement; employment was a privilege. Traditionalists needed the job; today, the workforce needs Gen Y. Keeping them happy is not just nice; it’s a must for attracting and retaining top talent.

Good vs. Good: Managing Conflict Between Reliable Employees

Michael Gallagher, .

Two people sitting across the table glaringConflict is easy to deal with; nothing could be easier. When you know one party is in the right and the other is in the wrong. When you know one party is reliable, truthful, and hardworking, and the other is not. But what happens when valuable employees are engaged in conflict? Whether it is over a specific project or they have clashing personalities, it can be tough to referee these matches. Rather than taking sides, talk solutions.

Managing conflict between two (or more) good employees tends to swing along the pendulum; it is either much easier, or it is much more difficult. The challenge for managers and supervisors is to avoid being seen as choosing sides as far as outcomes and solutions are concerned.

Assessing Your Management

Michael Gallagher, .

PROFIT Magazine asked the CEOs of Canada’s fastest-growing business for their best advice; among several who warn about maintaining a stranglehold on control is this simple suggestion: “Delegate. Your job as a business owner is to grow it, not to run it.” One of the hardest aspects for SME owners is letting go of what they have worked so hard to create, but one of the first things we look at when working with a client is their overall management structure. And is it an obstacle in the way of their progress?