by M. Anthony Sacco – MBA, SHRM-SCP, SPHR
Do you get a routine health exam?
I have an acquaintance who, a few years ago, had to be talked into making an appointment with their General Practitioner for a physical check-up. This was after two or three years had gone by since their last physical exam and, after several months of an annoying and unexplained physical condition that required attention, but was being ignored.
When the exam finally was performed, it turned out that the doctor identified not just one, but two serious conditions that were then confirmed by specialists through referrals. My friend, then having information (data) upon which to base actions began a series of treatments which have had a beneficial effect on both of the conditions. Had there never been the pressure and assistance of an objective third-party to suggest the course of action (which may have seemed obvious in retrospect) the serious conditions would have become more serious and my friend’s health would have simply deteriorated due to a lack of factual information upon which to base corrective actions.
Does your business need to routinely have a check-up?
Okay, it probably has occurred to you by now, this analogy has direct bearing on how healthy your business may or may not be and, whether you have a process to make sure that you obtain factual, objective analysis of your results in order to make sure your business is healthy, and/or identify hidden or overlooked negative trends before they become insurmountable problems. You have your historic biases, are very busy, may not have experienced a particular critical scenario before, and/or may be transitioning into a new, unfamiliar phase of your business. In any case, having an experienced consultant as an advisor, who you can get to know and trust as an objective source of due diligence on a periodic basis, to review results and recommend areas where critical attention should be focused, can be the difference between a good business and an excellent one.
So who is the “General Practitioner” for your business check-up?
An experienced, outside business advisor or consultant who operates with honesty and integrity and maintains your privacy is our recommendation for a resource to perform a business check-up and make recommendations. Specifically, a consultant with a broad business management background, and hands-on experience as well as with a strong education, certifications, and who is objective. To get valuable advice, you want to eliminate the obvious conflicts of interest that crop up with any internally led reviews or reviews that involve parties who provide you with operational services such as bookkeepers or accountants (they are professionals but have a degree of vested interest in the information they prepared for you). Independence from ownership, systems design or support, employer/employee relationships, and/or authorship of strategic initiatives should be maintained in the “check-up” process.
Article “What is a Business Consultant”, Hom, Elaine J., Business News Daily, June 10, 2013
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