I asked too many questions and looked very stressed. Then the doctor asked me a question: “Do you want a second opinion?” “Yes.” He was not offended. In fact he turned over all his data to the other professional. After many years I am still using the first doctor as my primary.
Businesses also need a second opinion sometimes. Brand new businesses need guidance. When my new business was struggling I went to SCORE (formerly Service Corps of Retired Executives) for help. Older businesses need at least a five-year checkup. If your CPA, tax man, or insurance professional is not offering you a free review, then call somebody new.
A consultant can look at your situation with fresh eyes. They may see things overlooked by the daily routine. They can come one time and make some changes that will be very helpful, or they may help you make some difficult but necessary long-range changes. They may be a point of on-going coaching support.
Are you paying the best rate for insurance? Are you paying too much in taxes? Are you managing paperwork properly? How about human resources? Do some policies need an update? Could some bookkeeping be modernized and streamlined? Do you just need an annual office clean up? Are you accomplishing goals you set when you started? Is there something about your business you want to fix, but you are not sure how to proceed?
When I am going to hire a contractor, I will often call three. It amazes me how different their approaches are to my need. I interviewed multiple realtors when selling my home. One walked through, spoke very little, then wanted me to lower my price for a quick sale. Another noticed all the custom work and was much more optimistic.
When I speak with a subcontractor I listen to see if I can learn something new. I was asked to have some guns appraised for insurance. I knew nothing about guns or appraisals. The 3 vendors I called had very different approaches. One said, drop them off and I will take a look, #2 guy said he would charge his rate based on their value. (Hmmm… did that mean he would raise the value to his benefit?) . Guy #3 told me his certifications, said he could come and take apart each gun and charge a flat fee based on the number of guns. Number three was for me and my boss loved the job he did.
There are some CPA’s who will do a free tax review. Some lawyers will tell you up front how much for a one time office visit. My business offers a complimentary visit and assessment. Getting some new eyes on your business could have very positive long-term results.
After a second opinion you may end up staying with your primary person, as I did. But a second opinion will give you more confidence about your decision.
My SCORE mentor advised me to change the name of my business to make what I do more identifable. It helped my branding. I began to draw more clients and be more successful. Thank you, SCORE.