Informative short sketches from MCN

The Opportunity to Expand Yourself Through Others
Applying the MCN Concept

by Royd Buchele

As consultants, we can either have a poverty mentality or an opulence mentality. Every day I am reminded that there is a lot more demand than I can ever meet myself. There is work out there that I am not interested in doing or do not have qualifications to handle, that I can profitably refer to other consultants. The main vision of the Mastermind Consulting Network is creation of a consortium of consultants cooperating to multiply each others' work.

Let me give you an example: One of my clients is a dental office. Over the past several years, five of my associated consultants have worked with this client, in different areas including computer systems and training, creating an Employee Handbook and an Operations Manual, Goals Coaching, marketing plans, brochures, leadership development, time management, improving accounts receivable processing, and many other areas. As a group of cooperating consultants, we have made it our mission to help this dental office in any way we can. To do this, each individual consultant makes a point of noticing opportunities to work with this client. For example, in creating an Employee Handbook we frequently identify a need for training in areas best handled by other consultants. With each need that is met, others become clear.

I often run into consultants who have a real fear of getting other consultants involved with their clients. The idea seems to be that there is a limited amount of work available, and if you get other consultants involved, your own billable will suffer. The reality is that if you are able to produce results for the client, they are that much more willing to continue to work with you. If that means referring some of the work to consultants in areas outside your own expertise, you will solidify your relationship with your client, who will then be willing to work more closely with you overall. Your clients will come to rely on you, not only for your own skills as a consultant, but also your expertise in recommending other consultants.

The Markets
Suggested target markets to approach

by Royd Buchele

The small business consultant who is attempting to work locally in his own community is best advised to follow a couple up front guidelines we have discovered:

  1. Franchises, branches of businesses and large multi-national businesses are generally not the best prospects.
  2. The best prospects are locally owned businesses where the decision-maker is present.

There are exceptions to these rules, obviously, but for maximizing your success these are good ones to follow. Also, we have discovered that government non-profit agencies in general are best not approached first. They tend to have pre-described budgets and do not have the ability to make decisions to get started.

Thus, first, your best target market is a local decision-maker. We like a broad approach ourselves so any business (and eventually in our case any individual who lives locally) becomes a good prospect.

Some clients will be small businesses that operate out of their homes with no employees but with your help will grow and thus so will you grow.

Target markets we have found to be best include:

Local Manufacturers
These businesses provide a great source of cash flow for you since they tend to have good cash flow themselves once they reach $500,000 - $1,000,000 plus in sales. Work hard to develop 5 - 15 local successful manufacturing clients employing 15 - 150 people. Since manufacturing controls capital, and are hard to duplicate they will always be a good source of unlimited work. Manufacturers need management training, the development of Vision and Purpose, Goals Day and all sorts of systematization. We have discovered manufacturers are currently (1997) very interested in Internet web pages as well as databases. You can connect to the need for QS-9000, ISO-9000 to programs in goal setting, supervision classes etc.

Local leaders in construction, retail and auto service and parts businesses
These industries have not yet been able to be successfully duplicated by international businesses. Your job in this case is to help them stay number one in their local industry. This is essential since non-local competition is coming. Write them a letter to this effect.

Real Estate and Insurance
Local companies are also excellent prospects. There is a continued local focus among these firms. Yet at the same time the reality of the Internet threatens all insurance and real estate firms who are not taking action. Insurance firms are a great source of goals coaching on all levels of sales people. Both insurance and real estate owners are interested in database uses.

Our suggestion in building a consulting business in your hometown area is to systematically focus on the key business leaders in your community. Use direct mail relating to the services you specialize in. Generally, the leaders in the community who are most open to new ideas will join you first and then later the secondary wave of clients will follow the leader.


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