The Small Business Makeover

Doug has been wondering if there isn't more he can do to move his consulting company forward. He has been working at it for four years and is not yet making as much money as he was earning in his last job. Specializing in commercial interior design, he has established some return clients and he has received work through referrals from past customers.

Doug meets Kirsten, a business coach, at a Wayfinders business networking session. He's met her a couple of times at prior functions, so he feels comfortable telling her that he's wondering what more he can do to promote sales. Kirsten probes with a few open-ended questions to get a better idea what is needed. After a bit of conversation and seeing that Doug is struggling on a couple of fronts, Kirsten pops the question, "have you considered the idea of a business makeover?"

Kirsten explains that a makeover would start with a full assessment by a multidisciplinary team. Doug asked Kirsten who she would invite to be part of the makeover team. Choices include:

  • Graphics artist
  • Financial planner
  • Sales consultant
  • Marketing consultant
  • Office organizer
  • And herself as coach

The full assessment may suggest bringing in others as needed later. The team was made made up of people Doug and Kirsten already knew through Wayfinders, plus a graphic artist Doug chose from the Wayfinders graphic arts gallery. Doug or Kirsten could have posted a general call for proposals for selected qualifications on Wayfinders if they didn't have existing contacts who were available at the right cost.

The team met as per makeover plan and coordinated meetings at Doug's home office as well as off site. The team also met without Doug to share ideas privately and to strategize. Each also conducted a separate assessment of Doug's current status from their professional perspectives, and then prescribed a few key changes that would have maximum impact. In some cases Doug needed to make only minor changes. But then the reassurance meant fewer things to worry about.

The team co-ordinates through collaborative project management software on the Wayfinders' cloud platform. The software is used from the earliest planning through implementation to final evaluation. Each member always knows what they and the others are supposed to be doing. Project planning includes scheduling and budgeting.

The result was not only a printed plan, but follow-through actions, as Kirsten, a professional coach, reinforced the prescribed changes with planning and accountability measures. As a result, Doug began to notice considerable increases in sales over the next three months and beyond.

Doug will pay the different team members with a combination of cash and Wayfinders credits as agreed to in their contracts. Kirsten could have acted as an agent for the team but chose not to in this instance. Other Wayfinders members choose play the role of a broker or agent in bringing teams together for specific projects, and get paid for the service.

"Can I join this team and be part of a make-over?", Doug asked. As an interior designer, Doug is ideally suited to add his talents to a multi-disciplinary makeover team put together on Wayfinders' platform. Makeover teams are fluidly forming as called upon. Consultants are plugged into a network of other consultants who join up on an ad hoc basis.