Consulting is a great gig. I help companies increase revenues and profits, develop new products, increase manufacturing efficiency and lower scrap costs, leverage their intellectual property assets to protect their R&D investments and grow their businesses. At the end of the day, no matter what type of consulting project, my main value is to lower risk.
So why then do some clients engage with me to help them lower risk and other prospects don’t? A consultant friend of mine is Matthew Mabel. He is a fascinating consultant. Talk about a niche! Matthew works with successful restaurants to increase profits, grow revenues and make the owners life easier. See Matthews video:
No matter what type of business you’re in, nobody has all the answers. I will illustrate Matthew’s concept in the following two case studies:
Case study #1: Client didn’t surrender
In a first project with this client, I identified an attractive market and a potential new product that would use the client’s polymer technology (which was really good stuff!). The client did not engage me to lower their risk during product development. The client worked for over a year in a joint development agreement, made no technical progress, the development partner got frustrated and ended the agreement. I was called back about a year after the client declined my proposal to review the project. Ten minutes into the conversation I told them exactly what they missed and the project leader had one of those “AHA moments”. Since this client “didn’t know what they didn’t know” they did not surrender, tried to go-it alone and wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars. The frustrating aspect for me was that I had decades of expertise in the exact process the client struggled with.
Case Study #2: Client surrenders
Most of my clients are this type. These clients “know what they don’t know” and surrender. I do a lot of business development projects where a client has a cool polymer technology and they want to expand into new markets and more specifically want to get into the electronic packaging materials space. These clients surrender and we have a fun time developing new products. I help them lower risk by avoiding technical pitfalls, being more efficient during product development, and anticipating the scale-up and manufacturing readiness issues. I also act as a connector to get them working with the right customers or joint development partners, again with the goal of lowering risk during product development.
If you want to surrender and lower your risk during product development, then give me a call. We’ll have some fun dramatically increasing your business performance.