Love Potions, Snake Oil & One Day Wonders

Multi Channel ConsultancyThis has been bugging me for a year or maybe more now for comment that was made in passing along the lines of “Matt, don’t make it sound like snail oil, you’re better than that“. So I have a short story to share with you.

That comment has stuck with me for well over a year now and I keep coming back to it.

The problem that I have is that unlike “traditional” consultancy where an individual or company will pimp themselves for a day and silly high rate, I know from experience that this just does not work.

The One Exception

I’ve only ever met one person called Andy who was able to take an obscene amount of information in and process it almost entirely in one hit.

This was a highly technical installation at eSellerPro back to back from 09:30 in the morning to completion at 17:30. The single reason the entire account didn’t go live was because we both decided that it was a better idea to not interrupt the weekend sales and to launch the following Monday, once everything had calmed down from the weekend sales.

Monday came and by that afternoon the entire business had moved across and I’ve just checked on Andy’s business and at a rough estimate, they’ve easily cleared at least 125,000 transactions in the last 12 months alone.

Out of the hundreds of people I’ve met & have had the pleasure of working with, that was the exception and even then it probably took an extra +30 hours to iron out the kinks which we created that day.

Information Overload

I “sponge out” after an hours instruction/discussion, most people are lucky to go for 40 minutes without hitting a limit to what they can take in. This why in reality, consultancy “days” are a complete fail for what I do. It takes time…

Time to thoroughly understand what actions need to be taken, to arrive at a process that is effective can sometimes take months to complete. If we throw in other skills that need to be learned by the parties involved, then…

this again doesn’t happen over night.

If I think about different Andy & a chap called Chris, we’ve spoken 20 or more times on a single project and they are (as am I) still working out the processes they need for their business and how to cope with variety effectively.

Last night I spent an hour with Paul to implement a new listing template, this has been in discussion for maybe 3-4 hours to arrive at the template version we deployed last night, but it doesn’t stop there, as the template is implemented we found that we needed to cover some image editing skills and also some basic HTML editing too.

One Day Wonders Fail

Acute issues can sometimes be solved in short amounts of time, sometimes with just a plaster to fix the issue. However plasters only go so far and rarely solve the underlying issue that caused it in the first place.

Let’s think about your eCommerce business for a few moments, could replicate the last 12 months work in a single day?  I bet it took, well 12 months to get to where you are now, some hefty long hours and if you’re anything like me enough coffee to drink Jamaica dry.

Multi Channel Consultancy PlasterAnd that’s is exactly why a single day or sticky plaster with a princess on it is a road to failure. If you’re thinking that a half day or even a full days consultancy might work for your business, I wholeheartedly suggest you walk away. The moment that door closes, the conversation is over, but the challenges that you face are continuous and ever changing.

It’s why I point blank refuse to work with businesses for a “day”, it doesn’t feel right and I know it’s not right because things change, they always do. Anyway, after 40 minutes, you’d be thinking of lunch, I know I would be too ;-)

  • So could you replicate even last week in a single day?
  • What are your thoughts on single days of consultancy?
  • Have you employed someone in the past in this manner, how did you find the experience?

Let me know in the comments box below.

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