Atlanta based Swimming Pool Design Consultant Charles Lubbat will be the first to tell you – design consultancy is far from an exact science. In the same way that the best stock market experts must flow with a changing tide, consultancy is a discipline that requires a great deal of foresight, research, and careful planning.
Here are four valuable lessons that private consultants can learn from their corporate counterparts.
Lesson 1 – Successful consultation is based on defining results.
There is an infinite number of ways to “play” the market. If you go into the market to simply “make money,” you will likely come out a loser. Success for one does not define success for any of the others, and if your metrics for success are not properly aligned, you will never even know whether you are succeeding or not.
The best private consultant is the one who gives you a plan that is specific to your needs. Determine whether you want customer acquisition, higher conversions, more profit margin, etc., before you try to use a general plan that attempts to cover all bases. You will not be able to cover all bases!
Lesson 2 – You must be able to move in real time with the market.
As a professional consultant, Charles Lubbat has a reputation based on the ability to move when the client says move. Clients trust consultants to inform them of changing conditions and exact strategies that will work before the project catches up with them.
A piece of news can completely change the outlook on a material’s price. In today’s world of instant information, it is unacceptable for anyone calling himself a professional consultant to fall behind the curve when new information hits the scene. In the world of design, a new competitor may bring a new technology to the fore, or Google may change the rules that define search visibility. Consultants have to keep up.
Lesson 3 – Those who prepare for the future win both the present and the future.
When it comes to the stock market, the successful investors are thinking many steps ahead of the curve. There may be short-term gains in the near future, but the true expert is playing the long game at all times. There are ways to set up trades that cannot lose if one has enough money and time, and the job of their consultant is to figure out exactly how to make these strategies happen.
In the world of design consultancy, consultants are thinking ahead of the market as well. New technologies are often made public well before they actually deploy. The successful designer is already factoring these new technologies into strategies for the present day. The rumor mill usually starts working well before the changes take place. The successful consultant is thinking well ahead of how to make sure that clients stay satisfied today and tomorrow.
Lesson 4 – Constant analysis is the key.
No strategy in the stock market is perfect from the very beginning. Also, strategies that may be perfect for day one may not work on day three. A constant analysis is a key to success. Successful strategies must be duplicated and perfected. The bad parts get thrown out like yesterday’s garbage.
In the stock market, the main metric for results is easy to find. If a client makes money, then there is generally a good feeling there. However, an analysis may show that an investor could have made more during that same period with a few tweaks in strategy. In a general business sense, if the customer acquisition rate rises by 10% year over year, the successful marketer is trying to figure out how to make that number 15% or 20% under the same circumstances.
The above are only a few of the similarities between these two exciting and vital disciplines. In many cases, solutions to problems are more easily found through analogies than through a direct source. Private consultants can definitely look to the successful strategies of the stock market or corporate marketers to get some great ideas about how to move next and create more value for clients.