Hardware Retailing

OCT 2017

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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HARDWARE RETAILING | October 2017 58 Lessons to Learn About Business Consultants 10 10 W hen 10th Street Hardware owners Steve DeShong and Troy Usnik were making plans to open a second store in Philadelphia, a friend recommended using a business consultant to help them manage the development of the new operation. DeShong is now convinced they made the right decision. Here are 10 lessons he learned from working with a business consultant. Bring them in at any stage of the plan. "We started working with a business consultant just because of this new location," DeShong says. "He participated in the lease negotiation aspect of the new store, he helped launch our new website and he is helping us with our marketing for the new store." They should improve your vision. DeShong had ideas to market the new location, and his business consultant helped him think of ways to reach new customers, like creating welcome packages for new apartment residents with branded sponges and coupons for a free key copy. Find an expert. The business consultant DeShong works with previously ran his own small business before selling it to become a consultant for other small businesses. The consultant's prior experience helped confirm DeShong's feeling that they had found the right person for the job. They work with your existing ideas. "When my friend suggested I work with a business consultant, I didn't know what that meant. I thought, 'Will he give me ideas? I've got tons of ideas, I just need them to be implemented.' Once we met, he understood what we needed, and it seemed to be a good fit." 1 2 3

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