So what exactly does “business consultant” Shane Connors from Connors Consulting actually do?
Shane offers a business "health check" for all businesses. This is a review of all areas of the business and helps identify areas for potential improvement. Even if things are running well, often a number of little improvements can have a major impact. Equate it to a car service if you wish. Everything sounds and appears normal but runs much better and more efficiently after a service.
The business review goes through all areas, e.g. finance, operations, admin, sales and marketing, HR, IT etc and identifies areas for gradual or slight improvement, as well as areas/ issues of major concern. Research has shown that by making a number of incremental improvements, across all areas of the business, profitability is significantly improved.
The first thing I do is focus on potential cost saving areas in SME’s and owner managed businesses. A few simple examples - what mobile phone operator does the business use, and are all of the phones on the correct tariff? If not, then costs can be saved immediately.
Another example is helping a very small business with it's bank review. Shane has helped prepare a short business plan for this particular business, with 3 years projections. A loan was recommended, instead of using the overdraft all the time, saving the client on surcharge and interest. This also improved cash flow, so it allowed the business to focus on development, not just survival. In addition, because the bank knew there was a business advisor involved it filled a gap on the management team (even though his input was merely occasional), which gave them comfort as well.
Another example was of getting a client to change to online banking, and make all of the payments online. Because no more cheques were being written, costs were reduced. This applies to any business, large or small. Shane helps business owners to manage their time and skills better to help them get what they want.
Because he doesn’t have a large staff, he can provide these services at a low cost. The client is just paying for his expertise, no admin or hidden costs. Shane’s experience is with small businesses, and his work ranges from either one off projects, like the finance application, or more long term. The rate Shane charges varies depending on the size of the company, and the value of the potential savings which he can bring them.
“Most Business Owners/ MD's find where they're sitting is one of the toughest and loneliest positions in business, and the purpose of the general business review is to re-assure them that their business is on a sustainable path, and my role is to help them on that journey” explains Shane.
So what gives Shane (who is originally from Kilmac and educated in St Augustine’s College, Dungarvan prior to third level) the right and knowledge to qualify to do such a role? Shane received an Under grad and Masters Degree in Business, then took on a role of Chartered Accountant for 3 years in Corporate Finance, and spent a further 7 years in finance and senior management positions within a fast growing Irish retail network. Shane is also an accredited associate of the IIB since August 09.
Shane states he always knew he would one day set up on his own, and finally got capital together post redundancy to commence his ambition in April of this year.
Connors Consulting is his own independent business, but as an Accredited Associate of the Institute for Independent Business (IIB) (which was established in 1984), Shane Connors is one of 4,500 specialist business advisors worldwide, approx 20 of these are in Ireland. The advantage of this is he can call on the skills of any of these specialists to solve any business problem his clients have.
It’s the ongoing support services provided by Connors Consulting that reassure potential clients that this is a long term and interested partnership. Connors Consulting offers that telephone or email contact is available at any time. Shane also recommends a formal update meeting each quarter with every client to make sure the correct focus is prevalent and positive results are being achieved. There is also the option of on site help from Shane or one of his associates, on agreed basis.
Shane believes in general the best element of customer service is being available, hands on, to solve problems and also staying close to the person and to the business which is emphasised in his business strategy with each client.
The advice Shane has for fellow entrepreneurs thinking of starting up on their own and following their dream is to surround yourself with good advisors and network, network, network. A business doesn’t become known and successful overnight, and so must be nourished and grown slowly and with a lot of hard work and long hours. Although less than a year in business Shane has experienced many rewards and challenges of running his own enterprise. Helping businesses to get through the crisis is definitely the best aspect of Shane’s job and where the adrenaline starts to flow. Also getting business owners to admit they need help is a huge step forward and for Shane the interesting part of his business is experiencing the broad variety of business sectors, industries and problems
Although huge advances and progress have already been accomplished in the past number of months for Connors Consulting, Shane Connors is very definite about his visions for the future. Shane anticipates continuing growing the business by gathering more clients, and helping business owners on their journeys. Shane will also actively look to increase the number of Irish (IIB) Associates.
The business philosophy Shane works to is
- Keep it simple
- Under-promise and over-deliver
- It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission!
So if you think your business could benefit from a brief chat with Shane or a full MOT but have up to now figured it was only the larger type companies who used the assistance of a consultant, maybe its time to reconsider and risk saving some money…..
To contact Shane for a brief chat or to make an appointment phone 086 3835138 or you can email him on email@example.com
Connors Business Advisors is a recent member to the Dungarvan & West Waterford Chamber. For further information about the above business, or generally about the Dungarvan & West Waterford Chamber, please contact telephone number 058 45054 or email; firstname.lastname@example.org