April 2005

Buyer Guide to Low Cost Technology Consulting

Bringing technology to your business can be time consuming and very expensive. Good technical consultants run about $2,400 per day plus travel and living expenses. For large companies it is cost effective to bring in a “knows-ologist” to help identify problems and give focus to alternative solutions. Typically a company can save many times the cost of bringing an employee on board and can avoid wasted dollars and time starting new efforts that are going down the wrong path.

So how does a company that does not have the contacts or resources obtain these services? Typically the owner (jack-of-all trades) or a key employee takes time and effort to find out about the alternatives and progresses with on-the-job-training (OJT). By keeping the effort small and spreading it out over time you have a good chance of making the right choice. The issue with this approach is that it can take several years because of the significant effort needed to run a company.

An alternative to this is to utilize your employees or friends children. No I am not suggesting we bring back slave labor, though at a time when the next generation starts to act up, a labor camp can sound appealing. College students are fearless when it comes to new things. Just go to a mall and see the high tech email, text messaging and electronics that the next generation takes for granted and use as if the cell phone was a third arm. In addition they have infinite energy. They are like the energizer bunny, they just keep going. The trick is to find a good match. First, it is a process that may take several years, but will add value as your business grows. Hire them to fill in during the summer and vacations, they can help during busy periods or the holidays when your employees are taking vacation. They get to know your business and when the opportunity for a project comes along, let them be a part of the process. Before you know it, they will be finding new and different ways to run your business. Typically you can pay the hourly rate at the fast food restaurant plus $1.00 and add a dollar/hour each year.

You receive several benefits 1) your employees are happier because their children are off the street and earning money. 2) You have a low cost labor source to fill in during peak and slow season and 3) Your company has a ready source of well-trained consultants who know your business and can bring in some of the latest and greatest ideas into your company.

I would like to thank Alan Kaddatz at Pat’s Service, Inc. who introduced me to this business practice. In his way he not only runs a business, but gives back to the community that wins for everyone.

 

 


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