From time to time, things change in both business and life. Coping and dealing with those changes can get a little more complicated if your life is involved in an ice rink or athletic facility. From municipal facilities, to the mom and pop shop down the street, every once in a while the organization could use a little outside help.
There are likely hundreds of reasons to hire a consultant. Every facility has different reasons, but most of the reasons share a few themes. The reasons are listed in no particular order.
Consultants generally have experience and have personally gone through dramatic changes in the business climate. Bringing this experience to bear on the problems faced by your facility makes sense. Consultants are generally cost effective and in the years to come, you can measure their successes in time and money saved.
Reason #10: You need to let go family members or trusted long term employees.
Every business person founds a great organization and then family members or long term employees get involved. Any manager worth his or her salt will get emotionally involved with the people he or she works with on a daily basis. Most people want to have a Happy Thanksgiving and not endure the scornful looks from the other end of the table after they have let go a family member or long term trusted associate. When you know a person has to leave and you want to make sure you have good relationships with those left behind, being able to say an outside, disinterested professional recommended the change will help with the interpersonal issues. Hire a consultant, and have him or her recommend how to make changes in the organization which will help the bottom line. The consultant will find the pertinent issue (sometimes a different issue than you thought of) and help you and your organization change to suit.
#9 You need to have a politically correct reason to end a program, or change a facility
Frequently the politics of user groups and of government bodies mandate a neutral party to present ideas to resolve issues. Sometimes facilities wind up doing what is good for a user group or political body and lose sight of what is good for the facility. After the facility starts to lose money, or can't keep up on debt payments, the consultant comes in and makes a series of suggestions. The ownership entity follows some of the suggestions and the facility runs better than before. A consultant can help cut the haze so owners can see what really needs changing without being distracted by nonissues.
#8 You have a sudden shift in business and need help to forge a good strategy
This one usually comes up when someone builds a facility within a mile or two of your existing facility. The user groups like the new facility better (all other things being equal, customers always go to the nicest, newest facility). One morning you wake up and realize one of the ice rinks hosted freestyle for a solid week without any other activities resulting in diminished revenue inflow. Usually when this happens, the facility needs to adjust the structure and consultants can help quite well in strategic planning. Sometimes facilities change into a turf facility, basketball courts, or dry floor exhibition hall depending on the location. These changes are major, and getting an outside opinion helps.
#7 You think your vacant land would be a great place for an athletic facility
Your vacant land is large enough to support a multi use athletic facility, but prior to spending millions, you need a market assessment and feasibility study. Sometimes an owner just needs a little help getting his or her arms around some of the demographic and demand issues. this process goes better with someone who has daily contact with the retail ice rental market.
#6 You need help in determining which manager to hire
Hiring a manager can be difficult. In any interview process, the hiring manager never knows the candidate as well as he or she will after the new hire starts working. Sometimes, candidates come with factions and an unbiased viewpoint comes in handy. Some managers have a touch of blarney and separating truth from embellishments can be difficult. A consultant can help with these issues.
#5 Your facility had major damage and needs rebuilding
This one is tough. Your facility is in ruins, and you have to rebuild. Usually the roof collapsed, or there was a big fire. We hope you had insurance. A consultant can help get the construction details correct, help you ensure your contractors do not pad the bill (charge more than is customary), and determine if any additions to the structure make sense. The right consultant can make all the difference when this happens.
This post is long enough....We'll go for the next five next week. Stay tuned...