- November 8, 2017
- Posted by: David Marshall
- Category: Management
When your business is in a small rural area, like Gilmer, Texas (where Robroy Industries is located, nearer to Shreveport, Louisiana than Dallas), it can be pretty difficult to attract high-powered help, because they would have to relocate. It’s hard to get big city people to move to a small town.
Then again, if you’re a small or medium-sized business, you don’t need high-powered help on a regular basis to have a successful business, so it doesn’t make sense to hire full-time people to include in your overhead.
When people join an organization, they develop tunnel vision and don’t necessarily give you a window into the world. But if you hire specialists from outside and make them a partner in your business, even if it’s for a short while, they’re a consistent source of new ideas and concepts because they have other clients, often live somewhere else, and see the world from a broader perspective.
So in order to get that outsider’s perspective, I always made sure to bring in the outside specialists to help me achieve it.
When I first joined Robroy in Gilmer, Texas, I needed to hold an event that would cause people to come together so I could get to know them quickly, and they could get to know me, and we could start working together. America is a huge damn country, after all, and I wasn’t going to be able to visit everyone, so I decided to hold a national sales meeting.
I didn’t have anyone on staff who could organize a meeting that size or manage the logistics of one, so I called up Sandy Bauder, a professional event planner. She was the one who actually planned the event and helped execute it. She did such a great job that first time that I used her for every event I ever held afterward, and we developed a 20+ year relationship.
My only advice to her was “whatever you do, don’t screw it up.”
And she made sure she never did. She even coined the phrase that she was my “potentially former meeting planner,” meaning she recognized that her continued relationship with us depended on her doing her best work. Whenever I introduced her over the years, I even introduced her that way — my “potentially former meeting planner.” She always did her best for us though, and she never became a “former” anything to us.
But the benefit of having Sandy work for us as a freelance remote specialist meant that I could have the professional services of an expert as part of my team, but only when I needed her to be. I didn’t have to pay her full-time, only when she did her work for us.
Better yet, Sandy lived in Dallas, which meant she worked for a lot of large clients. She knew the Dallas meeting and event landscape, knew all the professionals in the city, and did all of her planning, networking, and professional development in one of the biggest cities in the country.
This helped her to become the best event planner she could be, and one of the best in the region, if not the country. This was much better for us than hiring a rookie and training them to become a good meeting planner. If we did that, we also risked losing them after a few years, which would mean starting all over and training a new meeting planner. This way, we always had an excellent meeting planner who could hit the ground running time after time.
Whether you’re working with vendors, sales reps, or highly-skilled specialists, you can outsource a lot of your specialist work, which means you get the very best work from the very best people, you never have to cover their high salaries as part of your overhead, and they get to live in the part of the country they like best. The ideal setup for= having a successful business in a remote part of the country.
I’ve been a manufacturing executive, as well as a sales and marketing professional, for a few decades. Now I help companies create their own successful business. If you would like more information, please visit my website and connect with me on Twitter or LinkedIn.