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Wednesday, April 16, 2014
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Published: 4/15/2004

Consultant maximizes opportunity

From yesterday's Blade:

"The price of renovating the Erie Street Market could be as high as $5 million, under [an $80,000] consultant's preliminary recommendation [to physically reorganize the market], Mayor Jack Ford said yesterday."

QUESTION: Why does it take $80,000 for someone to tell city officials that all the Erie Street Market needs to do is, essentially, rearrange the furniture?

TAXPAYER ANSWER: Hey, that's what I'd like to know!

CONSULTANT ANSWER: The inherent difficulties of reviewing the market's marketability, marketing, and market setbacks are not readily apparent but are nevertheless multifaceted.

It is necessary, in order to undertake a thorough review of all the impacting factors, to demonstrate both a willingness and ability to thoroughly review the situation.

Moreover, to successfully recapture lost market share and increase marketability, a client must recognize a consultant's willingness and ability in a manner that is monetarily sufficient.

Finally, consultants have to obtain their own health insurance. This goes a long way in accounting for their stratospheric fee scale.

Q: Well, if we're so smart, why do we even need consultants?

TAXPAYER A: Hey, that's what I'd like to know!

CONSULTANT A: It would be a thought-process error to assume that engaging the services of a consultant in any way indicates client shortcomings or lack of ability.

Consultants historically have a wider scope and broader range of vision that can come with approaching a given situation with the perspective of a highly trained outsider.

Moreover, graduate-level training often gives consultants the considerable advantage of constructing more architecturally complicated sentences, thereby giving an impression of heightened competence and, therefore, fee value.

Finally, consultants are, by definition, "hired guns," i.e., their own employer. And if you're so smart, why are you still working for someone else?

Q: Hey, was that an insult?!

TAXPAYER A: Hey, that's what I'd like to know!

CONSULTANT A: No, that was not an insult. That was merely the truth, right?

Q: Wow! Good point! OK, how do I get in on the "consultant" business?

TAXPAYER A: Hey, that's what I'd like to know!

CONSULTANT A: It is imperative to understand, and frequently demonstrate understanding of, the proper use of the phrase "maximizing opportunity." Used properly, these crucial words from the consultant's handbook convey to clients the consultant's sensitivity to whatever urgent marketing and/or marketability issues face the client.

Moreover, consultants are well-advised to seek out their own opportunities to maximize opportunities. In the case of the Erie Street Market, for example, a shrewd consultant, who had already identified the main problem as one of physical reorganization, might find a way to solve the client's problem while simultaneously publicizing the consultant's unique problem-solving abilities.

Finally, coming soon: HGTV's "Designer's Challenge" takes on a marketplace makeover!



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