Most sport organizations are non-profits with small budgets and limited funds. They believe that they cannot afford a sport management consultant or that they don’t have enough going on to hire one. However, I believe that I can be of benefit even to the very smallest of sport organizations. The key is picking the most strategic place to use one so that you get the most bang for your buck. Today, we are going to discuss 3 reasons small sport organizations hire consultants to support their work.
1. Facilitating Important Conversations
The first reason to hire a consultant when your sport organization is small is to have a consultant facilitate an important conversation. A facilitator will determine your objectives and what you hope to achieve with your discussion. They will build an agenda with thoughtful questions. They will offer a neutral perspective to manage the meeting so that everyone feels safe and welcome to offer their perspectives. It helps to eliminate bulldozers and the squeaky wheels! If you’re having conversations that seem to be going in circles, there’s a lot of emotion in the room, or the resulting decision will have a big impact, a facilitator or consultant can be an excellent tool to guide the conversation.
2. Conducting Research
Volunteers are exactly that – they volunteer their time without payment, over and above daily duties of family, work, and hobbies. Sport organizations are often short on volunteers and a lot of work is managed by a few bodies. That’s why hiring a consultant to conduct research when you’re short on time is an excellent choice. Volunteers and staff are busy running the every-day and season-to-season business but sometimes need additional information to make informed decisions. Allowing a consultant to collect all of the information you need, so you just need to review and discuss and then make a decision, can save you a lot of time.
3. An Independent Perspective
People in sport are passionate about what they do. Emotions can run high because people are invested. Or, people can become entrenched in tradition or because it’s ‘what we’ve always done’. Sometimes, you can’t always see the forest through the trees. The third reason to hire a consultant when your organization is small is locate the issues when you know something is working but you aren’t exactly sure what. A hired consultant can come in and do diagnostics. An independent, third-party perspective can see things with a different lens. They will be able to pinpoint problems and offer solutions. A consultant will be able to present what they find, and then you’ll be able to use that information to make informed decisions.
Today we discussed 3 reasons why small sport organizations hire consultants, but there are more reasons than just these three. I truly believe that a consultant can support organizations of every size – even the smallest and most informally run. What’s most important is picking the place where the consultant will be of most help, in order to produce the most value. When we do our work well, it helps you do your work even better!
If you’d like to discuss where you might be able to use a consultant, reach out! I’m happy to speak to anyone about where I could support their sport organization to deliver better sport for all.