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Why is an outsider’s perspective on a business important?

Updated: Jul 18, 2019

A straight-up confession, we absolutely fall for out of the box business ideas. I mean, who doesn’t? These new-age entrepreneurs who aim to disrupt the conventional ways of living and passion to make it real big are surely the ones to look forward too.

A trip to reality and we find ourselves in the exact opposite side of our expectations, seeing these game-changing ideas fail terribly. Almost a majority of businesses that once started as a vision to change the future by the entrepreneurs end up in gallows.

It’s harsh, but what causes it? To answer the question, we at Thinking Spree conducted independent research on our end to get at the bottom of it. While the detailed reasons are covered in one of our previous articles (read it here), one of the reasons for startups failure came out to be a lack of an outsider’s perspective on the business. An outsider’s perspective is an unbiased approach that an expert provides on your current business functioning.

So, is an outsider’s perspective really worth it?

Before we provide the conclusion (or at least try to), what needs to be kept in mind is a recent survey carried out by Kabbage which concludes that 63% of business owners lack professional advice on their business which has a direct impact on their growth. Undoubtedly, an outsider’s perspective is a determining factor for your business. But how does it assert its significance in determining success?

The reasons for why unfolds itself in various domains as elaborated upon below-

Self-belief or overconfidence?

While self-belief is important, too much of self-belief can prove to be fatal for the business. No doubt, a strong quality prevalent in leaders is self-belief but many times, it also proves to be the downfall for the business due to the rigidity in their ideas of running the business. This rigidity often ends up ignoring ideas that could help improve the business and neglect opportunities to explore opportunities for additional growth which could've been seen through the objective eyes of an external advisor. It’s equivalent to what every proofreader does for writers, enabling the best out of the writers by providing impartial perspectives to improve.

Resources, but time?

It comes as a no surprise (neither it should be) that running a business is a challenging task. According to a report by McKinsey a leading consultancy firm, time crunch and time management appear to be a defining organizational roadblock in a lot of firms today, with 52% of the managers admitting they were not able to focus on strategic visions. It is very easy to get bogged down in the day to day running of the business and to have a limited perspective on your business and what is happening in the world around you. Although this idea is surprisingly overlooked by businesses, external advisors can provide valuable insights that could be very easily overlooked by the upper management as they tend to be so engrossed in the day-to-day aspects of their position, or overly involved in the specific situation at hand that they lack the ability to take a step back and consider a different approach.

Spend less, get more

Most of the big companies today hire external CEOs and management in place of in-house experts to get the money rolling. Research published by HBR supported the former, concluding external executives provide more vision to the company. While these big firms have the financial backing to hire the star CEOs, it comes as a no surprise if SMEs and startups often avoid bearing the cost, missing out on the advice. A more viable and profitable approach for these mid-level business players is then to hire external experts on the need-serve basis and get the much-needed expert view on their business. In fact, this isn’t something new but already established in countries such as USA and UK having a multi-billion-dollar industry based on the same idea.

It comes as a no boomer then that we see rapid growth in the industry with more and more of small business players opting for expert’s advice. The needed push is raising awareness about the importance of experts for the business. According to a study by the Copenhagen Business School, 67% of businesses are likely to face trouble in expansion and survival without having an external advisor or perspective from a person who is not related to the business. Thus, this exemplifies the importance of an outsider’s perspective on maneuvering through various business challenges and carving the way to success. After all, we all need a proofreader for our business chapter, don’t we?


About the Author:

Rana Madhvendra: Student, startup enthusiast. I write long sentences and yet find myself to be a minimalist. Unironically, that's ironic.

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