I have, to this point, unsuccessfully attempted to start a consulting business. Many talk about starting on a shoe-string budget but I couldn’t even afford that expense. I, falsely, assumed that I could get a start by reaching out to friends that have their own businesses and helping them with improvements. Only one bit but I am so thankful for their willingness to hire me. We have done some neat things together for their business.

In the process of trying to make it as a small business owner I had started to listen to and read articles from those who have done so successfully. One such podcast hit the nail on the head. Awareness.

How does one make people aware of the service being offered with no marketing and no marketing budget?

Awareness, as it turns out, has become my biggest challenge. My original plan was to do great work for my friends who would then talk to their acquaintances and awareness of my business and abilities would spread. The process has not worked. Even though I have done great work for my single client the news has not spread beyond their doors. (Maybe I need to ask them to share with their associates.)

My additional plan was to attend community gatherings: city council, chamber of commerce and rotary club just to make my presence known. I volunteered and spoke at the rotary club and the talk was well received. These attempts and awareness have also resulted in remaining unknown.

I am unsure of the actual purpose of this post except to put into words the real struggles I am having in generating awareness for my fledgling, struggling business.

Continuous Improvement

We all recognize industry buzz-words when we read them and that often makes our brains shutdown momentarily. I will admit to having the same reaction at times. However, don’t be too quick to dismiss these concepts as out-of-date or useless. Instead consider changing your mindset and taking a few minutes of your time to decide if, when properly deployed, can make a significant impact on your performance and/or the performance of your company.

Continuous Improvement is a valuable concept and should be central to regular conversations concerning performance. The idea can take on two roles. One, what should we be doing and two, what should we stop doing. Both can improve performance.

To improve doesn’t necessarily require a huge change in direction or process. Improvements can come in all forms of process change from small to large. The benefit is to be on the look-out for ways to improve and to not be satisfied with the current level of success. Seems like common sense and yet can be so difficult.

The difficulty often arises from being so close to the current operation or processes. You have probably already fixed the glaring issues and now things seem to be running smoothly. The challenge is to find the smaller issues and make course corrections before they become major problems. You may need to get fresh eyes on the process that might see something you have missed. Often the line employees will have good ideas. Managers from other departments might add a fresh perspective. You might even need to hire a consultant with experience to improve thought processes, implement data collection and define training that can take your company to the next level.

Why is continuous improvement so important? I believe the concept is “if you aren’t moving forward, you are losing ground”. You need to be looking for ways to improve. Open yourself up to opportunities to get better. Don’t be hampered by the “not created here” syndrome. Be the change agent.

The Pyramid

You are probably familiar with the concept of the pyramid when it comes to describing a workforce in business. In general, the base of the pyramid is the greatest number of employees progressing to the top of the pyramid which is the CEO or similar title.

If you work for an “enlightened” boss you may have heard her/him refer to the Upside-Down Pyramid. The idea, in their company, is that the majority work force are the most important employees in the company. In other words, the line workers, operators, inspectors, buyers and so on. These are the people who keep the company moving by creating the company’s output, products or services.

I would like to spend the next few paragraphs challenging the idea of the Upside-Down Pyramid. To start let me state a fact that a pyramid resting on the pointed top is impossibly unstable and destined to fail. That is why anyone who builds a pyramid starts with the base and works up to the pointed top.

I understand the concept and the visual makes some employees feel good about their position. However, I would challenge that the most important part of the pyramid, in its original construction, is the base. Without a solid base there is no way for a pyramid to stand the test of time and the stress that will be applied throughout its existence. The base is the foundation upon which the balance of the company will be built. If the base fails the rest of the pyramid is soon to follow.

So how does one build and portray a company structure that promotes stability while not minimizing the importance of leadership and vision? I contend that you do so by recognizing the importance of the entire pyramid structure and promoting the solid foundation of the base.

If the base is lacking any functionality or ability you need to be able to pull from up the pyramid to “fill” the holes. In other words, the management chain cannot be afraid to get their hands dirty. Often this requires doing the most menial jobs as the manager may lack the proper training to do the more sophisticated work. Suddenly the top (or at a minimum a level of manager) of the pyramid is taking orders from the bottom.

The willingness to take action creates two outcomes, one, the importance of the base is evident and two, it lights a fire under the upper part of the pyramid to find a good, long-term solution to the lacking functionality or ability. The idea is to continue to build the base so that upper management has the time to build the vision and future.

Another idea that is paramount to building strong companies is to fill from below. Promoting internally, when possible, creates employee buy-in and retention. Creating managers from the base creates an environment that recognizes and understands the importance of a good foundation. Promoting from within is not always possible so when you have to go outside for talent, find an employee who holds a similar philosophy and is willing to learn about the functions of the company’s pyramid base and hold that in high esteem.

The last item I want to mention is pressure. The base of the pyramid may experience the greatest degree of pressure as they support the balance of the structure. So to alleviate this pressure there needs to be escape paths that will allow the hot air to rise. You create these escape paths through open door policies and a willingness to listen thus promoting the importance, once again, of the pyramid base. These individuals may have gripes but with gripes often rise solutions to problems that management had not considered.

I hope it has become very apparent to the reader how important the base of the pyramid is to a company’s success. I also hope that the reader understands that the base must be the foundation and therefore the bottom of the structure. The Upside-Down Pyramid is often a leaders way to make employees feel better about themselves without actually creating an environment where the workers at the base feel like they are the most important and recognize it in their every day. Ask that same leader to draw an organization chart and it will look just like a pyramid (not upside-down).

In conclusion, protect the foundation of your company and the workers who are responsible for maintaining that structure. Lead by example and recognize you also have to provide a future vision for the company to be successful. Don’t be afraid of reaching the echelon of upper management. You have earned the title. However, never forget on whose shoulders you stand when you reach that height. They, the base, will be the ones who make you look good.

Why Choose a Consultant (Me)

Many companies would off-hand dismiss their need for a consultant in regards to their business. I know I have been in their shoes.

As a consultant that produces a hurdle for me to either break through or jump over. Having given the idea some thought I have come up with 3 reasons why a company (any company) might want to find and hire a great consultant.

Reason 1. The company knows what they want to accomplish but do not have the time or resource available.

Explanation 1. Consultants provide a readily available resource that will allow a company to produce the desired goal in a short period of time. They are, in general, well-educated, well versed and experienced individuals who have the knowledge and wherewithal to provide companies with talent that is needed in the short-term. There exists no overhead, no taxes and no insurance needs just a straight cost resource to accomplish a specific task.

Reason 2. The company knows they want to improve in a given area but aren’t sure how to accomplish that goal.

Explanation 2. As mentioned previously, consultants are individuals with varied backgrounds and experiences that can be adapted to meet many needs. The consultant can provide insight and direction for the company and assist in defining the steps necessary to meet the desired goal. Further the consultant can, through their experience, provide development, documentation and training to create a process that can continue to meet the goal for many years to come.

Reason 3. The company knows they need to improve but are not sure where to start or how to change.

Explanation 3. The stated issue is right in the wheel-house of a good consultant. Through years of experience the consultant can provide bite-size projects to get the company started down the road to future success. The beauty of this methodology is that the company can see immediate returns and then use that data to decide, with the assistance of the consultant, how to proceed. The consultant can, in a short period of time, provide education in process development, documentation and training that will help the company stay on a path of continual improvement. In addition, the company will have found an invaluable resource that they can use as needed to insure they are on the path to greatest success.

Conclusion: Before dismissing off-hand the need for a consultant take a minute to consider the value proposition. A consultant can effect maximum change in a minimum time frame with maximum effort and at a reasonable cost.


The center of Mearig Business Consulting is processes.

Every company has processes. The challenge for many companies is to recognize their existence and their importance. The main charter for Mearig Business Consulting is to assist companies to change that mind-set.

Processes define how a company operates. How their employees perform their job function and at the core determine the level of company success. In years of experience with processes and process development I usually find the following systems:

First is “word of mouth“. These are the processes that have been defined and placed into existence through the knowledge of the creator. Rarely are these processes documented. The company expectation is for managers and supervisors to train existing and incoming employees to the processes that were explained to them at their own introduction to the company. The problem with this approach is akin to the Telephone Game where knowledge starts at the source and by the time it goes through 8 to 10 people the output is often vastly different from the input. The result is often unhappy upper management and unhappy employees as mistakes are made throughout the organization even though all have been trained to the processes.

Second is single effort documented processes. These start well and produce an employee base that is going the same direction with the same instructions. The issue arises when these processes change without changing the documentation. Personnel find a better way and implement a new process and the company finds themselves in a similar “word of mouth” situation. However, the condition may be even worse as new employees are trained to old documentation and mistakes occur due to improper process document control and new employees not being told about the “new” processes.

Third is companies who document processes and maintain a control system that allows process changes to drive documentation changes. These companies rarely deal with mistakes due to lack of information. They find their employees, throughout the chain of command, to be more aware and responsive to the companies goals and direction. This leads to employee longevity and increases job satisfaction. Employees throughout the organization are happier and more involved as they take ownership of process and process change. Control brings freedom.

Here at Mearig Business Consulting our goal is to move all companies to the third system.

Mearig Business Consulting Start-Up

Mearig Business Consulting is a small business that was established in 2018 though the idea and concept have been in incubation for a couple of decades.

The idea behind the business is to assist companies in finding a better way to perform their day-to-day operations through process development, documentation and training. Establishing guidelines, methods and procedures that will increase the company’s productivity. In addition, these established methods will improve customer relations as well as increasing employee moral and retention.

Joel will call on his past experience in operations to provide tools, thought processes, documentation standards and training methods to move companies beyond their current boundaries and into performance levels that, previously, seemed unattainable.

The great thing about Mearig Business Consulting is that it is available to all companies regardless of the product produced or service provided. Company size is also not a barrier to entry. Joel has developed concepts and implementation ideas that are cross-functional and fit every business model and size. These ideas are time-tested and proven.

Mearig Business Consulting services are available immediately to assist you in increasing your businesses bottom line.

Call Joel at 442-249-0060 or email to setup an initial consultation for free.