Do you need a professional, or an EXPERT? / by Annette Tait

A professional is someone who earns his or her living doing something – real estate, medicine, law, plumbing, electrical, and, yes, consulting. A professional should have solid general knowledge, and be capable of serving his or her clients’ needs.

An EXPERT is someone who is highly skilled in one or more specific topic areas, in addition to having solid overall knowledge in the field. An EXPERT is also a professional, but he or she also has highly developed experience and capabilities in a niche area of his or her industry.

Consider your family doctor. He or she may practice family medicine or be in general practice. As such, your doctor knows a lot about what makes your body tick, and how to treat what ails you. Your family doctor is a professional, and well worth respecting.

But there are times you need more condition-focused care than your family doctor can provide. If you have a heart problem, a bad knee, or a chronic illness, it’s time to see a specialist – an EXPERT in that particular area, who is better equipped to provide the care needed for your medical issue.

EXPERTS are also valuable when the specific issue hasn’t been identified. EXPERTS have the training, knowledge, and experience to review the symptoms and circumstances, and determine how to proceed with treatment.

So ask yourself – Do I need a professional, or an EXPERT?

Consider your situation. Is your concern clearly identified, and something standard best practices can address? A professional may be sufficient.

Or is something wrong, but you’re not sure what? Have you tried a variety of strategies and tactics, but nothing seems to work? You may need an EXPERT to help you pin down the cause, or help you develop a creative solution that addresses your individual needs.

If you need an expert, seek an individual or firm with that extra expertise in your area of concern -- someone who knows not just your basic business, but the niche you fill and how to address its particulars. You’ll be glad you did.


Tait & Kate are dedicated to helping small business, communities, and rural areas find their strengths and use them to grow.