There comes a point in every business when the owner realizes they need advice and wonders, “Should I hire a consultant?” and, as with most things in life, the answer is, “It depends.”
Whether you’re starting a new company or growing an existing business, hiring the right consultant can be a cost-effective way for your small business to leverage specialized knowledge. So, the challenge for a small business owner is to understand the role of a consultant in their business.
What does a small business consultant do?
A business consultant is an outside expert you engage to solve internal business problems. A great consultant brings knowledge, skills, experience and processes to improve the client’s business.
Typically a Business Consultant will help with growing your business’s bottom line, business expansion and improvements. Your Business Consultant will have the ability to identify Profit Leakages in your business and have strategies to counter them. A great business consultant will also have considerable business experience in their own right and have an excellent network of business connections.
Why do people hire small business consultants?
Here are the three most common reasons why business owners turn to consultants for help:
- To find the problem: In many cases, a business may be exhibiting problematic “symptoms”, such as a decrease in sales, or cash-flow issues, and internal management in unable to pinpoint the source of the problem. In this case, a consultant can come in observe the symptoms within your operations, conduct some tests and research, and determine the root of the problem.
- To create the solution: In some cases, you may have a goal that you can’t achieve internally either because there is a skills gap or because it is simply not within your company’s core competency. Hiring a good consultant can save time and money, and ultimately achieve a better result.
- Optimization: In some cases, your company may have grown very quickly and know there are lots of things you could be doing better, but you don’t even know where to start. A consultant can come in and bring in some fresh perspective, evaluate any or all areas of your business, and determine the processes and procedures to increase productivity levels.
Where to find consultants
Finding the right consultant is the hard part. This is why it cannot be stressed enough the importance of the “mutual consulting interview”. Whether you talk to your consultant in person or by phone, a live interaction will tell you more about that consultant than any website or review will. Trust your gut. Is the person excited about your business, and about working with you? Where the feeling is mutual you will be able to form a great Business Success Partnership with the outside consultant that will work wonders for your business.