Being a successful business owner means knowing how to protect your time. As a new entrepreneur or the head of an established company, time is your most valuable resource. And if you’re giving it away too easily, or worse, to the wrong things, you might pay for it down the road.
That’s when small business consulting services can be helpful.
In this article, we’ll look at the benefits of hiring a small business consultant, and help you determine if you need one for your company.
What Do Small Business Consulting Services Do?
A small business consultant’s job is basically an outside expert that solves problems within your business. Most are equipped with years of experience in running businesses, or experts at solving one or two particular problems (such as analytics, hiring, or technology).
You usually pay them a one-off fee (often in installments) to come in and provide you with a specific result. They are generally not paid by the hour, and the best consultants can require a hefty sum of money.
That’s why, depending on your situation, you might just prefer hiring a new employee with experience in, say, analytics, or bringing in an outside team (like Hartford Tech Support, for example).
Where Do You Find Them?
The easy answer is online., and there are plenty of tips for hiring the right consultant. But keep in mind that one thing you’ll be up against is the sheer magnitude of people out there who call themselves ‘consultants. It’s a vague term, and therefore easy to adopt.
Look for a consultant with:
- Experience solving the specific problem you need to address in your small business.
- Someone with referrals, either in your industry or in fixing the problem you need help with.
- Someone with data to back up their claims about their services.
- Someone with industry experience—basically, someone that’s done what you’re doing before.
While there are plenty of consultants out there, your best bet is to find one that serves both your specific industry and need.
Does Your Company Need a Consultant?
When to hire a consultant varies. But most of the time, it’s when the business begins to hemorrhage money or project revenue drops in the near future. Putting a hefty sum of money into a consultant may put you further in the hole, but the right professional is an investment in the health of your business.
Other times you may need a consultant are:
- When your company expands into a new niche or industry.
- When technology disrupts or changes your product or service.
- When your human resources department begins costing your company money (due to growth or ineffective performance).
- When you’re considering new marketing approaches for your business.
As you can see, the reasons vary. Giving a definitive yes or no is hard, but a good consultant can probably tell you right away if their experience will be helpful for you or not.
Small Business Consulting: Wrap Up
So, does your company need small business consulting services? It depends. Consultants can cost a lot of money, but if you find one that can solve your company’s specific problem, it might be worth the investment.
Basically, the key is to look for someone that can prove they know how to solve your problem—through data, referrals, and otherwise. This gives you the best chance of getting a good return on your investment.
Don’t forget to check back often to never miss our latest posts!