Whether you run an SME or a large conglomerate, there will be a time when you need to hire an outside consultant. It could be for anything from market research to growth strategies; but knowing when the right time to seek outside help could be the difference between business success and failure.
Why hire an outside consultant?
There will come a time when in order for a business to continue to grow, it requires a fresh pair of eyes to see things from a different perspective. When a company is facing a tough decision or they’ve reached an impasse amongst decision makers, an outside consultant can come in and provide an impartial opinion.
Problem solving experience
Because consultants work with a variety of businesses, they often have the experience and creativity to deal with the problems at hand. As a result of this experience, they are able to bring new and innovative ideas and even play devil’s advocate by asking challenging questions that the clients probably wouldn’t have been able to see on their own.
Need additional people
Sometimes, if a business is working on a big project, they might require additional help for a short-period of time. Instead of hiring someone on a short-term contract, they can hire a consultant who has the experience within that field and is adept at learning new business cultures.
Hiring employees isn’t cheap – from producing and advertising the job vacancy, to reading CVs, interviewing, offering, and then waiting for notices to be undertaken, it costs the average company around £3,000. And even then, there’s no guarantee this new employee will fit the company culture, but with consultants there often isn’t this problem.
Want specialised skills
Perhaps the most common reason that companies hire consultants is to gain access to a specialised skill set that might not exist in-house. Hiring a consultant for a fixed or flexi-term basis allows the business to have an expert within their field without having to hire them full-time and only requiring their skills occasionally.
Whether you require business growth strategies from a professional consultancy firm, or you need an advertising and marketing consultant to help launch a new product, there are no shortage of specialists who are able to transform your business.
When to hire an outside consultant?
If you own or your part of one of the six million SMEs in the UK, chances are that you don’t have the expertise in every field on your team. As such, hiring a business consultant can prove to be an important investment. Because hiring the skills of an expert is a large investment, knowing when to do so is key.
Lack of in-house resources
If you are looking to launch a new product or service but don’t really know the best way to go about this, then hiring a consultant to help give you ideas and show you business best practices can really pay dividends.
If you’re making a major business decision that will impact the future of the business, having a specialist on your side will help bring clarity. And perhaps offer a solution you’d not considered.
Business processes and audits
Businesses that adapt to changing consumer needs and evolving technology are far more likely to survive, which is why maintaining effective business processes and operations are crucial for a company’s success. Often however, businesses lack the time and resources to take a look at processes, which is where a business consultant can come in.
By auditing the company and analysing processes they will be able to optimise and develop core processes, as well as provide growth roadmaps.