Every business owner with dreams of expansion experiences growing pains. When growth seems to stall or you aren’t sure what to do to get to the next level, it may be the time to consider hiring a business consultant. Business consulting is a huge industry and there are many choices when hiring business consultants. Do you know when the time is right to hire one?
Reasons to Hire a Business Consultant
First, analyze and prioritize your reasons for needing assistance with your business’s expansion. A good business consultant will also want to know your reasons so it’s worth the effort to do this up front. Once you answer these questions, then your search for the right business consultant will be much easier.
- Knowledge: What expertise does your current group of employees bring to the table in terms of knowledge and experience? It may be that they are terrific at their individual jobs but you now need additional advice from an expert who knows more about certain areas of your business, like marketing strategies or product development.
- Objective advice: Is it hard to make decisions within your business leadership? If your business is family owned and operated or you have a long-standing partnership, it can be difficult at times to be truthful and not step on toes. This can stall your business growth. Business consultants can be more objective and evaluate your business needs with fewer preconceived ideas or feelings that interfere with business decisions.
- Changing Roles and Do-ability: Is the makeup of your current employee profile the right one for your company? Do your current employees have the time and training to implement new business strategies? As businesses grow, the skills sets and job profiles needed to sustain growth may change. Some jobs may need to be restructured or collapsed while other jobs need to be created. Employees may need to be re-trained to implement new facets of their jobs. When roles change and businesses grow, a business consultant can help with implementing personnel changes for sustained business growth.
- Marketing: Have you tapped out your marketing resources for business or brand recognition? All businesses can get maxed out with creative, new ways to market their services or brand. A business consultant understands how demographics, media exposure, and the use of the latest technology can jump-start your business’s growth.
- Spending Money to Make Money: Are you ready to invest in the growth of your business? Growth is not without cost. Upgrading your technology profile, doing more marketing outreach, expanding employee ranks: All come with a price tag. If you are at the stage where you are committed to investing in your company, then hiring a business consultant is part of that growth.
If you’ve identified any areas from this self-evaluation that indicate a need for outside help to grow your business, then it’s time to hire a business consultant.
Hiring Business Franchise Consultants
On the surface, this can seem like a daunting task. However, you can use the expertise and advice of your local business community leaders to help with this part of the process. Their feedback about how they used franchise consulting services and the results they obtained will help you determine how you use consultants in your own business.
As you go forward in the hiring process, keep in mind the following:
- Consultants are often brought in on an as-need or part-time basis as opposed to full-time.
- Consultants need to be personable and trustworthy. Interview several prospective consultants to see which one is the best fit with your leadership style and business climate. You may even wish to include some employees in your interviews and gather their feedback about which consultants “clicked” with them the best. Employee impressions cannot be underestimated when bring a consultant on board.
- Consultants need to be interested in your business. Their individual expertise will vary along with their personal experience. If you manufacture Widget A and your consultant only has experience with how to market for Widget B, there is likely to be a poor outcome in growth results. A true consultant is one who readily knows your business area or is willing to do what it takes to learn about it.
- Consultants need to be non-threatening to current employees. Any new person coming in from the outside can affect employees’ state-of-mind and productivity. Reassure employees about the role the consultant will have in the business. The consultant is there to help improve and expand the company. Emphasize that employees are part of the team and their feedback and thoughts are an important part of the process the consultant will be implementing.
The success of a business’s growth begins with its owner. If you identify areas where you need outside help and are motivated to commit to new ideas, then you are ready to hire a business consultant. The right consultant is out there waiting to assist you.