Do You Need A Business Consultant?

All too often, business owners, managers, or supervisors find themselves in a position where growth has slowed, stopped, or reversed. Though these are pressing reasons to consider finding the outside help of a business consultant, they aren’t the only reasons. This article will cover reasons you may need a business consultant, the affordability of a consultant, and what to look for in a consultant and their firm. Companies sometimes look for help when they are having trouble but the best practice is to reach out to a business consultant when your company is stable or in a position of growth.

It is much easier to grow your business if you acquire assistance while your company is stable or growing because you are not trying to recover lost revenue from earlier forecasts. A business consultant is a great resource to improve your company’s sales and growth. They are also an excellent resource when sales have dropped, slowed, or are stagnant. Though business consultants can help in winning or losing situations; the most value or R.O.I. is achieved when a business consultant is hired to move your company to the next stage of business, or improve upon your current sales, marketing, management, web development, and security processes. A good consultant will be able to provide you with a strategic plan for long-term growth while also being able to identify areas that can promote immediate growth. New businesses benefit by having a business plan developed while finding assistance to build a foundation. Loan package preparation is also a benefit of hiring a business consultant, but the most pressing reason to hire a consultant is to plan for long-term success. The aforementioned services will prove to be a great value to the companies with the vision to obtain them. The gain typically overshadows the cost of a business consultant.

Many business owners wonder, ‘Can I afford a business consultant?’ The question that should be asked is ‘Can you not afford to hire a business consultant?’ Business people know that increased marketing efforts, enhanced web development, a good strategic plan, and many other activities will increase their current and long-term revenue. Even knowing that, many of these activities are not aggressively pursued. An additional 20-40 hours a month in focused marketing efforts can bring a company a substantially enhanced amount of revenue dollars. Since the efforts are not made in many cases, the money is essentially lost to the company. Some sound advice to follow is; do not let the initial cost of a business consultant cloud the potential for future gain. The value a business consultant provides long survives the initial payment and contract.

Choosing a good firm to contract with can also be a challenge. The process can be made fairly simple by following the advice below. First, you must speak with the consultant that you are considering conducting business with. A good consultant should be able to understand your needs as you explain them. When dealing with more complex areas of business, a good consultant should be able to explain methods and processes in terms that you are able to understand. The ability to simplify complex processes usually indicates a strong understanding of what they entail. A consulting firm should also have a diverse team of individuals specializing in various segments of business development. Just as many businesses are not able to thrive with one employee, a consulting firm also needs a strong team to provide the best results. The ideal team will at least consist of a business growth expert, a web/graphic designer, a marketing expert, and a financial analyst or expert with good reputations in their industries. Finally, you should always maintain the feel that the consulting firm you decide to contract has your best interest in mind. Following these steps when locating a consultant or consulting firm will increase your chances of receiving a service that continues to benefit your growth for years to come.

Small Business Consulting Opportunities – Be Your Own Boss

Small Business Consulting Opportunities Are Endless

In reality, anyone can become a consultant. Small business consulting opportunities today are endless. If you have an area that you are extremely knowledgeable in and you have the drive and passion for excellence, you could become a consultant.

Many of the small business consulting opportunities do not require any special training. For example, if you are really good with computers, the software they use and network security, you could become an IT business consultant. Perhaps you are very creative and knowledgeable when it comes to marketing. You know how to take a product and make it sell. You could become a marketing consultant.

There are a few things you should keep in mind when browsing the small business consulting opportunities available. The first thing to consider is the qualifications that are needed. Is the area you are considering something you could call yourself an expert in? Are you familiar with the current information that is needed? For instance, when it comes to becoming an IT consultant, you would need to be knowledgeable with all of the current computer information. Technology is constantly changing and you have to know all of the up-to-date information. Another thing you need to check on is if there are any special certifications or licenses that are needed. While some companies may not require you to have a degree in a certain area, they may require you to be certified. Organization is another key factor when researching the small business consulting opportunities. You need to make sure that you are able to handle time management and be prepared when you enter into a situation.

Small business consulting opportunities are readily available to those people who are critical thinkers. A consultant is known as a problem solver and in order to solve issues effectively and efficiently, a person has to be able to demonstrate problem solving. A consultant works side by side with the business, therefore communication is important. A successful consultant must have excellent communication skills. They also need to have leadership skills. A consultant has to lead a company to success, and in order to do this, they have to lead. When a consultant comes into a company, the people there are relying on them to take their company to the top. The consultant has to take the lead and run with it, take control of the situation.

With so many small business consulting opportunities in many different areas, pricing is very important. A consultant needs to know how to set an hourly rate if their services are used by the hour. If a company uses them on a day to day basis, then the consultant needs to know how the prices for daily rates. Some companies will need a consultant to help with projects. If this is the case, a consultant needs to know how to bill their client by the project. When a company uses a consultant on a monthly basis, then the consultant would charge a monthly retainer. A small business consultant usually makes a substantial amount of money and pricing is the key element into turning those small business consulting opportunities into a success. Many consultants will require their client to pay a deposit beforehand. There will be occasions where the consultant will pay for expenses out of their own pocket. It is important for them to know how to get reimbursement from the company they are working with.

There are many areas of business, making the small business consulting opportunities endless. A great consultant has to have knowledge, passion, and understanding. There are thousands of people who have knowledge that they didn’t even know existed. Once they tap into that knowledge, educate themselves even further and put that knowledge to use by helping others, they are considered a consultant. A business consultant is the most sought after because there are companies developing all over the world.

One of the best small business consulting opportunities is being your own boss. You can set your own hours and pay, which makes you the boss. Of course you have to work certain hours, especially when helping a company with a project, but you basically are in control of that also. You just have to determine when the project needs to be done and how many hours it will take you to complete it. In reality, you have the most control over your work schedule when you become a consultant. You set the prices you are to be paid, and if you are an expert in a certain area, it is up to you to make sure your prices are set to what your time is worth. You are in complete control!

If you would like to know more about small business consulting opportunities, you can click the link below to find out more information.

Business Consultants Compared – What Makes Firms Different?

When inviting a business consulting firm to get to know your business and its weaknesses, it is a delicate dance to find the best corporate qualifications, experience, and ability to navigate the inevitable invisible issues that will come up. It is also important to make sure your own corporate culture and on-going business do not get lost in the process.

In the marketplace of Business Management Consulting or Management Consulting, competitors generally fall into just a few categories:

-Sole proprietor consultants, who are generally niched and geographically based

-Larger consulting firms, who have multi-niched teams and the ability to reach out to other cities or regions

-Small consulting firms, regionally based and team oriented

Sole Proprietors: Personal Touch

Smaller and sole proprietor consultant competitors, like Jannelle Buzzell, Jim Grew, Will Moore, Mannus O’Donnell and others, get to know the client and their needs very personally. They start from exceptional business acumen, and make sure to create buy-in within the company. The client company is trusted to know their core business and its people very, very well. There is often not a pre-conceived corporate formula other than profitability, efficiency, and better managerial controls through feedback. To these folks, it is common to receive a fearful call where a business owner shares that they ‘aren’t even sure what the problem is or where it started’.

Large Consulting Firms: depth and breadth

Larger competitors, like Boly Welch Consulting, CBS Consulting, Georgia S. May, Point B and PeopleFirm, all offer fresh eyes, strong business acumen, and an understanding that all business evolution comes from the people within the firm. To make any consulting project stick, it has to come from within, which starts from leadership. Once leadership has aligned the goals and strategies, the consulting firm assists in rolling out change. This change management happens from setting measurable goals, checking in with ROI, and staying in regular touch with the feedback loop.

Small Consulting Firms: Personal touch and depth

What makes the smaller consultancy different is the unique blend of these styles. With a small firm, you are likely to meet the owner, but not work with them regularly. You will have a small, personal team, but enough distance to call their supervisor if necessary. A small firm has 8-30 employees, and is generally based in a single city office. Conversely, the consulting firm is big enough to have scheduling and launching flexibility more like a larger consultancy. Small consulting firms cannot do everything involved for a larger project, so they are forced to rely on (and train) the employee team. This strategy keeps the consulting team in alignment with owners, in order to organize which work is done by which team. Smaller consulting teams do not take over a floor of your building and set up shop. It is necessary to work along side the employee team constantly in order to on board change at a pace owners and employees can handle.

How Much Do They Cost?

When we compare business to business consulting, price is an unavoidable topic. If you don’t care how much the consulting firm costs, you are not in the market. Clients care, even if they aren’t sure they can afford it (or have plenty of money to afford it). Small firm prices lie in the middle, just as you might expect. Many sole proprietors charge a lower rate, especially if they aren’t busy. However, if they are busy, they simply cannot take the work, or quickly bump up to the rates of larger firms. Larger firms have additional overhead for travel, benched employees and significant benefit packages at all levels. These higher prices are significant and consistent. With a smaller firm, you are unlikely to receive enormous perks as a part of your purchase. They focus on the work done, and building the relationship on the job.

In general terms, a client can expect:

Team Size Typical Hourly Rate

Sole Proprietor 1 $40-$150

Small Firm 2-30 $75-300

Large Firm 30+ $200-750+

These rates are a generalized survey in Portland, OR, based on surveys of a small handful of varying small and medium businesses.

Conclusion

When you are considering outside consulting for your operations, spend some time considering the depth and breadth of the project, the budget you expect, and then consider requesting proposals or conversations from varying firms. Some projects are clearly one size or another, but medium scale projects that can take some time to evolve are a likely fit for a blended small consulting firm. If you go that route, you will save significant money and train your staff along the way.