Today, managing consulting is a growing industry in the US. The number of consultants is increasing year upon year, reaching almost 700,000 in 2018.
But, with so many consultants to choose from, knowing which one is the best fit for your company can be challenging. Luckily, this article will tell you how, why, and when to hire a consultant for your business.
Why hire a consultant
People often ask themselves why companies hire consultants instead of solving their problems in-house. The truth is, consultants can improve productivity and, in some cases, save you money.
Here are three reasons you should consider hiring a consultant for your company:
1. Outsider’s opinion
Sometimes, when you spend too much time on a task, you get tunnel vision. This means you struggle to see different alternatives to complete the task in question.
Hiring a consultant will give you a fresh set of eyes on your project. It will allow you to see outside of the box. This, in turn, can lead to more creative and effective decision making.
You may be asking yourself why you can’t just ask for a colleague’s opinion. The truth is, consultants work with different companies. They can, therefore, provide advice based on positive past experiences.
Moreover, they can bring new and innovative ideas to the table.
2. Extra manpower on projects
Companies have to invest all their manpower into their day-to-day operations. This leaves little to no time for problem-solving. These issues go unresolved until they eventually become too big to ignore.
A consultant dedicates themselves to a specific task or project. They act as temporary, yet highly skilled employees. Plus, because you’re not hiring them full time, it often costs less to work with a consultant.
3. Specialised skills
The most common reason for hiring a consultant is their specialized skills. Consultants always have
- Human resources
There are also consultants that help companies with their structural development. This includes everything from employee satisfaction to improving their overall business processes.
When to hire a consultant
Now that you know why to hire a consultant, let’s have a look at when you should do so:
Accounting and bookkeeping take a considerable amount of time. They require a team of experts with extensive experience handling company accounts. Unfortunately, many startups make the financial mistake of handling their accounts in-house.
A good financial consultant can not only do your taxes but help you keep abreast of tax changes. They also have extensive knowledge when it comes to tax laws and can keep you from making some huge financial faux pas.
Technology is growing at an astronomical rate and companies have to keep up to stay ahead of their competition. Unfortunately, keeping up with these advancements takes time, especially if your company doesn’t operate within the tech industry.
An IT consultant can help repair operating systems and hardware. Moreover, they can:
- Perform data backups
- Set up cloud computing
- Provide training to employees
They can also advise you on technological upgrades that will help improve productivity and streamline your business.
Human Resources Services
The majority of small businesses can’t dedicate a whole team to Human Resources (HR). Unfortunately, when personnel-related issues occur, they can cause serious problems within your company.
The key to cutting HR costs is to outsource your functions to a consultant. Professionals within this field can:
- Recruit new employees
- Perform disciplinaries and terminations
- Organize adequate training for employees
- Offer counseling to team members
- Reduce legal liability
They can also organize optional benefits such as disability, health, and vision insurance, to name a few.
Without the right marketing strategy in place, you won’t be able to reach your target audience. But, marketing can cost a small fortune. This is a key reason why many companies now outsource their marketing efforts.
When hiring a marketing consultant, it’s important that they have experience in your industry. They should also be able to develop:
- A marketing strategy
- Print marketing campaigns
- Digital marketing campaigns
Before hiring a consultant, check their portfolio and ask for references from past clients they worked with.
How to Hire the Best Consultant
With so many consultants now claiming to be the best in the industry, you need to perform a vetting process to make sure you hire the right person for the job. Here are some tips on how to hire the best consultant:
Create a Brief
When hiring a consultant to work with your company, make sure to be clear about the following:
- Your business objectives
- Timeframes of the project
- Your desired outcome for the project
You need to tell them everything they need to know so that they can be sure they can provide you with the adequate results. Once you know they are the person for the job, create a written brief with all the information you discussed.
Choose an Individual or Firm With Vast Experience
Yes, everyone needs to get a foot in the door at some point in their professional lives. But, depending on the project you need completing, it may be worth opting for a consultant with more experience.
An experienced consultant knows which steps to take to reach their goals. Because of this, they’re more efficient and can cost less in the long run.
Make Sure Their Services Fit Within Your Budget
Don’t be afraid to talk about money. The quicker you tell them your budget and agree on a fee that works for both of you, the quicker they can get started.
Your consultant should be able to give you a clear understanding of their costs. They should also provide you with a concise plan that will show the path to your desired outcome.
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Knowing when to hire a consultant is essential to getting your project underway. This can save you time and resources in the long run. Moreover, it can help your company become more productive and profitable.