External consultants are individuals who have been hired outside a company so as to provide additional knowledge or perspectives to the business at hand.
They can help businesses explore new opportunities; identify untapped potential; assess competitive landscapes; develop strategies that enable companies to stay ahead of curve; and provide valuable insights into industry trends and best practices in the business world.
70% of all businesses fail, can that be prevented?
Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are more than 27 million small businesses in America, and they account for 54% of all jobs in the country.
In other words, small businesses are a big deal!
Unfortunately, many small businesses don’t survive past their first year of operation. The SBA reports that 50% of all small businesses fail within five years, and 70% fail within 10 years.
So what can you do to increase your chances of success? One answer is to bring in an external business consultant for help.
You stand a much greater chance to see your business thrive instead of simply becoming a statistic.
The value of an external consultant
A lot of small businesses often think that hiring consultants are too expensive because they don’t have access to high-level positions within their organizations. While this may be true, there are also many benefits to hiring outside help.
External consultants can provide businesses with unbiased reviews of their business practices. They are not tied to existing workflows or processes, so they are able to offer honest and straightforward reviews of the way things are currently done within an organization.
Business owners who aren’t afraid to hear critical feedback will benefit immensely from this type of review because it can help them fix weaknesses before they become serious obstacles.
External consulting is also a great way for companies that rely heavily on technology but do not have in-house IT departments to access high-quality resources when issues arise.
Since many smaller organizations cannot afford full-time information technology staff, bringing in external consultants as needed is often the most practical option available.
Many business owners are concerned about the costs associated with hiring consultants, but in most cases, they are well worth the money. If you have an issue that seems insurmountable or if you want to take your organization in a new direction, consulting services can help you to accomplish your goals.
If you do decide to hire outside help, make sure that you find a consultant who is not only highly experienced but also has extensive business knowledge relevant to the concerns of small businesses.
Business consultants vs management consultants
When it comes to business consultants, there are two main types: management and business.
So what is the difference?
I thought it made sense to define the two types as this article focuses on the benefits of an external perspective which will typically equate to hiring a Management consultant or Business consultant.
Before moving forward, let’s define each type:
Management consultants typically work with mid-sized and large businesses. They help companies to streamline their operations, make better use of resources, and improve their overall profitability. In some cases, management consultants are brought in when a company is experiencing difficulty meeting its goals, facing potential bankruptcy or implementing changes that may disrupt its operations.
Business consultants, on the other hand, typically work as small business consultants. They can help companies to expand their customer base, enter new markets, and improve their overall efficiency. Business consultants can also help companies to develop and execute business plans, and implement new strategies that will help them to remain competitive.
Working with a business consultant doesn’t have to be expensive, and although you’ll likely need to invest in several different types of consulting services (such as financial and operational consulting, marketing and branding consulting, etc.), this is relatively common for small businesses.
The money that you spend on a consultant can be made up for by the savings you’ll see as a result of the advice they offer. Let’s look at the many ways that a consultant may be able to help your business.
27 specific ways a consultant can help your business
A consultant can bring fresh ideas and perspectives to your organization, which might be what you need if you’re struggling with the direction of your company. Here are the 27 ways that most companies value from bringing in external expertise:
1 – Fresh ideas and perspectives for your business model
When you’re running a small business, it can be tough to come up with new ideas all the time. That’s where consultants come in – they can provide your business with fresh perspectives, which can help you to move in the right direction. Consultants can also help to improve your efficiency, and they can offer an outside perspective that can be really helpful in today’s competitive business world.
In a survey conducted by Intuit, 56% of small business owners said that their biggest challenge isn’t finding customers or making more sales – it’s keeping up with all the paperwork. That’s where consultants can help out. They can free your employees from administrative tasks so they can focus on other important things.
2 – An outside perspective
When it comes to making decisions about your business, it can be extremely valuable to have an outside perspective. This is where consultants come in. A consultant is someone who can come into your organization and provide you with fresh ideas, as well as the ability to see things from a different point of view.
One of the benefits consultants offer is that they can help your company to identify and address some of the most complex changes facing the business world. Consultants can also help you maintain your competitive edge in today’s ever-changing business world. By having access to the latest industry trends and best practices, you’ll be able to stay ahead of the competition and continue running a successful business.
They could also give you access to an extensive network that is built up over the course of your career, which can be extremely valuable when looking for people with specific skill sets or just for making important connections within your industry.
In addition, consultants often have a broad knowledge of other areas outside of your industry, such as how smaller companies interact with larger corporations or different accounting practices among industries.
This knowledge can provide insight into best practices from other fields and allow your company to make improvements across the board. The scope of a consultant’s expertise can be very helpful when trying to run a business.
3 – Improved morale
When a business hires an outside consultant, it can often lead to improved morale within the company. This is because consultants can offer new perspectives, fresh ideas, and outside expertise. In addition, consultants can help businesses to identify and address some of the most complex changes facing the employees who are working for your business.
Employees are much more likely to feel comfortable confiding in an outsider because they are worried if they talk, it may impact their position. They likely know of many ways that your company is operating inefficiently which is likely draining your profits.
In a recent study, The Global Research Company found that two-thirds of businesses who work with consultants have increased their overall morale. In the same study, it was discovered that 90% of companies reported improved employee morale within a year after hiring an outside consultant.
“This is due to the fact that consultants can help employees see how they fit into the company’s big picture and also give them new responsibilities and challenges,” said Mike Fauscette, Chief Research Officer for G2 Crowd.
“This makes sense on all levels; each individual brings new value to the business based on their experience in different areas of expertise,” said Mike Gilmore, Director of Business Development at Criterion Systems Group. “They are able to provide an insight which is invaluable to the success of a company.”
“In addition, consultants can help businesses to identify and address some of the most complex changes facing the business world,” said Mike Fauscette. “Nearly half (48%) of all organizations understand how reliant they are on digital transformation for their future growth potential, yet only 24% feel like they are prepared or equipped for this change.”
“Finally, consultants can help businesses to maintain their competitive edge in today’s ever-changing business world,” said Mike Gilmore. “For example, according to The Global Research Company’s study regarding talent management trends, companies that prioritize learning and development spend an average of $1.4 million less on employee turnover than companies who don’t; this results in tremendous savings for the company.”
4 – A Consultant can create greater opportunities for advancement
One of the most important benefits that consultants offer is the ability to help a company create greater opportunities for advancement. Consultants can help your business to explore new opportunities and identify potential areas of growth.
They can also help you to assess your competitive landscape and develop strategies that will enable you to stay ahead of the curve. In addition, consultants can provide valuable insights with industry expertise and best practices in the business world.
5 – Keep your company on top of the game
As an external consultant will often provide their services for a certain period of time, they are in the perfect position to help your company in areas that you might not be able to focus on.
For example, if you are currently considering expanding into foreign markets but feel as though you don’t have the necessary expertise to do so, it may be worth looking for an external consultant who specializes in this specific area.
For companies that aren’t currently working with consultants, now is the time! By bringing in outside help, ambitious businesses can explore new ways to stay ahead of the game and remain competitive at all times.
6 – The right expertise when it’s needed most
Most companies only bring in a consultant when they’re facing a specific problem or challenge. However, consultants can also be helpful in other ways. For example, hiring a consultant can bring the right expertise to your company when it’s needed most.
In addition, consultants can help your company stay on track by providing recommendations and guidance for long-term growth and success. In fact, studies have shown that consultants can offer a return on investment of up to 200%. We have personally seen far greater returns, upwards of 1000%!
7 – Business strategy and strategic planning
If you’re a medium-sized business owner, you may find that one of your greatest needs is more time to focus on the strategic aspects of running your business. This means that instead of planning five or ten years into the future, you just don’t have enough time to do so since most of your time is spent dealing with daily operational issues and challenges.
When this happens, hiring an external consultant can help free up some of your valuable time which lets you focus on areas such as strategy development and objectives instead.
When considering whether or not it’s worth consulting with an external consultant, you might find that the benefits of bringing one in outweigh any possible negatives.
8 – Consultants identify problems easier than from within
One of the benefits of having a consultant with an outside perspective is that they can identify problems more easily than someone who is entrenched in the day-to-day operations of the company.
A consultant can step back and take a more objective view of what is happening within the company, which can help to identify areas where improvement is needed. Additionally, consultants often have access to resources and tools that can be helpful in solving problems within a company.
A consultant is valuable because they can come into your organization with fresh ideas and new perspectives, most of which would not be available to an internal team due to the day-to-day operations of running a business.
For example, a consultant who specializes in sales could offer their expertise when it comes to finding new ways to sell products or services, while also helping you identify problems within sales teams and create solutions for those issues.
9 – Increases capacity immediately
A consultant can increase your company’s capacity right away. They can do this by bringing in new ideas, helping with problem-solving, and offering a different perspective on how to run your business.
A consultant may also assist you in identifying and addressing some of the most challenging business changes. They can help you retain your competitive edge by doing this.
11 – Can be a catalyst for change
When you bring in an outside consultant, it can often be the catalyst for change that your company needs. Consultants can help to identify areas where your company might need improvement, and they can also offer recommendations for how to address those areas.
Consultants can help you to develop a strategic plan, and they can also help you to implement that plan. In addition, consultants can help you to stay on track and make sure that you are meeting your goals.
When you hire an external consultant, it’s important that you have an open mind about what kind of recommendations he or she makes. While some people assume not all consultants’ ideas are good ones, the truth is that most consulting success comes from firms that have their clients’ best interests at heart.
If your consultant suggests a change to your company’s structure or operations, you might want to consider it carefully before dismissing the idea.
12 – Teach and train others while leadership may be focused on running the day-to-day
An external consultant can be extremely beneficial for a small to medium-sized business. A consultant can offer your company a unique perspective and outside expertise that can help you to address some of the most complex changes facing the business world today.
Additionally, consultants can help you maintain your competitive edge in today’s ever-changing business world. They are able to bring fresh ideas, as well as the ability to see things from a different point of view. This allows you to become more productive within your organization.
There are benefits for both management and the individual worker when using consultants. An outside expert can have many backgrounds, allowing them to have broader knowledge than any single person inside an organization could ever attain.
Consultants will often seek out new ways that they can improve operations, even if it means that their suggestions go against the status quo. The best consulting firms also provide training for employees who wish to develop their skills in certain areas – this way everyone wins!
13 – Bring some excitement and bring new life to a stale organization
When a company is stuck in a rut, a consultant can be the perfect way to breathe new life into the organization. A consultant can help to inject excitement and enthusiasm back into the company. Additionally, a consultant can help to improve communication within the organization, as well as help to improve productivity.
The unique perspective that consultants offer your organization can help you to achieve better results. The fact that a consultant does not already have preconceived notions of how things should be done, allows them to approach issues with an open mind.
Additionally, many consultants are specialists in their field. This means they have advanced knowledge and experience, which can help streamline your business processes. Also, being outside of the organization prevents consultants from being influenced by pre-conceived notions or loyalties. It also makes it easier for consultants to remain objective during the assessment process, helping them identify issues more effectively.
This can be an uplift to morale as employees may feel like they are finally being heard. Bringing in a Consultant may be a sign to employees that things are changing and will breathe new life into an organization.
15 – Creative thinking to challenging problems
In order to maintain a competitive edge, businesses need to find ways to solve complex problems. This is where the right business advisor can play a valuable role.
They can help companies to identify and address some of the most pressing challenges that they face. Consultants can also bring their creativity and innovative thinking to the table, which can be incredibly helpful in solving challenging problems.
By bringing in an external business consultant, you’re giving your company access to someone with a fresh perspective who can offer valuable insights and advice that you might not be able to get from internal employees.
One of the most significant benefits consultants offer is their ability to keep businesses on track, even while fulfilling existing goals and objectives. Not only does this allow companies the opportunity to achieve their targets more efficiently, but it actually helps them to grow and develop in ways that they hadn’t initially considered.
A consultant can also help your company adapt to changes in the market environment by providing recommendations on new strategies and approaches that you might not be aware of or using currently yourself. This helps companies stay competitive and maximize opportunities for growth.
16 – More cost-effective than a full-time hire
When you are looking to hire a consultant, you may find that this is more cost-effective than hiring a full-time employee. This is because a consultant can come in and offer you their expertise for a finite period of time, which can be less expensive than hiring someone full-time.
Additionally, a good business consultant can help you to address specific issues or challenges that your company may be facing, which can be more cost-effective than trying to address these challenges internally with your current staff.
When you are looking into hiring a consultant, it is important to consider the cost of the assignment. You may find that for some assignments or projects, hiring an expert consultant can be less expensive than hiring someone full-time.
Also, if your company wants to address specific challenges or problems in your organization but doesn’t have the resources internally, they can hire a business consultant on a project basis which can help to resolve these issues with a minimal financial commitment.
17 – A welcome source of fresh ideas
When you are looking for an outside perspective, it can be helpful to hire a consultant. A consultant will bring with them new ideas, along with the ability to see things from a different point of view.
Consultants are able to offer businesses fresh perspectives and outside expertise. When it comes to finding solutions to challenges or finding new ways of doing business, hiring a consulting firm may be the best option for your business.
Whether you need help addressing specific issues or you want to bring innovation into your organization, hiring a consultant can prove very beneficial.
18 – Independent, no emotional connection
A consultant can often remain independent because of the lack of any emotional connection through friendships that may exist internally. This allows for a more critical eye to be cast over the situation and also allows for a better assessment to be made.
The business consultant can also provide an impartial perspective on the situation and can often offer suggestions that may not be popular, but are in the best interests of the business.
An external consultant can offer their expertise and outside perspective on a small to medium-sized business. They often don’t have any emotional attachment to the company and can therefore provide unbiased criticism and new ideas.
19 – Advice without any bias
Many people might think that having a business consultant come in to offer advice would be biased. However, consultants can provide unbiased advice because they are not emotionally attached to the situation. Consultants also have the ability to objectively view a situation and offer recommendations that can help to improve your business.
When you bring in a consultant, they will be able to provide you with experiences that your own employees might not have. This can give them the ability to see things from a different point of view and offer fresh ideas that could potentially help your company succeed. Consulting firms are made up of experts who know how to work with businesses that fall into an array of industries.
Even if someone is very familiar with running their own business, they still may need some guidance when it comes to working on larger projects or dealing with issues like mergers and acquisitions or rebranding strategies.
It’s important for any company to continue growing and evolving so they can remain competitive in today’s changing business world. When consulting professionals come into your organization, they will take a look at your business and see where you can improve.
For example, even if your company is thriving today, another company might do what you’re doing better or faster than you could ever hope to. It’s important to take a look at the changing business landscape and make sure that you are setting yourself up for success in years to come.
Hiring an external business consultant can help your company identify and address some of the most complex changes facing the business world so that it can continue growing and achieving its goals.
20 – Needed influence for leadership
A consultant can be extremely beneficial to a small or medium-sized business that might not have the same level of experience or expertise in specific areas. A consultant can bring outside knowledge and influence to inexperienced business leadership, which can help to propel the company forward.
In some cases, consultants can also provide access to networks and resources that might not be available to the company otherwise. Even the most experienced organization might face similar challenges and roadblocks, and it is often hard to see problems from the same angle when you are in the middle of them.
Consultants can help companies identify new opportunities or better ways of achieving their goals. Inexperienced management teams might not have the “laser focus” that more seasoned managers have when it comes to seeing what is right in front of them, especially if they do not bring in external resources themselves.
A business consultant has a unique ability to provide a fresh perspective on any given challenge or opportunity.
21 – Can identify systems needed for efficiency
Most businesses, especially small to medium-sized businesses, are understaffed. This can lead to a number of inefficiencies within the company. A consultant can help identify these systems and work with you to create a plan to address them.
Often, consultants have access to resources and tools that you might not have as a business owner. They can also provide you with expert advice and recommendations on how to improve your business operations.
At times, your business may be experiencing problems because you are working in an area where you have become an expert. Working with someone who has no preconceived ideas about what is or isn’t possible can help to spark new possibilities that can lead to great strides for your company.
Although it’s true that hiring consultants might cost more than bringing on staff, it’s also important to remember that there are additional costs associated with staff members, which include liability insurance and training costs, as well as salary and payroll taxes.
What consulting often boils down to is whether or not an investment in their services will pay off for your company.
22 – Innovation of existing systems
In many cases, consultants are able to offer a new perspective on challenges that the business is facing, as well as potential solutions. Additionally, consultants can often provide access to new resources and networks that can be beneficial to the company.
A business consultant can bring fresh ideas to the table for a business that is looking to improve or optimize its current processes. Not sure about the value of processes, see our article What Is Process Mapping & Why It’s Important For Your Business. A consultant can often assess problems within existing systems and identify which areas can be improved.
This new insight may help you to see things from a different point of view than your employees do. A consultant’s unique perspective could provide the missing link in an ongoing problem, or present some long-awaited answers by challenging you with questions you’ve never thought to ask before.
One key benefit of working with an external consultancy firm is that they can help your business by providing access to many resources that would not normally be available without hiring someone full-time on staff.
For example, some consultants have established relationships with educational institutions which could provide you with many options for training your employees. Alternatively, they may be able to connect you with other professionals or groups that are working in the same field as you and therefore have experience and expertise to share.
23 – See into the future
In today’s shifting business world, consultants can help companies maintain a competitive edge by looking ahead and identifying future trends. By anticipating what is coming next in the marketplace, businesses will be better prepared than their peers and thus more likely to succeed.
Consulting firms often develop long-term relationships with clients because of their ability to offer trusted advice about potential challenges or obstacles that may be making it difficult for your company to move forward successfully.
For example, they might be able to identify specific opportunities such as mergers & acquisitions (M&A) that could prove to be beneficial for your company down the road.
24 – Act as a sounding board
As an entrepreneur, you likely wear many hats and often have to make difficult decisions on your own. This can be a burden, and very lonely as the decision can only be made by you. It can be helpful to have a business consultant who can act as a sounding board for your ideas.
A consultant can provide you with feedback and advice and can help you to make the best decisions for your business. A consultant is someone who comes in and tries to find solutions to challenges or problems that your company faces.
Because they are not involved in the day-to-day of your business, consultants can offer up ideas that you might not have thought of before.
For example, a marketing consultant might help you to bring in new prospective clients through social media, whereas you would never have considered this platform before hiring them.
25 – Employee retention and recruiting
A consultant can help you to identify, attract and retain talent within your organization. They will be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of current staff members and recommend recruitment strategies for strengthening teams.
They may also be able to suggest different ways in which existing employees can work together more effectively based on their own unique skillsets. For more, see our recent article 4 Strategies for Employee Retention and Recruiting Top Talent 2022
26 – Change management
Consultants have experience when it comes to dealing with organizational change management. They will understand how companies typically respond to changes in business goals or objectives, and they’ll know what steps need to be taken in order for organizations to successfully adapt during periods of upheaval.
With this knowledge, consultants can help businesses plan out in advance so that they’re ready to meet and overcome potential challenges whenever they arise.
27 – Day to day efficiency
A consultant can also help you to maximize your performance on a day-to-day basis. They will be able to provide recommendations on how your employees can work smarter, not harder, in order to make the most out of the time they spend at the office.
This is something that business owners who are already running successful enterprises find invaluable; when you own a company, it’s easy to get bogged down in details and lose track of significant issues or opportunities for growth.
Making the decision to hire
As with any decision that is made in business, it’s important to understand why you need a consultant and what outcomes you hope will come from hiring one. It’s important that you hire someone who can help you address your current challenges and where necessary try addressing your future challenges.
A consultant cannot make up for an organization’s poor leadership or ineffective management team; however, they can help facilitate positive change where it needs to occur within an organization.
Consultants these days offer additional services such as research and presentations that add value for their clients. Outside consultants are typically master project managers and will have connections to a team of experts to get projects done much faster than you can with your own internal team members. These additional services can help build your business and enhance the bottom line.
So, is a business consultant worth it?
The benefits of working with an external consultant for a small or medium-sized company are vast. A consultant should be able to offer you valuable advice about growing your business, as well as provide fresh insight on how other companies have approached certain issues in the past.
Hiring a business consultant is not going to solve all of your problems, but it can certainly make your team more efficient as well as assist you in identifying future challenges that may lie ahead.
To ensure that you receive value for money from hiring small business consultants, ensure that they have experience working with organizations similar to yours. This will not only help you to get the most out of their expertise but also ensure that they are able to address your current challenges.
In conclusion, consultants are individuals who have been hired outside a company so as to provide additional knowledge or perspectives to the business at hand. Consultants can help businesses to identify potential areas of growth, as well as assess their competitive landscape and develop strategies that will enable them to stay ahead of the curve.
Moreover, consultants can provide valuable insights into industry trends and best practices in the business world. Consultants can create greater opportunities for advancement and keep your company on top of the game by exploring new ways and identifying untapped potential. They often more than pay for themselves which makes hiring a consultant an investment instead of an expense.
Ready to hire your external consultant?
Are you a small business owner looking for some outside help for your business? You’re not alone. In fact, there are more than 27 million small businesses in America today! And they account for 54% of all jobs in the country.
That means that if your company doesn’t survive its first year, it’s more likely to fail than any other type of company. So what can you do to increase your chances of success?
One answer is to bring in an external consultant for help. That’s where Profit Pro Consulting comes in. You don’t have time or resources to waste on failed ventures, which is why we understand how hard it is for new companies like yours who are trying their best but still failing miserably at some point along the way.
That’s why our consultants are here for you when no one else is – providing support and guidance so that your business can thrive from day one until it becomes an industry leader for years to come! Let us show you how we do it by signing up today!
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