The decision to hire a business consultant is an important one. It usually means that, despite the blood, sweat, and tears, things aren't going as expected or hoped for, which isn't abnormal. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only about 30% of small businesses make it through their tenth year. When selecting a consultant, it's essential to make sure they have as much passion for your business as you do.
Don't accept that you're just another customer or company. Your consultant should be just as enthusiastic about your mission as you are. After all, delivering results is what separates successful consulting firms from those that simply fade away. Whether you're a small security consulting company or a thriving group of financial consultants, getting results is key to your success.
Nobody intentionally hires a consultant who can't do their job, but there are consulting firms that end up doing just that. These consultants win offers and proposals, but they can't provide what the client needs. If they fail to deliver the desired results, it will lead to a decline in business and damage your reputation as a consultant. A business consultant can be an advantage in expanding your company's reach, whether you need a new logo or a social media strategy.
Because consultants work with a variety of companies, they may have a much broader and deeper understanding of business trends, industry challenges, and new technologies and processes than in-house employees. Financial consultants can specialize even more, such as financial planning and advising your company on taxes, daily expenses and the best retirement plans. For example, a government grant consultant can select the funding programs for which your company is clearly eligible and has a greater chance of success. The best consultants understand the company's objectives, both stated and implicit.
They can help you conduct a competition analysis to obtain pertinent information on market saturation, new opportunities, and best practices in the industry. For example, consultants often find opportunities such as the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program. Eligible companies can receive between 50 and 100% of the minimum wage in the form of grants to hire young people. Consultants can bring their experience and objective vision to help guide a company, as different consultants specialize in various industries and areas, including strategy and management, operations, human resources, finance, funding opportunities, IT and sales and marketing.
In fact, according to Harvard Business School, consultants are critical to spreading innovation and new knowledge within their industries. They must have an extraordinary perspective at all levels of strategy, from the most abstract and visionary ideas to everyday things as usual. Once the business consultant has developed a deep understanding of your company, they enter the evaluation phase with the objective of identifying where change is needed. Consultants work closely with business owners and managers to help identify challenges, offer advice and propose practical solutions.
Most companies analyze their net profits for the quarter before hiring the business consultant and then evaluate their net benefits in the next quarter or two after implementing the consultant's recommendations.