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Small business entrepreneurs are business professionals who prefer to handle multiple things on their own. They value their autonomy and find it hard to distribute work. They seek to achieve corporate objectives while also acting as business attorneys. Many of these business owners never consider asking themselves how a small business consultant can help your business.
Almost 60% of a study showed that small business owners have not met a consultant or a financial advisory. This is a bit alarming, at the rate the market is changing and growing, no matter what industry your business belongs to. In this era of consulting business, your small business also needs a consultant; for example, a small business tax advisor who can work on a tax code and make the tax purposes obvious for the business.
Most consultants belong to a certain consulting field. If the decision-maker of the business realizes a problem or a shift in the business, it is advisable to hire a professional consultant.
There's a time when the business growth feels stagnant. Either there is no growth in cash flow, or the business goals are not being achieved on time. What step should the business owner take then? It's a sign that your small business needs business consulting services.
Small business consulting services is a team of outside experts or an independent consultant that the business owner would hire to help them with the business strategy. They also become a way to help achieve the business goals efficiently and cost-effectively. In addition, they help with internal problems that might not be obvious to the business team.
Business consultants are usually a team of consultants specializing in different areas, like; an accounting consultant, a marketing consultant, etc. They can also be an independent consultant.
Business consultants are important for a small size business as it helps improve the business and save from business failure. They are also known as a business mentor as they guide and make strategies that range from capital investment to marketing plans for the business.
They provide the advanced experience required to overcome any or all the hurdles being faced by the business. In addition, they help the business transition and grow over time by providing long-term solutions and a game plan.
They can give financial advice to improve business performance and opt for possible changes to achieve business success. They can be a source of knowing an affordable option or a substitute for something a business needs, such as production.
Small business consulting services are now common and easy to find. However, depending on the type of business, the skill may vary. Commonly, a consultant should have a diverse skill set to help the business acknowledge the problem and then overcome it.
The consultant business doesn't need to have a team of consultants, and there may only be one independent consultant. So, the consultant needs to have certain skills.
Considering there are numerous types of businesses out there, there is a need for different types of consultants. Due to Covid-19, most businesses have made a virtual presence to exist and survive through the pandemic. To meet the customers, suppliers, or even employees in real-time, it is important to have a proper plan and a schedule.
Each type of consultant serves a niche in the business model and management. A few types of consultants are listed below:
It is financially and mentally exhausting to employ a consultant separately for each department. Hence, we advise you to hire a consultant business with a team on board or an independent consultant with diverse skill-sets.
A good consultant brings specialized knowledge skills to the business. They put in efforts to improve the clients' business conditions.
While hiring a consultant, it is important to decide and communicate who the primary person will be. This will clarify who is responsible for what, streamline the decision-making process, and save valuable time.
The main objective for hiring a business consultant is to make the business transition smoothly from one phase to another or to easily adapt to a new product line or a production strategy. For example, the business might want to become a google partner, so to do this, they will have to come up with a set of objectives and a plan to get there.
The consultant gives 40%-60% of the attention and importance to discovering the underlying issue during the consulting period. Next, 10%-30% of attention is given to researching or learning from experience about dealing with the issue. Then 15%-25% of the importance is on the result or findings and implementing the possible solutions.
Nowadays, finding a consultant is easy. You can look online and search for the /type of consultant you want. The actual problem is, is that consultant the right consultant for you?
For choosing the right consultant, you will have to talk to the consultant on a one-on-one basis. This will give both of you an idea about what the other party desires and about their capabilities.
The consultant has the experience and knows what they can handle and if they can benefit your business or not. So, it will be easy for both the parties to decide if they should work together.
It will be based on a mutual agreement after both ends have been contacted. If both parties agree upon working together, that is when a consulting agreement is drafted.
This part involves administrative tasks. These are usually a 6-month contract but can also be longer, like a 12-month agreement.
This agreement states the purpose for hiring a consultant and whether the payment will be every month or installments, etc., it will also state who will be the final decision maker and other aspects. Like any other contract, this agreement will bind the parties to abide by the rules that have been mutually agreed upon.
It is not easy to know if the chosen consultant has proven to be beneficial for your business or not. For this reason, we advise you to make a consulting agreement in phases. This way, if the consultant is not benefiting your business or you are not sure about the consultant, you can part ways with them without any legal complication.
How Much to Pay a Consultant?
The payment of a consultant is based on a few things. First, it is a service being used, so the payment needs to be determined. Like everything, the price is determined by the value being added.
The payment can be given per hour, or the projects can also determine it. The usual rate is $200-$12,000 per hour for per hour pay. If it is project-based, it depends on the project's complexity, and it can range anywhere between $10,000-$30,000.
Though it can be expensive to hire a consultant, you need to determine its worth considering a few things.
Is It Worth Hiring a Consultant?
It is an expensive investment, especially for a small business owner. So how can you determine if it is worth investing such a big amount or not?
You can determine by looking at the percentage; for example, if you earn $20,000 per month, it is not wise to give $10,000 per month to a consultant. You will have to assume the financial product that will result from this investment.
You can also discuss this with your consultant.
Another way is to determine the worth is by the phases. If the project is complex, break it down into phases and then assume the success rate of this phase. This will also help you decide if you want to take up the project or not. For example, if you are introducing a whole new product line with various products, you will have to see how the launch of the first couple of products will do among your client base.
I believe in small business consulting services; the chances of betterment and more opportunities increase multiple times. So, yes, a business consultant CAN help a small business.
The type of consultant and the value they will be adding to the small business is what matters the most. This is a crucial decision, and important to have the right people on board. The business owner and their team should do proper research and know what they want to achieve with the help of a consultant.
The business owner must also be sure about how much time they are willing to wait to see the results. If they want long-term results, it will take time. So, hire a business consultant that is the most suited for your business and the objective you have.