Finding and Choosing the Best Consultant for Your Small Business.
There is push back towards consultants because they can be expensive. However, hiring a consultant could provide insight that might quickly grow your business. As an entrepreneur, you already know a lot; but there is still more you can learn. Hiring a consultant puts an expert on your team.
As a business owner, every day you are working on growing your business. You want to increase revenue, cut costs, and streamline processes. Surprisingly enough, hiring the right small business consultant could help with all three. They might be able to help with other tasks. We get that you want to be involved in everything. However, sometimes hiring a consultant can save you so much time, energy, and work. This is especially true if they work in a department that you are unfamiliar with or need more information.
We all have strengths and weaknesses. Hiring a consultant that balances your strengths can help make your day easier. There are many fields that have daily changes to them. Think of fields like information, technology, taxes, legislation, and regulation. You could stay up to date on tax changes and local legislation; but you only have 24 hours in a day. You need to spend your time and energy elsewhere if possible. Hiring a consultant can help ensure that your company stays current on updates to a specific field.
Some business consultants, and start-up consultants, act as a business coach. Like you, they know a lot about a lot. Their job is to keep you motivated while you complete every step on your business goals list. They coach small businesses through the entire start-up process. Small business consultants like these are helpful. Today though, we will be looking at a different type of consultant. Today, we will be discussing field-specific consultants. We would recommend picking a department you want the most help. There are many different types of consultants. Here are some of the most common fields: law, accounting, information technology, marketing, and human resources.
Different consultants have different perks
Consultants in any of these fields can help you and your business. Before hiring a consultant, you will need to discuss a few items with them. Learn about their rates and terms. Discuss confidentiality and conditions of termination. You will also want non-disclosure clauses or a statement of independence. You will want to have many of these in signed documents.
Legal Services Consultant
Legal services are probably one of the most popular fields to have a consultant. This is especially true for start-up companies. When you are first creating your company, you will need to fill out a lot of paperwork. There are partnership agreements or share allocations to decide. If you have a product or brand that needs to be trademarked, you will need the proper forms for that. If you want to hire employees or work with clients, you need to have legally binding contracts drafted for those.
Legal services are pretty common at the initial phase of start-up companies. They can also play a part even as time goes on, though. If you want to purchase real estate, they can help you with that. If you
decide to turn your business into a franchise, they can provide you with the documentation for that as well. It is true that lawyers can be expensive. However, they can help keep you safe. The last thing you want to do is break the law. You might be forced to close your business, pay a fine, or even face jail time! Having a lawyer can help prevent things like this. In addition, you only pay lawyers when you work with them. You do not have to pay for a full-time employee. Having a consultant is more cost effective.
Bookkeeping or Accounting Consultants
Similar to legal service consultants, you only have to pay these consultants when they work for you. Many accounting consultants only work for a business a few hours each month. Hiring an accounting consultant can save you a lot of money. Bookkeepers and accountants can help with your finances. Their job is to help organize incoming revenue and outgoing expenses. Part of their job is getting your business’s finances prepared for tax season. They may even be the individuals filing your company’s taxes.
Bookkeepers and accountants can provide more than the work previously mentioned. These individuals see the overview of your invoices and expenses. These are the people that are handling your tax information. Having a second set of eyes can help ensure it is as good as possible. An accountant may be able to make recommendations on how to cut costs. They may suggest additional tax breaks that your company could achieve with small changes. Since a consultant is a third party, they provide unbiased views of your company’s finances.
Computer and Information Technology Consultant
The technology industry is always changing. There are tech developments every day. Hiring an information technology (IT) consultant can help in a number of ways. They can help you manage your office computers and mobile devices. When you want cloud computing services or even a data backup, they can help you set it up on your company computers. If your company works with confidential information, they can beef up your computer security. They can even install a firewall to protect your data.
Their jobs are not just installing technology for your company. They can help you in other areas as well. They can help set up a business website, online store, or even social media. If you need help managing one of those items, they can do that too. They may have recommendations on accounting software or tax software. This information could help you save money and time from having to hire a bookkeeper. They can answer almost any tech question you ask. If you need something tech related, they can either help you, or push you in the right direction. With their help, you may be able to streamline some of your current company procedures.
We have talked before about the importance of hiring a marketing professional. There are some small campaign things that you can probably do on your own. However, hiring a marketing consultant or agency can save a lot of time and headache. Marketing is a wide field that encompasses a lot of topics.
Bringing on a professional can help boost your sales a lot. Having great marketing is a major part of how you attract new customers and retain them. You want a marketing consultant with fresh ideas.
The right marketing consultant will stay within your budget while still attracting new customers. They might do a mix of different types of marketing. They might do digital campaigns over Google, social media, or email. They might write blogs or create other forms of content. They may reach out to their contacts about getting a traditional ad like a newspaper ad or tv commercial. They can also help create marketing materials like flyers and posters. Really good marketing consultants can help improve your company’s SEO. They might be able to improve how people perceive your brand. Some consultants will even get your business involved in the community with things like charity events. The world of marketing is wide. Hire a marketing consultant.
Human Resource Consultant
Personnel-related issues can be incredibly complicated. At both a legal level, and an emotional level, personal-related issues can be difficult. It can be difficult to act “fairly” towards everyone. Rather than opening yourself up to a discrimination lawsuit, you can hire a consultant for human resources, or even recruiting. They can help take care of your employees from even before day one. They can help by recruiting strong employees. They will go through the entire recruiting process for you. This includes advertising, interviewing, and background checks. They can also help current employees. They can provide employee training and introduction. If employees have safety concerns or complaints, they can address those with the representative. They can also provide helpful resources to company employees.
Outsourcing human resources (HR) has other benefits too. When you work with a third party, it can simplify complicated matters. When they make decisions, they will be professional. They will also leave personal emotions out of it. An HR consultant may not have the same view of employees as you do. They can kind of see how to organization functions from a step back. If they notice concerns, they can address them. If an employee needs an improvement plan, or even to be terminated, they can have those conversations. Those conversations can be really difficult. They can be especially difficult if you are close to the employee. Sometimes having a third party intervene can help put things in perspective. Sometimes they can help keep some emotions out of difficult situations.