Hiring a business consultant means committing to a large investment of time and money.
As such, understanding when it’s a good time to hire a consultant is essential. Consider the following needs as indications that your team should hire a consultant.
1. Fresh perspective
In business, many companies fall into the trap of not being able to see the forest for the trees. It is actually quite common for companies to get stuck on a problem and be unable to find an elegant solution as project participants may become blinded by proximity.
Hiring a consultant can be an excellent tonic for a company that is having trouble getting over a hurdle. In many cases, a well-seasoned consultant can bring a solution to a company that is rooted in an entirely different industry.
2. Make difficult decisions
Again, it may sound very counter-intuitive to hire complete strangers to come into your business and make big decisions but this can often be the best way to achieve your desired results.
Business can be extremely personal and sometimes corporate leaders have a hard time making decisions that are in the best interest of the organization.
An external consultant can bring an objective opinion to the project and, as such, may be able to execute difficult tasks more easily than someone directly involved in the company.
You may very well have the expertise in-house to complete a project but you simply don’t have the manpower to complete it on time. Rather than finding ways to reshuffle priorities or hire additional full-time staff, bringing on consultants can help achieve in one month what may take you six.
Additionally, consultants are not bogged down with competing priorities (unlike your regular staff).
A consultant will provide hyper-focused attention to the project(s) they are hired to deliver.
4. Business processes operations audits
Maintaining effective business processes and operations is crucial for maintaining your company’s success or failure.
Often, businesses lack the time or ability to critically examine their core operations and need an objective party to diagnose the health of their processes.
For example, think about your sales outreach campaigns:
Hiring a consultant can optimize and develop your core processes, which gives your business an objective set of eyes that can help your company operate more efficiently.
5. Your Employees’ Job Descriptions and Their Actual Job Don’t Match
Don’t worry, it’s pretty common, especially in SMEs. When things get busy, everyone does everything. But if your business lacks staff members, you might have to witness chaotic situations in the office.
For instance, your business development manager, who’s supposed to be communicating with clients, might have to train the new interns on how to use your company’s software.
And the operations manager might end up designing your company’s new website – instead of focusing on managing the project.
Even though your employees don’t mind a lack of role clarity, it might not be the most efficient way to operate a business.
If your staff members are routinely doing tasks that they shouldn’t ideally be doing, it’s surely time to visit a freelance platform and hire a consultant to figure out a solution.
6. Your Business Has a Lot of ‘Unfinished Business’
Is that content marketing plan laying somewhere deep in your Google Drive?
What happened to the idea of switching to the new CRM software to streamline sales?
Without proper guidance and motivation, projects get delayed, or worse, never even get started at all. When this happens, you should probably hire a consultant to lead the project. The best management consultants will bring life to all those delayed projects that you’ve been holding off for a while.
There could be a lot of reasons why you still have some ‘unfinished business’. Maybe you don’t have enough horsepower or maybe you’re hesitant about initiating some important processes in your business. Whatever the case is, procrastinating on doing the right thing might not be your best bet. Other businesses are probably already executing the plans that are still in your mind. So ditch the complacency and bring a consultant into your company to get the ball rolling.
7. Your Business Needs In-Depth Problem Solving
Sometimes, businesses face problems that are impossible to solve without external expert advice.
In this day and age, the best management consultants are only a few clicks away.
If your business has come across a major issue that cannot be solved using internal resources, you can hire a consultant who has dealt with a similar issue multiple times before.
For example, if your competitors are kicking your ass (in business, not literally), a consultant can come on board with you, collect and analyze data, and figure out what the heck is going on.
It’s more than just a SWOT analysis or risk assessment – a consultant will dig deeper than you can possibly imagine and find the best solution for you.
That’s what consultants do. Unlike other professionals, consultants live and breathe problem-solving.
They are also knowledgeable about the best practices and pitfalls – a much-needed awareness when solving complex business issues.
8. You feel stuck or stagnant
Simply put: If you feel like your business is in a rut, it probably is. If you’re not growing, you’re dying, and now’s the time to take matters into your own hands. Hiring a consultant can help address these concerns and get you back on track for growth.
9. You want freshness and creativity
Every company does things differently and has their own creative process for operations, marketing, production, etc. Because they have been around other businesses and been exposed to innovation among different industries, consultants will bring new ideas and creativity to your business that you may not have had access to previously. In an ever changing world, innovation is critical to stay afloat.
10. You want to bring new life to your organization.
Companies get stale, but consultants can bring a freshness and excitement that may have been lacking. Mixing it up and engaging new professionals with your team can liven up the work environment, spark new ideas, and create a critical collaborative environment.
If you find yourself identifying with any of these seven signs, do your business a favor and consider bringing on a consultant to help. Amazing results come from collaboration, and recognizing the need for improvement is the first step in achieving your goals.