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Could Your Small Business Use a Small Business Consultant Now?

Posted on May 8, 2014 at 9:04 AM Comments comments (26)
This article provides some good reasons to consider:
Posted by Robert Half Management Resources Find me on: Facebook LinkedInTwitter Google+ on Feb 3, 2014 5:05:00 PM
The term “small business” can conjure up images of skilled multitaskers and bosses whose philosophy could be summed up as: “We’re already doing everything ourselves; why use a consultant?” However, hiring a small business consultant can bring many benefits. You can save time and money, but perhaps even more valuable, when you hire a small business consultant, you can gain the expertise you need – when you need it – to fix existing problems, head off potential dangers and make sure your business is best positioned for growth.
1. Save Time and Money
Are you still doing the taxes for your business? That’s a common financial issue for which small businesses retain consultants. It doesn’t always make sense for small business owners or managers to spend their valuable time on something so complex and outside their area of expertise.more But what about other financial issues? It might take you hours to research the answer to a financial question for yourself. Hiring project professionals who can support your business in areas in which you are less knowledgeable conserves cash and time.
2. Gain Expertise When Needed
Even if you have time to work on them, problems with a higher-risk profile, in particular, may require professional assistance. Some financial mistakes can be quite hazardous to your bottom line.You can hire small business consultants who could help you assess and evaluate your business processes, your operations management, your supply chain logistics, your exposure to risk and more. Because you may not need such high-level assistance on a daily basis, bringing in a consultant can be a great way to get the expertise when you need it.
3. Handle Uneven Workloads
Your company is great at what you do. You repeatedly turn out polished products and services that net you repeat business. You know the nuances of your chosen area; people never mistake you for a newbie. But when you need to ramp up suddenly, you run the risk of under-delivering. Hiring seasoned small business consultants to help navigate the ebb and flow of supply and demand can help cement your company’s reputation as thoroughly professional.
4. Grow for the Future
Help with taxes and financial reporting is critical, but such work is focused on the past and present. What about your business’ future? Where will your business’ growth come from? An interim CFO or consultant can not only help you figure out the answer but also help you get pointed in the right direction.Robert Half’s research report Benchmarking the Finance Function can help you understand and evaluate whether your business has sufficient resources – and the right kind of resources – to meet your goals.

Why Small Businesses Might Need Consultant

Posted on May 3, 2014 at 12:30 PM Comments comments (10)
I was having lunch recently with a potential client when the topic came up of business credo that "you need to spend money to make money". While it is an easier discussion for large companies, for precious smaller margins in small to medium sized businesses, it is a much harder question. But while many small businesses respond by NOT spending any money, I believe this is a wrong decision as I believe the credo is not just  for large companies but small and medium ones also. 
So why would a small business need or want to spend money on a consultant. My answer to the potential client was the same as the attached link which I agree with completely.
When to Hire a Business Consultant
Let’s start by taking a closer look at some of the specific reasons why you would want to hire someone from outside your firm to come in and help your small business:
  • Outside Expertise – If you don’t have someone on staff who is an expert to get one specific task accomplished, it can make you less competitive when bidding against larger firms.
Christopher: Many Small Businesses waste time and energy trying to get one of their staff to learn or suddenly gain expertise, taking them away from their skill set and potentially creating a small Peter Principle situation. Be Careful.
  • Quick Action – In other cases, you may find that you need the help of an expert really quickly. This can be solved by hiring a skilled consultant on a part time basis for as long as you need them.
Christopher: Again many small businesses will thrust a new XY project on an un-suspecting employee because "they have are very good at ZZ projects, so they can just adapt to XY work. Thus, the employee loves the overtime pay but burns out due to lack of expertise and knowledge. Be Careful.
  • Costs – While hiring a consultant might seem expensive at first, if you consider that you won’t need to provide your consultant with health insurance or the other benefits that come with full time employment, there’s a good chance that a consultant is actually going to cost you far less money than any other options.
Christopher: One of my clients was paying alot of money for a FT 40 hour + benefits person who was expected to complete four roles, which he did very unsuccessfully, causing much internal strife, as they did not know what to do with their "employee". No work was getting done, he was always complaining how the role was too big for one person and he needed to be paid more for all the hours he was spending. Also, in response, he gravitated to the one role he liked which was the least part of the job that had value add to the mission. After he left out of frustration, they trusted and brought me in as a consultant. I now manage the four roles, bringing in outside PT expertise for the four roles and managing them.....ready for this....for half the hours per week and half the cost and 10x the work being completed......and no employee benefits or workers comp for the client.
A hard paradigm for many small businesses to comprehend. 
Hiring business consultants makes sense for smaller firms who are looking to compete and grow their market share.
What are your thoughts?