Delegation is critical to the growth of any leader and their business. You can start off doing everything yourself, but at some point, you’ll need a village to help you grow.
For the daily activities that you don’t have the time to perform anymore, you can hire a full-time employee who is excited by the work you do.
For the more unique aspects that may require special expertise, you are better off hiring a consultant who can help.
What Can A Consultant Do For You?
Consultants can help you in one of two areas: They can either help with specific specialized tasks, such as accounting and legal, or contribute to the larger parts of the business, especially the macro strategy and vision.
Some of the specialized tasks consultants can help you with include:
The most common reason small businesses employ consultants is to get help with their accounting and bookkeeping activities.
Consultants can do a better job in this area than most business owners, and the right consultant will do it much quicker than you or I ever could.
Technology is advancing at such a breakneck pace that it has become a sort of blink and you’ll miss it scenario.
Many businesses can’t afford to miss the latest trends because that could lead to losing out to the competition.
Good consultants will know what technology your business needs as well as how to integrate it.
They will make sure that the business in question is always on the cutting edge and leading the rest of the pack.
An integral part of expanding a business is finding new hires, creating an organizational structure, and establishing a workplace culture that stems from the company’s vision.
All of these tasks may seem daunting to an inexperienced business owner who is still figuring out the ropes as they move along.
The good news is that most, if not all, of the main HR functions can be outsourced to specialized consultants capable of handling the organizational structure of very large corporations, let alone that of small companies that are in the process of growing.
Any business, no matter how big or small, needs a good lawyer in its corner, especially for when the going gets tough.
For instance, if a business is having legal problems or is trying to maneuver through an intricate partnership agreement, a good legal consultant can be worth their weight in gold.
Consultants can help you see the big picture (macro view).
Aside from specialized jobs, a consultant can help put your business on the fast track to success.
From putting a strategy to helping with the necessary market research, consultants can help you survey the terrain and find the perfect point of attack.
What Are The Warning Signs That Your Business Might Need A Consultant?
Having understood better what a consultant can do for you, let’s go over some of the signs that you need a particular service.
Some signs you need help with your macro strategy:
Losing The Vision Behind The Business
It’s easy to get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of running a business that you eventually lose sight of why you started the whole thing in the first place.
If you find yourself unable to say why you’re in business or what makes your business different from all of the competition, then maybe a consultant can help you rediscover your mission statement and find your unique value proposition.
Trying to Run Down Every Business Opportunity That Comes Your Way Indiscriminately
As Seth Godin puts it in his book “This is Marketing,” businesses have to figure out who their customers are, and, in the process, a business must learn to find the strength to tailor its offerings to its customers while ignoring everybody else.
Going a bit further, Godin insists that businesses must be able to look some people in the eye and tell them “our product is not for you.”
If you find yourself unable to decide who your target market is, you should reach out to a consultant who can help you find your niche and own it, which includes defining your core business and dropping everything else your niche doesn’t value.
Lagging Behind Your Competition
Businesses that aren’t aware of what their unique value proposition is are bound to end up competing based on price alone.
This form of competition will force them to try to mimic the marketing and sales tactics employed by their competition.
So, if you find that your business is losing to the competition and you have no idea what to do, maybe it’s time to call a consultant, someone who can help pinpoint why you’re being outdone by the competition and what you can do about it.
Signs You Need Help With Human Resources
If there’s something just off with your employees, you might need a helping hand in HR.
Here are some signs:
Realizing That Your Employees Aren’t Fully Engaged
Your business will stand a much better chance of facing the uncertainties of the outside world if all of your employees are driven, excited by the work, and giving you their all.
It is because of this that aged, successful companies like Ford and Toyota altered their work environment to bring out the best from their employees and to increase their overall productivity.
One of the main determinants of how productive your employees will be is how engaged they are with the work, defined by the amount of meaning they find in the work, the degree to which their tasks are challenging, and their ability to appreciate the larger picture.
To make matters more difficult, there are other variables you need to take into consideration, such as company culture, reward systems, and hierarchal structures.
Owing to the difficulty of juggling all these factors at once while running a business, you might be better off outsourcing your human resource activities to a professional who can motivate your employees and get them all on the same page.
Having Too Many Employees
As surprising as it may seem, some companies have the “problem” of having an excessive number of employees on the payroll.
However, this problem stems from two things:
- A lack of clarity with regards to the tasks and roles that are required within the organization.
- Hiring new people indiscriminately, regardless of whether the company needs new blood.
An outside consultant may be able to help you sort through your staff, aiding you in keeping the best of the best and showing you how to make them all work efficiently together.
Signs You Need Help With IT Services
Is IT a mystery to you?
Then you definitely need a helping hand, because businesses who aren’t tech-savvy just can’t make it.
Some signs to look out for are:
Being Unable to Keep Up With The Latest Technological Trends
Whether it is because you are unaware of what the latest trends are or because you have no idea how these trends can be applied in your business, it is easy to miss out on the important happenings in your industry, which may eventually spell disaster for you if left unchecked.
As a result, an IT consultant can always keep you abreast of what’s happening in your field along with how you can incorporate this technology into your business.
Suffering From IT Issues
A business that is reliant on technology in its daily activities will need an IT consultant on standby, assuming that there isn’t an IT professional already on the business’s payroll.
The issue is that faulty technology can cause serious downtime and make the business lose money.
What’s more, should an amateur attempt to tackle the problem, they are liable to make things much worse instead of fixing anything.
So, Do You Need A Consultant?
Different circumstances necessitate different remedies. Ultimately, you have to decide whether a consultant would be a good choice or not.
If you’re plagued by issues you can’t resolve on your own, you might want to try hiring one.
While you might benefit from having a consultant come along and help you, the same may not apply to another company that is similar to yours.
You have to decide for yourself whether you need outside help or not.
You also need to be clear on the aspects you need help in and direct your consultant accordingly; it’s the best way to get the biggest bang for your buck.