Posted by Robert Half Management Resources on Wednesday, December 30, 2015 - 12:00 | Follow me
Most small business owners are highly skilled multitaskers — and proud of it.
However, because they are so accustomed to doing everything (or almost) themselves, many don’t think about enlisting the help of a small business consultant. That means they might be missing out on some important benefits for their business.
Here are just a few ways that engaging a small business consultant can create value for your small business:
1. Save time and money
Are you still doing the taxes for your business? If so, does it make sense for you to spend your valuable time on such a complex task that also may be outside your area of expertise? Nearly half (45 percent) of financial executives polled for a recent Robert Half Management Resources survey don’t seem to think so: They said they look to financial consultants and project professionals to assist with business taxes.
What about other financial issues that small businesses typically grapple with, like controlling costs or increasing efficiency? A small business consultant can help you to develop strategies for making improvements on both fronts. And if your venture is on the fast track for growth, a skilled consultant can provide insight that can enable you to seize new opportunities while avoiding common pitfalls that could derail your success.
2. Tap expertise at the right time
Even if you would prefer to tackle all business matters personally, engaging an outside expert when especially complex or sensitive issues arise can be an extra measure to ensure problems receive proper attention and are thoroughly resolved. It also can be useful to have a third-party’s perspective on matters that require objectivity, or an “extra set of eyes” to verify that no mistakes have been made in a critical process.
You can also look to a small business consultant for help assessing and evaluating your business processes, operations management, supply chain logistics, exposure to risk and more. Additionally, because you may only need to access this specialized expertise for a short period, engaging a consultant can be an efficient way to tap the expert knowledge you need at just the right time and only for as long as it’s required.
3. Navigate changing workloads
Here’s an important question to consider: If you would need to ramp up your small business suddenly and significantly, could you deliver?
If you don’t have ample support to meet an increase in demand for your products or services, you could be at risk of disappointing your customers — and potentially damaging your business’s reputation. However, you also want to avoid hiring more staff until you are certain that workloads will be sustained.
Bringing in a small business consultant is one staffing management approach for navigating the ebb and flow of supply and demand, as well as for meeting other unexpected changes that present both opportunity and risk for your company.
4. Grow for the future
You want your business to succeed and thrive for the long term, of course. But do you know where your future growth will come from? Engaging an interim management consultant for your small business not only can help you determine the answer, but also get you pointed in the right direction.
Highly skilled senior-level professionals who work as consultants can serve in a number of critical roles, from accounting manager to chief financial officer. And, if and when you decide to take such a step, they can even help your business to prepare for an IPO.
There are many ways for you to work with consultants as your small business evolves. Most important, perhaps, is that these resources can give you the valuable time needed to focus on what you do best: being an expert at whatever it is that led you to launch your own business in the first place.
How Project Consultants Can Turn Your Business Problems Into Wins – 3 Case Studies: This post provides an overview of three ways that interim management and project consultants from Robert Half Management Resources have helped employers handle specific business initiatives and improve their bottom line.
2016 Robert Half Salary Guide Foretells of Consultant Opportunities: Research for Robert Half’s latest Salary Guide for accounting and finance suggests that many employers will need to engage skilled consultants next year. Read this post to learn which specializations are expected to be in high demand.
This post was originally published in March 2014 and has been updated to reflect more current information.