Posted by Robert Half Management Resources on Monday, September 8, 2014 - 00:00 | Follow me
If big changes are in the works at your small business — like an expansion or a merger or acquisition — you may need specialized expertise not readily available within your finance team. Or perhaps you need skilled talent on an interim basis while you search for additional hires.
To satisfy demand for specialized skills, many organizations turn to a consultant. Whether to augment the efforts of full-time staff or support a specific project, these professionals can step in quickly to help you manage increased workloads or a shift in business strategy.
Here’s a quick primer on rounding out your team by engaging a small business consultant.
Team up with a staffing firm
As the owner or manager of a small business, you likely have more responsibilities and a wider-reaching job description than your counterparts at larger companies. When you need to beef up your staff, disentangling yourself from the duties of recruitment lets you focus on what you do best — managing business operations.
When seeking a financial consultant, turn to a staffing firm, whose team can make the process easier for you, handling everything from interviews and skills evaluations to reference checks and assessing a candidate’s fit with your work environment. These firms’ consultants also are commonly able to get started immediately, preventing key initiatives from going untouched while you conduct a search.
Access needed expertise
You have a stellar finance team. After all, you probably handpicked every one of them. However, with a small-scale workforce, it’s a lot to ask for your staff to possess every valuable skill you may one day need. By hiring a small business consultant or project professional, you can tap into a unique skill set when you need it.
One of the great benefits of working with financial consultants is you can tap their experience. For example, you can bring in a project professional who has worked with multiple ERP systems to assist with a financial systems upgrade or an interim executive to help you navigate a company transition, such as rapid growth or a merger, he or she has managed previously.
Maintain normal business operations
Why distract employees from their daily duties during a systems implementation or unexpected audit? Rather than disrupting operations, bring in interim specialists to focus on projects with a finite duration. Your full-time staff can then work on their top priorities at full tilt.
While paying overtime is sometimes a workable solution, it doesn’t pay off if you keep asking your staff to work longer and longer hours. Using consultants during busy times helps you avoid employee burnout, maintain peak productivity and preserve a positive company culture.
You can maximize the benefits of bringing a small business consultant on board if you sufficiently prepare for his or her arrival. Be sure to clarify each full-time employee’s and consultant’s role in a project, encouraging team building and collaboration.
How have you helped your team prepare to work with a consultant? Please share your tips below.