Skeptical about whether it's the right time to invest in professional services to grow your business? Business consultants are astute problem-solvers with experience navigating unfamiliar economic landscapes (say, a global pandemic, for example).
Business consultants, or business management consultants, play a vital role in the business lifecycle ecosystem. As King's Dream Business Consulting founder, Jawan Harris, will often say, "the role of the small business consultant is to maximize the client's revenue earning potential." In other words, small business consultants measure success by how well they improve their client's overall ownership experience. If you are experiencing any of the following 7 unmistakable signs, it may be time to invest in a business consultant.
1. Difficulting keeping up with technology and trends.
Even the savviest business owner can have difficulty keeping up with the newest technological developments in a constantly changing economic ecosystem. However, staying on top of what's new in tech is crucial as it can impact your industry quickly and often without notice. As rapidly as technology changes, recent trends simultaneously emerge on the scene. New trends on social media and in life are constantly shaping consumer behavior, stretching an already busy small business owner's bandwidth to maximum capacity.
If you start feeling as though you’re drowning trying to keep up with the latest and most significant trends and developments, then a knowledgeable consultant can literally be a lifesaver.
Not only will a business consultant take the stress of another decision off your plate, but your judgment is less likely to be affected by the anxiety of keeping up. Ensure you find a trustworthy expert who will provide educated guidance.
2. A need for sound objective advice.
Clear judgment is paramount for all business owners. As invincible as small business owners claim to be, we are all just humans living very human lives. Emotions, stress, or personal relationships cloud even the most level-headed owner's decision-making, which often justifies preventable financial consequences. Maybe you and your business partner can't agree on an aspect of the business's development. Perhaps your business partner is your spouse or close friend. Just as you would hire an attorney for legal advice or an accountant for tax questions, hiring an expert in business to offer an objective opinion on a delicate situation is common and appropriate. Since business consultants are skilled at various strategies, their value lies in the perspective provided to you and your team. It's easy to overlook a simple detail when you are emotionally entangled in the process, but an impartial expert can help you think of a wise solution.
3. New inspiration & clearing creative blocks.
Look no further than a business consultant for novel ideas, inspiration, and avant-garde solutions. Their real-world experience grants you innovative ideas to implement in your business. It's a fact that the best consulting firms have consultants themselves- real-world experience is invaluable, and a consultant offers strategic partnership, insight, and inspiration for all stages of your business journey.
Remember, businesses don't fail because the founders run out of money, they fail because the founders run out of creativity.
4. Seeing through tunnel vision.
This particular sign happens to even experienced business owners- the dreaded tunnel vision. We've all experienced working on a problem for too long and feeling unable to get 'out of our he.''. Consultants help pull you out of that tunnel to see the issues or opportunities from a new point of view. In many cases, consultants were former business leaders who turned to consultants to share their wisdom.
5. Frequently unmet business goals.
Have you become great at setting goals but not so hot at accomplishing them? Business success is commonly measured by whether or not financial objectives are met. Regarding your small businesses' purposes, if you haven't been achieving them, it's time to bring in a consultant, especially if the financials of your business don't show a profit. Even the best suggestions from your internal team may fall flat, which is where an expert consultant provides invaluable vision and accountability. The investment of hiring a consultant might be just the advantage your team needs to accomplish the goals you can't achieve on your own.
6. Time-sensitive project support.
Any time you're faced with a tight deadline and too much on your plate, it helps to delegate tasks to your team- especially the unexpected, last-minute projects that require a quick turnaround. In this scenario, it makes sense to hire a consultant who can take strategy creation and execution off your plate entirely or buy you some time with their advice that takes hours or days of work off your hands.
7. Build capacity and focus on your strengths.
Smart business owners understand the importance of delegating tasks to the right individuals. But what happens when you lack the in-house personnel to help? For example, maybe you need a revised marketing strategy but don't have a marketing consultant. Perhaps you've grown (yay!) and went on to hire new staff, necessitating human resources. If you don't have these team members, employing skilled professionals to do the problem-solving and planning is a good idea.
The best use of a business owner's time is to focus on their strengths. When your company goes through inevitable change with the ebbs and flow of life, you may need to shift focus to an area that resides outside your skillset.
Remember, you don’t have to face these obstacles alone- a business consultant helps navigate any changes your company needs to implement.
The right consultant enjoys using their unique skill set to help small business owners achieve their short-term and long-term objectives.
Unsure whether hiring a business consultant is right for your small business? Contact us today for a free small business consultation.
About The Author
Kristin Burke is a small business marketing expert, author, and urban gardener. As a former food truck owner of Chicago's first schnitzel truck, she has first-hand knowledge of launching a small business successfully. She has been a writer for various small business blogs since graduating from the University of Chicago in 2008.