If there was ever a time when small businesses and SMEs needed to hire a consultant, it is now!
You’re a small business/SME owner. You have expertise in the product or service you’re selling. Before the pandemic hit, your business was either growing, declining, or remaining stable. Chances are good that your business right now is just surviving or worse yet declining. If your business is increasing, congratulations and well wishes are in order. You are fortunate to be in the minority of prospering businesses during these challenging times.
There’s only so much you can do on your own and with the employees that you still have and did not have to layoff. You want to not only remain in business, but you want to grow and prosper. You want to reverse the current trend that your business is now in.
You can search the Internet or buy a stack of books on how to improve your business and answer the many lingering questions you have. But, wait a minute. You barely have enough time to manage your business and juggle cash flow much less have the time to spend researching and reading.
Time For A Consultant
Now is the perfect time for small business/SME owners to engage the services of a consultant specialized in this area of business. A consultant can provide expert professional advice on improving operations and, ultimately, stabilizing and/or increasing profitability. You, a consultant, need to get this point across to clients and prospective clients. You have the knowledge and expertise to solve problems, discuss important issues, answer questions, and make solid recommendations.
A wide diversification of knowledge is a necessary ingredient contributing to the success of any business. A problem faced by a majority of small business owners is a lack of knowledge combined with a lack of time. Although an owner might have a passion for his or her business and know the technical aspects, it is the lack of knowledge in the various core functions – finance, marketing, strategic planning, management, internal controls, etc. – that contribute to deficiencies that hinder a business from growing.
Owners are usually biased towards their own opinions. Employees generally fear not agreeing with the boss. Consultants, on the other hand, offer unbiased opinions. So, the time to call in a consultant (you) becomes apparent when:
The owner and employees lack expertise in all of the core areas of operating a business.
The owner and employees lack expertise to solve a particular problem or address crucial business issues.
Time is a factor for the owner and employees.
The business is understaffed.
Unbiased and objective opinions are needed.
It is necessary to obtain a variety of skills.
It is this fresh perspective that can move a fledging business forward with short-term engagements or brainstorming sessions. With your assistance, a small business/SME can improve its operations, internal controls, marketing, customer service, and better understand financial statements and profit margins just for a beginning list of benefits.
Hiring a consultant is an investment. Like any investment, there is a return on investment (ROI) to be considered. A business owner must understand both the cost of the investment and the benefits to be received. A qualified consultant will never be a cost to a business, but rather an investment that will be returned with improved operations, lower costs, and higher profits. This must be explained and understood by business owners; otherwise, a positive relationship can never exist between a consultant and a business owner.
Timing Is Crucial
Timing is a crucial factor when engaging a consultant. Intervention at the right time is critical whether making necessary changes to either reverse a negative trend or preparing for the next phase of growth. With the challenging and competitive nature of business today, it is almost impossible for small business owners to be experts in all aspects of their businesses. Working with a small business/SME consultant can increase a business' value and profitability through achievable improvements in everyday systems. When a pandemic hits, it’s time to call in a consultant!