What Is It Like to Work With a Small Business Consultant?
Are you a business owner seeking guidance from an expert? In this article, we’ll cover what you can expect when partnering with a small business consultant.
Businesses of every size, and in every industry and field, often call on the services of consultants for a variety of business processes. From outside accounting to developing a business plan, human resources consulting services, marketing consultants, business strategy experts, and more, expert advice is available to help a business stay on track and establish a strong foundation for current and future plans.
Small businesses and entrepreneurs are no different from big companies, in that every small business can benefit from the guidance and experience a consultant can bring to your organization. Here we’ll take a look specifically at small business consultants, just what they do, some key functions and duties they undertake, and how different types of consulting can benefit your company.
What is a Small Business Consultant, and What Do They Do?
Broadly speaking, small business consultants provide advice, guidance, and direction to small firms on ways they can improve processes and procedures, find new efficiencies, implement or upgrade systems, and generally make their business perform better. The small business consultant’s goal is ultimately to provide business consulting services that result in small business owners being able to grow their companies.
The range of services and skills a small business consultant may be able to provide is significant. Just a few examples of typical consulting services include:
- Business Strategy: Helping a company identify new opportunities for growth, or guiding the development of an expansion into a new marketing/audience/field.
- Management Consulting: Providing advice to assist small business leadership with management techniques and adjusting for growth.
- Workflow Optimization: Identifying areas where current processes and procedures could be optimized to save time or reduce costs.
- Project Management: Guiding the setup of a standardized project management process that is effective and scalable.
- Marketing Consulting: Assisting with strategic product or service launches, new marketing and social media advertising efforts, competitor analysis, and more.
- Financial Consulting: Reviewing the finances of small businesses to identify particular areas where improvements can be made and the bottom line can be improved.
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The Key Duties of a Small Business Consultant
Within those examples above, as well as in the long list of other areas of expertise and consulting services, small business consultants perform a number of very valuable duties to help small business owners meet their needs. For example, a consultant can help a company identify and pursue funding opportunities, which is especially valuable for startups and entrepreneurs.
They’ll also evaluate processes in whatever business area has been identified as needing help during the initial needs assessment. From marketing plans to project management, IT consulting, human resources, or anywhere else, small business consultants will advise you on how processes can be improved or implemented to help the business succeed.
Small business consultants will also be able to help you develop risk assessments, gauge brand awareness or customer purchase intent, optimize the product development process—just about any area of your business that needs attention or where potential improvements can be made.
Value of Working with a Small Business Consultant
Small companies like your own business can get a lot of value out of working with small business consultants in a number of ways.
In addition to the expertise you are sure to receive, you are also likely to get some valuable insights, problem-solving skills, and constructive criticism. Whether it’s your production process, your team’s workflow, your business plan, or your marketing strategy, an outside perspective is key to helping you and your organization get set up for success. Small business consultants have often worked with organizations of all sizes, and in all industries, and the breadth of knowledge they bring to your company allows you to benefit from the successes of companies in all fields.
Another key value that you gain from working with a small business consultant is “bang for the buck.” When you consider the training, experience, and knowledge that consultants have, it would be remarkably expensive to try to create a full-time position or a team of people in-house who can offer the same level of advice. Whether based on consulting fees, an hourly rate, or another type of contractual arrangement, your business will get incredibly valuable insight for much less than it might cost by other methods.
Finally, your return on investment is the biggest value that a small business consulting firm can provide you with. Their continued work, and key referrals, are based on their success, which in turn is based on helping you and your business improve. Since the small business consultant’s work is so closely tied to the results they can provide, they are motivated to give you the best possible advice and ensure that they help you achieve your company’s goals.
Benefits Offered by Small Business Consultants
One of the key benefits that small business consultants can offer to potential clients is their knowledge. There are several qualified consulting providers where their staff have master’s degrees in a number of specific areas. As a result, working with a small business consultant allows you and your business to tap into an entire field’s worth of knowledge, all without having to hire new employees or create a new department within your up-and-coming organization.
Additionally, many small business consultants have received one or more certifications, indicating that they have specialized in those subjects and focused their efforts on better understanding those particular areas. In turn, this means that you are able to hire consultants who have expertise that is directly related to your business needs.
There is much more to cover when it comes to contracting with a small business consultant or consulting firm for your company, but hopefully, this piece has given you a strong foundation as you begin looking into the options available.
Small business consulting is a significant area of service and can make a tremendous difference for just about any business looking to build a foundation for continued growth and acceleration. Finding and collaborating with a skilled small business consultant, either in one area of your company or across all of your business development activities, can be a tremendous step toward making the most of your budget, your staff, and your place in the market.
About the author
Michelle is an SEO Content Strategist at UpCity. She focuses on leveraging creative and strategic marketing practices to connect users with insightful content. Prior to her role at UpCity, Michelle has worked on both agency and in-house digital marketing teams with an emphasis on content optimization and SEO analysis.