For small business owners, seeking advice from consultants often serves as a double-edged sword. When you need expertise outside your wheelhouse, consultants can prove invaluable. However, hiring a consultant doesn’t always provide solutions in the best interest of your business. Seeking too much outside advice can become a detriment to your company, and in certain situations, the advice of a consultant may do more harm than good. Knowing when to use a consultant and when to pass can maximize your investments and keep your business running smoothly.
Considering a Business Plan Consultant
Does your small business need a new strategy, a new approach to an existing business model, or advice on how to develop a stronger marketing campaign? A business plan consultant can potentially offer your business the advice and direction it needs to carry out an overhaul. But the direction the consultant provides may not be the right fit for your company or simply may be ineffective. If you don’t get the results you want from the consultant, you might be tempted to chase advice from other consultants. Sometimes you can save your time, money, and resources by skipping the consultant altogether and using your own knowledge and resources to create a new plan. After all, you know your business better than anyone.
Problems and Solutions
Your goal for hiring a consultant boils down to one element: the need for solutions to some type of problem. Keep in mind, though, that consultants aren’t miracle workers. If your business has substantial, inherent flaws with products, services, employment, or basic organizational elements, the consultant may only reiterate that fact rather than helping you correct these problems. Well-educated and trained consultants can often provide valuable advice on how to resolve certain problems within your business, but not always. The more educated or trained a consultant, the more likely they are to point out the problems you already know about and things you haven’t recognized as issues. Consultants can offer you advice on how to manage or solve problems but aren’t always able to present you with guaranteed solutions.
When the Ends Don’t Justify the Means
When you run a small business, you often deal with a tight business budget. With that in mind, hiring a knowledgeable and experienced consultant can cost your small business a substantial amount of money. The solutions the consultant proposes often cost you even more money to implement. Before you hire a consultant, consider if the money you have to spend balances with the rewards you might reap due to hiring the consultant. Also, examine the strain those costs put on your small business, including how much it may cut into your ability to expand and overcome potential operating issues or obstacles.
Hiring a business consultant can save you time by giving you access to expert advice, but it’s always a good idea to decide if you really need to hire an expert. Using QuickBooks helps you analyze your current business situation and lets you keep a clear log of your expenses, such as hiring a consultant. The QuickBooks Self-Employed app helps freelancers, contractors, and sole proprietors track and manage their businesses on the go. Download the app.