Business Consultants Compared

When inviting a business consulting firm to get to know your business and its weaknesses, it is a delicate dance to find the best corporate qualifications, experience, and ability to navigate the inevitable invisible issues that will come up. It is also important to make sure your own corporate culture and on-going business do not get lost in the process.

In the marketplace of Business Management Consulting or Management Consulting, competitors generally fall into just a few categories:

-Sole proprietor consultants, who are generally niched and geographically based

-Larger consulting firms, who have multi-niched teams and the ability to reach out to other cities or regions

-Small consulting firms, regionally based and team oriented

Sole Proprietors: Personal Touch

Smaller and sole proprietor consultant competitors, like Jannelle Buzzell, Jim Grew, Will Moore, Mannus O’Donnell and others, get to know the client and their needs very personally. They start from exceptional business acumen, and make sure to create buy-in within the company. The client company is trusted to know their core business and its people very, very well. There is often not a pre-conceived corporate formula other than profitability, efficiency, and better managerial controls through feedback. To these folks, it is common to receive a fearful call where a business owner shares that they ‘aren’t even sure what the problem is or where it started’.

Large Consulting Firms: depth and breadth

Larger competitors, like Boly Welch Consulting, CBS Consulting, Georgia S. May, Point B and PeopleFirm, all offer fresh eyes, strong business acumen, and an understanding that all business evolution comes from the people within the firm. To make any consulting project stick, it has to come from within, which starts from leadership. Once leadership has aligned the goals and strategies, the consulting firm assists in rolling out change. This change management happens from setting measurable goals, checking in with ROI, and staying in regular touch with the feedback loop.

Small Consulting Firms: Personal touch and depth

What makes the smaller consultancy different is the unique blend of these styles. With a small firm, you are likely to meet the owner, but not work with them regularly. You will have a small, personal team, but enough distance to call their supervisor if necessary. A small firm has 8-30 employees, and is generally based in a single city office. Conversely, the consulting firm is big enough to have scheduling and launching flexibility more like a larger consultancy. Small consulting firms cannot do everything involved for a larger project, so they are forced to rely on (and train) the employee team. This strategy keeps the consulting team in alignment with owners, in order to organize which work is done by which team. Smaller consulting teams do not take over a floor of your building and set up shop. It is necessary to work along side the employee team constantly in order to on board change at a pace owners and employees can handle.

How Much Do They Cost?

When we compare business to business consulting, price is an unavoidable topic. If you don’t care how much the consulting firm costs, you are not in the market. Clients care, even if they aren’t sure they can afford it (or have plenty of money to afford it). Small firm prices lie in the middle, just as you might expect. Many sole proprietors charge a lower rate, especially if they aren’t busy. However, if they are busy, they simply cannot take the work, or quickly bump up to the rates of larger firms. Larger firms have additional overhead for travel, benched employees and significant benefit packages at all levels. These higher prices are significant and consistent. With a smaller firm, you are unlikely to receive enormous perks as a part of your purchase. They focus on the work done, and building the relationship on the job.

In general terms, a client can expect:

Team Size Typical Hourly Rate

Sole Proprietor 1 $40-$150

Small Firm 2-30 $75-300

Large Firm 30+ $200-750+

These rates are a generalized survey in Portland, OR, based on surveys of a small handful of varying small and medium businesses.

Conclusion

When you are considering outside consulting for your operations, spend some time considering the depth and breadth of the project, the budget you expect, and then consider requesting proposals or conversations from varying firms. Some projects are clearly one size or another, but medium scale projects that can take some time to evolve are a likely fit for a blended small consulting firm. If you go that route, you will save significant money and train your staff along the way.

A Look At Small Business Consulting

Most business owners will tell you that a professional business consultant is only to be used when your business is in trouble. These business owners will usually only higher a consultant when they are beginning to run over on cost or time, and are in need of finishing a project quickly. However, small business consulting can be far more beneficial than just solving problems.

A consultant can do much more than help you fix problems within your company. Hiring a business consultant is actually a great way to look at issues in your business on a far greater perspective. Business owners typically have a limited vision for the outcome of their business plans because they are the only ones involved in the business. A consultant can help to bring some clarity to the owner’s process to help get the most out of his thoughts for his company.

So, does your business need a consultant? Continue reading to find out.

Before you seek a business consultant it is important that you know what a consultant is. A consultant is a business professional who looks at the pros and cons of a businesses strategies, and will advice you and what to do. A consultant offers a variety of services ranging from business start-up advice to formulating marketing strategies, operation analysis to making business plans.

Before you go and hire a consultant you need to take a look at your business and ask yourself some questions. You need to ask yourself what gains you are trying to get from your business, are your products in the right market, and have you done everything you can to advertise your business? Can you benefit from local search on the internet, and so on.

If you ask yourself these questions and answer them truthfully, you will begin to motivate yourself to improve the performance of your business by working on the areas that you need to improve. If you find the problem with your business and are unable to find the solution to the problem through the internet, books, etc., and all else fails, it is time to approach a consultant.

There are many consultants available today and it is important that you choose the one that will be right for you. You are going to need to do some research to find which consultants can be trusted, are reliable, and are going to be able to solve your businesses problems. However, remember that a consultant is a third party person who will only be able to help your business as much as you allow them to. They are not going to know anything about your business except what you tell them, so help them help you improve your business.

Hired the Right Business Consultant

Looking for the right expert to help you develop our business can be tricky, but once you have found the right person the benefits for your company are numerous. Not only can hiring an independent business consultant help you streamline your business for greater efficiency and competitiveness, but they can also offer access to new technology and the bigger picture of global business trends.

There are many criteria that people use to choose the right business consultant, ranging from choosing those with vast experience right through to those with qualifications from certain schools. Here are a few major signs that you have hired the right business consultant for you and your business.

Firstly, one of the major signs of hiring the right expert is that they understand your company aims and what you want to achieve in the short, medium and long term. Although you would hope that this would be a normal quality of your business consultant of choice, one who expresses a deep understanding of your company will really stand out in the right way.

An expert offering their services in this area should have taken note of all your objectives in a meeting together, and have a very clear outline of what you can do to meet those goals. Where you differ in opinion, the consultant should be able to explain their reasoning and listen to and address your concerns.

In all cases, the consultant should be absolutely attentive to what you want to achieve, rather than what they think you should achieve based on their experience. This will set apart a great expert who can truly help you from one who is not adapting himself or herself fully to your business.

The next sign of a great consultant is one who also understands the market for your particular services or products, and has proven experience in it. Although many consultants have great business skills, there is a great difference between various sectors and industries, and your consultant should be aware of that and be able to take it into account.

The right expert for you will be able to address the unique concerns and goals of your business as well as see the larger picture in your industry. As mentioned above, a proven track record of working with businesses like yours in the same industry is the best choice here.

Another thing to look out for in a business consultant is one who is up to date with the technological trends that are transforming the international marketplace, such as Google for work migration services, cloud solutions, online marketing, SEO and more. Although the provider does not need to be an expert in Google for work migration services, they should at least be able to guide you.

Technology plays a huge role in modern day business, and a consultant who is able to offer perspective and knowledge in this area – about what technological changes you should be implementing and when – will be extremely valuable in helping you remain as competitive as possible. Some business consultants are also IT consultants too, which is very helpful.

Lastly, make sure that the consultant that you choose to work with is reliable, and is always available to answer your questions and queries when you need something in a short time frame. If you are paying for business support solutions, it is imperative that they do actually support you in the everyday running of your business.

A consultant who is always there to offer the benefit of his or her advice when you need it is extremely valuable. On top of this, knowledge of your industry, knowledge of cutting edge technological solutions like Google for work migration services, and a deep understanding of your business objectives are signs that you have found a great consultant to work with.

Become a Business Consultant

Every day, small businesses and companies grapple with all sorts of problems. Business owners and executives sometimes have no clue as to how to handle these challenges which make their jobs more difficult, or cost the businesses to lose money.

These people need help.

And if you’re the type of person who can help these companies come up with solutions to their problems, you can have a successful career as a business consultant.

I’ve enjoyed the life of a business consultant for the last 8 years, and I can tell you that businesses of all sizes, and in all industries respect business consultants, and rely on them a great deal to help their businesses succeed.

What exact types of problems do business consultants help clients solve?

Any type of business problem:

  • Reputation Management
  • Increasing sales
  • Improving productivity and performance
  • Improving communication
  • Team building
  • Improving operational efficiency
  • Financial Audits
  • Risk Assessment
  • Insurance
  • And the list goes on and on

I know consultants who specialize in working with businesses in particular industries like manufacturing, health care, or waste management. There are other consultants who work with clients in a variety of industries, but concentrate on specific business functions, such as marketing, human resources, or information technology. and then there are those who specialize in certain industries and functions.

In my own case, I currently work as a high performance coach and marketing consultant focusing on Africa. With many western companies expanding to Africa, I get to help them reduce turnover and maximize performance through the implementation of high performance leadership and marketing principles.

There are many consultants who go on to work for large consulting firms; but there is huge opportunity for those who want to have their own business or work as freelance consultants.

If you have a decent amount of knowledge in your area of expertise, you can become a consultant helping businesses solve their problems, and earning a decent living for yourself.

And you can do all of this without any large start-up costs. In fact, you probably already have all that you need – a computer and phone – and much of your business is likely to come through low-cost marketing such as networking. This is what I do.

You can also start on a part-time basis, while keeping your current job as your primary source of income. Then as the demand for your services grows, you can commit to consulting fulltime if you so desire.

While many consultants do have Master’s degree, it is not a prerequisite. As a matter of fact, you don’t even need a degree to become a consultant. There are many independent consultants who don’t have degrees.

But they have education. And there’s a difference.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 28% of consultants do not have a degree of any kind. When I first started consulting, I did not even have a bachelor’s degree.

Those who succeed in this field of independent consulting are the ones who are constantly learning and improving themselves so they are able to serve their clients better.

The bottom line here is, if you have the ability to solve a business problem, and are confident enough to sell your services to senior management, you will get projects.

If you want to know if consulting is the career for you, here are some questions you need to be asking yourself:

  • Do people frequently ask for your advice?
  • Do you enjoy finding solutions to problems?
  • Are you a critical thinker?
  • Do you know a variety of problem-solving techniques?
  • Do you enjoy doing research?
  • Do you have a good vocabulary?
  • Do you avoid using jargon or technical terms that others may not understand?
  • Do people consider you to be a good listener?
  • Do you understand non-verbal communication such as body language?
  • Do you have excellent written communication skills?
  • Are you comfortable speaking in front of a group?
  • Do you have project management experience?
  • Can you see the big picture and break it down into manageable components?
  • Are you well-organized?
  • Do you meet deadlines?
  • Do you have experience leading teams?
  • Are you ethical in all your business practices?

Small Business Consulting

Small Business Consulting – A Very Crucial Element in Business

Small business consulting companies offer a wide variety of services. These services can be utilized before a company begins to operate. In order for a business to be successful, there are many things that should be done from the start.

The small business consulting, research, planning and training can be done in any area of the business. A consultant is considered an expert in the area they specialize in. The services and advice they offer are based on experience and knowledge. It is important for a company to work with a consultant that knows what they are doing.

Customer service is probably one of the most important areas of a business. If a company doesn’t have customers, then the business ceases to exist. One of the small business consulting services that can be offered focuses on the customer. A consultant can offer customer service training and customer loyalty training. Some people may think there isn’t a difference between the two, but the truth is, there is a huge difference. Customer service helps get a business off the ground, and customer loyalty helps keep it that way. To put it bluntly, a customer will pay their payment, but a loyal customer will make their payment on time.

Another important small business consulting service is branding. A consultant can help with the branding of a company, which will create public awareness of the business and their product. When branding is done properly, it can provide consistency in advertising and marketing. Branding can also help a company’s product standout against their competition.

Every business needs an excellent leader. Developing good leadership can be obtained with the use of small business consulting. The consultant can provide leadership training, management team development and employee training. All of these things go hand in hand when it comes to having great efficiency. When a company is run by a person with great leadership, this can allow the company to stay ahead of the competition.

Even after small business consulting services have been used and results are obtained, they can still be used as a method of prevention. For example, a company used small business consulting for employee training and leadership development. By continuing to use these services, the company can increase their chances of profitability and growth.

Procurement is another area that can be handled with small business consulting. A company needs to make sure that they are getting the product they asked for at the right price and in the time they need it. Procurement is practically handled on a daily basis. A consultant can help with things such as developing a procurement strategy, cost reduction, and value purchasing. By assessing procurement, a company be assured that they can provide their customers with the product they offer, at a fair price and have it there when they want it.

Small business consulting involves problem solving. Consultants are often referred to as problem solvers. When a company has a problem that arises, it needs to be handled as efficiently and as quickly as possible. Many problems may go unnoticed because the person in charge has a lack of time. A small problem can turn into a huge one very quickly. It is wise for a company to have someone on hand that can address problems as they occur to keep this from happening. If a company has someone to help with potential problems before they even open, this could help them in the future. A business needs to start out with as few problems as possible. A consultant can help with the problematic areas of the company, giving the manager or owner the time they need to focus on other areas of the business.

Small business consulting services can be used either short-term or long-term. It really depends on the nature of the business and how many issues exist. Either way, having a consultant as a right hand man can be very beneficial for any business. Many business fail because due to lack of knowledge and experience. These are two key components that a consultant has. Small business consulting can help a company rise to the top. It can ensure that the company has all of their ducks in a row, so to speak. If a person owns a company that is having issues or if a person is looking to open their business, it would be a wise investment to seek assistance from a small business consultant. By having a consultant on their side, it is sort of like having their own little insurance policy. A consultant can ensure the company that they will do everything to reach the goals the company has set. The company’s mission then becomes that of the consultant.

Small Business Consulting Opportunities

Small Business Consulting Opportunities Are Endless

In reality, anyone can become a consultant. Small business consulting opportunities today are endless. If you have an area that you are extremely knowledgeable in and you have the drive and passion for excellence, you could become a consultant.

Many of the small business consulting opportunities do not require any special training. For example, if you are really good with computers, the software they use and network security, you could become an IT business consultant. Perhaps you are very creative and knowledgeable when it comes to marketing. You know how to take a product and make it sell. You could become a marketing consultant.

There are a few things you should keep in mind when browsing the small business consulting opportunities available. The first thing to consider is the qualifications that are needed. Is the area you are considering something you could call yourself an expert in? Are you familiar with the current information that is needed? For instance, when it comes to becoming an IT consultant, you would need to be knowledgeable with all of the current computer information. Technology is constantly changing and you have to know all of the up-to-date information. Another thing you need to check on is if there are any special certifications or licenses that are needed. While some companies may not require you to have a degree in a certain area, they may require you to be certified. Organization is another key factor when researching the small business consulting opportunities. You need to make sure that you are able to handle time management and be prepared when you enter into a situation.

Small business consulting opportunities are readily available to those people who are critical thinkers. A consultant is known as a problem solver and in order to solve issues effectively and efficiently, a person has to be able to demonstrate problem solving. A consultant works side by side with the business, therefore communication is important. A successful consultant must have excellent communication skills. They also need to have leadership skills. A consultant has to lead a company to success, and in order to do this, they have to lead. When a consultant comes into a company, the people there are relying on them to take their company to the top. The consultant has to take the lead and run with it, take control of the situation.

With so many small business consulting opportunities in many different areas, pricing is very important. A consultant needs to know how to set an hourly rate if their services are used by the hour. If a company uses them on a day to day basis, then the consultant needs to know how the prices for daily rates. Some companies will need a consultant to help with projects. If this is the case, a consultant needs to know how to bill their client by the project. When a company uses a consultant on a monthly basis, then the consultant would charge a monthly retainer. A small business consultant usually makes a substantial amount of money and pricing is the key element into turning those small business consulting opportunities into a success. Many consultants will require their client to pay a deposit beforehand. There will be occasions where the consultant will pay for expenses out of their own pocket. It is important for them to know how to get reimbursement from the company they are working with.

There are many areas of business, making the small business consulting opportunities endless. A great consultant has to have knowledge, passion, and understanding. There are thousands of people who have knowledge that they didn’t even know existed. Once they tap into that knowledge, educate themselves even further and put that knowledge to use by helping others, they are considered a consultant. A business consultant is the most sought after because there are companies developing all over the world.

One of the best small business consulting opportunities is being your own boss. You can set your own hours and pay, which makes you the boss. Of course you have to work certain hours, especially when helping a company with a project, but you basically are in control of that also. You just have to determine when the project needs to be done and how many hours it will take you to complete it. In reality, you have the most control over your work schedule when you become a consultant. You set the prices you are to be paid, and if you are an expert in a certain area, it is up to you to make sure your prices are set to what your time is worth. You are in complete control!

Business Consulting Add Value to a Business

Consultants to a business offer invaluable expertise that aim to help your business succeed, or achieve its goals. However, there are also instances wherein small business consulting feels disconnected or not utilized fully by business owners who have hired them. This results in doubt about how productive can these consulting services be and what value they can offer to a business. The burden here lies in the business owner because it is their responsibility to look for small business consultants that will become productive in their agreement.

The services of a small business consultant is geared more towards small or starting businesses. However, even established businesses can benefit from this kind of service, too. The common situations wherein a consulting firm would be of help is when the business is undergoing expansion or in a transition period. Needless to say, a consulting firm can prove valuable at various stages of the business.

There are two ways to ensure that a small business consultant can provide value to your business: 1) choosing the right consultant and 2) building a good working relationship with the firm.

Choosing the Right Consultant

This is an important part of the process if you want to take your business to the next level. You need to be as thorough in the selection process as possible.

You must begin by conducting an in-depth initial interview and ask them for a pitch. In addition, if they claim to be an expert on a particular field, they should provide a convincing argument as proof for this. Remember, you will be investing on that expertise, so they must be able to deliver. You can also seek opinion from previous clients to see how well they have delivered work. It will also reveal other crucial factors that you can use for deciding whether to hire a firm, such as reputation, work ethics, and ability to deliver beyond what the task requires of them.

The most important qualification, though, that you should not miss out on is the alignment of your personal qualities to that of the consulting team. This goes outside of a business level as it is also important that you relate to the firm or individual on a personal level.

Working with a Business Consultant

Before you finalize an agreement with a business consultant, there are three vital factors that you should focus on. First, you need to determine the scope of the work and examine how flexible the firm is in accommodating your needs. Second, you must determine how payments are positioned throughout the entire phase of your contract. And third, you must be straightforward on deliverables such as how much budget to allocate on a task and the period wherein they are to be completed.

Small business consultants enable you to stay updated with the market trends, newest business marketing techniques, and customer preferences to gain competitive advantage. Without a business consultant, you would have to undergo trial and error in resolving problems within your business. And any business owner is aware that trial and error is very costly. You can therefore leverage the knowledge and expertise of a consulting firm to determine how you can reduce the amount of risks and tackle management problems more productively.

Honest and constant communication is another important aspect of small business consulting, that is if you want to maximize value. And of course, you need to be able to assess the consultant’s dedication to your business to ensure that they are committed to your long-term success.

How to Look for the Best Business

It is not hard to know if one consultant is good or not. A perfect consultant can be found in many ways and all you need to do is to search for them. One of the most important aspects that you need to take a look at for a consultant is their personality and communication skills. The credibility and experience of a business consulting company is very much important to be able to know if your consultant can handle the work that you need. One thing that you need to look for a good consultant is credibility.

The credibility of the consulting service is the fundamental aspect that you need to take a look at. There are different consultants that a person need. If you own a business, you may need the services of planning consultants. If you will rely on your consultant, then you need to be confident that his or her proposed plan will lead to a desirable result or outcome. The responsibility of the company to maintain their credibility all throughout the engagement is very important. Once the credibility is lost, it is very hard to regain again.

A good consultant also has the ability to read minds. Mind reading is one of the most important assets for a business consultant. The success of the business will depend upon the ability to convince clients to choose your company or products over the others. A management consulting company add to the credibility of the plan that the client has already been decided. The main role of the consultant is to become the fall guy if something wrong happens. They usually make a living out of making bids for the client. You need a consultant that can see things beyond others can see and use this understanding for the betterment of your business.

The interpersonal communication skill of the any consultant for example a medical consultant is very important. To match mind reading skill, a good consultant should also have a matching good interpersonal communication skill. Consultant deals with clients and different people that involves within your business that is why they need to have good communication skills that can convince people. Communication skill also needs good listening skills. If a consultant does not know how to listen to other people around them, there will be a very huge problem. Listening to other people’s ideas and suggestions is very much needed to attain success.

The business writing skills of a good consultant must be clear to be able to convey the message that they want to express clearly into writings. There is an art when it comes to business writing aside from observing correct grammar and spelling. If you need an environmental consulting company, it is important that one has a good writing skill. The writings should always be based on facts rather than superlatives. It should also explain the benefits rather than listing only the features. A good writing for a business should give the reader the opportunity to create their own conclusion.

The ability to solve a problem is also an important trait for a consultant. This is the reason why experience is a must right before you decide to hire a particular consulting company or service. The confidence of solving a particular problem indicates knowledge and experience. Recruitment consultants need to be a problem solver in order to avoid any pitfalls. If you want your business to succeed, it is important for one to search and compare different companies offering consulting services. This will lead you to finding the best consulting service that you need for the betterment of your business.

Why Small Business Owners

Most small business owners would benefit by electing to hire a business consultant, particularly if they are just starting up or if their business is not doing as well they hoped it would. Consultants can help you in many ways, offering the breadth of their experience in business start-ups and management to enable you to get off to the best possible start or to rescue a failing business that nevertheless has good potential.

Business Consultant Services

When you hire a business consultant you are hiring experience and expertise in a wide range of business elements. They can bring a new perspective to your business in terms of operation analysis, obtaining finance, strategic planning, management consulting and a great deal more.

Very few small owners have much business knowledge or acumen, and even fewer contacts in the business world that can help them with good advice. Business consultancy services can offer you these missing ingredients that can not only turn a failing company round into a successful enterprise, but can also build on the success of a successful firm and enable it to even further dominate its market.

So your small business need not be failing for you to make the best use of a business consultant – successful businesses also employ them to accelerate what may already be a rapid growth rate.

Why Hire a Business Consultant?

  • Have you just started up and are unsure where to go next?
  • Is your business losing money?
  • Do you understand your market but lack some necessary business skills?
  • Is your business growing but you want it to grow faster?
  • Have you reached a point where you need professional help to advance?
  • Have you a need find out more about your customers’ needs?

If you can identify with any of these situations then a business consultant can help you. Here are some of the benefits hiring a business consultant can offer:

  • Starting up a new business from scratch
  • Maximizing the profitability of your business
  • Locating areas of your business needing specific attention
  • Identifying potential problems and being proactive in resolving them
  • Helping you to formulate strategic and systematic plans to enable your business to grow
  • Making best use of marketing and the USPs of your products or services
  • Helping you find finance to develop your business
  • Providing you with new ideas and strategies you had never thought of yourself
  • A business consultant provides the knowledge and know-how currently missing in your business

Although you may believe hiring a business consultant to be expensive, they are more affordable than you might believe. They are very cost effective and what you spend in fees you can make many times over in improvement in efficiency and profitability.

There are no doubts that hiring a business consultant can benefit your business, but to make the best use of such as service you should:

a) Hire the best you can afford – with good references and an excellent track record, and

b) Learn from them: how do they operate, what techniques are they using and what third party services, websites or software do they use.

Hiring is fine, but make sure that you learn from them as much as possible. While the major reason why business owners need to hire a business consultant is that they genuinely need help, it doesn’t make sense to pay money and fail to learn how to copy their techniques and understand the third party services that they may use.

The Gung Ho Approach: Try it and See What Happens!

Many entrepreneurs use a gung-ho trial-by-fire approach to improving their business – see what happens and if it works, then great, but if not, then start again. Why? Why try to reinvent the wheel and prove what is already known? By employing the services of a business consultant you can get off to a flying start, have any problems you encountered resolved immediately and get on to making more money as quickly as possible.

What you lose in ‘learning for yourself’ would be better spent on outsourcing your business knowledge and would offer a better return than the cost of learning. So, if you feel that you need a bit more knowledge than you already have, don’t wait until you have learned by trial and error, but pay for it and get on with building a successful and profitable business.

Conclusion

Hiring a business consultant can offer a business many benefits – whether that is a new start-up, a failing business or a successful concern. Every business can improve, and if you believe the financial benefit exceeds the outlay, then it’s a no-brainer.

When Should You Decide to Talk With a Business

When is the right time to look for business advice and support? Whether you are contemplating starting a new business, are in the middle of a start-up, are considering a new product launch, or simply want some assistance on discovering new ways to improve efficiency and effectiveness, the correct time may be RIGHT NOW.

Here are 5 of the most common questions you may be asking yourself that warrant involvement from a business consultant.

1. Is now the correct time to be starting a new business? What is the best way to set-up my business to ensure future success? What can I do to minimize risk and maximize my chances for success?

The start-up phase of any business is exciting and downright frightening all at the same time. There is no better time to enlist the help of experienced professionals than during the early stages of your business development.

The right consultant has often been through numerous start-ups, has extensive experience in working with a business plan, knows what resources to enlist in gaining early momentum, and most importantly will provide honest feedback about the viability of your business idea.

2. What can I do to improve the profitability of my existing business? Where is the best use of my time and resources to continue to gain momentum with what I already have?

Once you are through the initial start-up phase a good consultant can help identify areas of strength and areas in need of improvement. What worked, what didn’t, how can you improve upon current success and minimize future risk? Engaging a consultant during this phase of your business will ensure you invest in critical resources and minimize risk going forward.

3. Why isn’t my marketing working effectively? Why is revenue flat and or profitability down? What can I do to improve upon the process and products I have in place?

A business consultant often will have experience across multiple industries and business models and will be able to provide insight in to what is currently holding you back from continued success. Many of the processes an effective consultant will take you through will give you the clarity and confidence required to take a faltering business from stagnation to immediate growth.

4. How did I end up here? I didn’t think owning my own business was going to be like this? How do I balance business and personal life effectively?

Time-management and productivity are often two of the biggest challenges faced by entrepreneurs. The right consultant will have the insight and ability to identify where you strengths lie and how to increase your effectiveness by maximizing those strengths.

When you find yourself wondering how you ended up where you are and what you need to do to get yourself from where your are to where you want to be, ask a consultant. You can only see what you are able to see. As obvious as this sounds, perspective is critical to business success and can only be gained by enlisting the expert advice of business professionals who know what to look for. Any successful business consultant will be able to provide valuable perspective on what got you to here and what is needed to take you to there.

5. How do I systematize my business so I can enjoy more free time away from work? How can my business run effectively without me working day and night to ensure it succeeds?

Business systems are a critical asset you must employ as an entrepreneur. Without proper systems in place you run the risk of personal burn-out and eventual business decline or failure.

Business consultants will help with effective delegation and system implementation. The vast knowledge and experience a professional consultant is able to draw from is critical during this stage of your business development. Once properly set up, a business utilizing efficient systems and effective delegation will successfully run itself. At this point as the entrepreneur, you will be able to focus on what is most critical to your business and personal success and will be more likely to achieve everything you are reaching for.

There truly is no right or wrong time to engage a business consultant in conversation about your business and its success. A good consultant will provide perspective in all the areas affecting your business and most importantly will be honest about the results they can deliver. Business is never easy, but with a good consultant most of your biggest business challenges will become simple to overcome.