Let’s face it; running your own small business is hard work. As a small business owner, you’re likely being pulled in multiple directions daily and, as such, you pride yourself on being a highly-skilled multi-tasker. The success of your business depends on you not wasting time or money.

But let’s also face it, as a small business owner you aren’t necessarily an expert in every aspect of the business. And there are circumstances when, instead of trying to figure it out yourself, you should instead invest in the services of a consultant.

A business consultant is more than a contractor. A business consultant has the business experience and strategic know-how to help owner/managers take their business to the next level. Unlike a business coach — who typically focuses on exploring strengths and weaknesses and teaches owner/managers how to be better business leaders — a business consultant has a great depth of knowledge when it comes to business levers and knows how to best apply them and attain the desired results for your business.

A business consultant listens to a business owner’s concerns, offers expert insights and recommends (and even implements) practical solutions for many common small business troubles in order to raise that business to the next level.

3 reasons you need a business consultant

Sales/growth have plateaued.  In almost every business, it’s natural to hit a plateau at some point. As an owner/manager, it’s not that you’re necessarily doing anything wrong, it’s that you aren’t adapting fast enough to keep up. Changes within the business, clients and even the economy can all affect growth and a good business consultant helps you examine those changes and develops a strategy to accelerate growth within the new circumstances.

Cash flow isn’t flowing. The number one problem of small businesses is managing cash flow. Every business goes through cash flow cycles — some months are plentiful and others come up short. The key is to have a handle on cash projections so that you can make the necessary adjustments ahead of time, not after you’ve run out of cash. A business consultant understands these key financial levers and works with you to create new billing cycles and processes, as well as develop new revenue streams with short sell cycles to keep the cash flowing.

Hiring new employees seems like the only solution. It may be, but it may not be. When workloads ramp up, immediately investing in searching for, interviewing, hiring and onboarding new employees may not always be the most cost effective tactic. What happens when workloads then ramp down? A business consultant delves deep into your business’s strategic plan (or creates a long-term one in the first place) to understand and determine whether bringing on new staff if right for your business. Because the other solution is to outsource — which is not a dirty word and not just something the big, bad corporate conglomerates do when they lay off staff in favour of cheaper (and often offshore) labour. Outsourcing is a strategic way for small businesses to add expertise when and where they need it instead of investing in full-time employees.

A depth of knowledge

Bringing in a business consultant means bringing in someone with a depth of knowledge and relevant experience who not only offers guidance and strategic advice but also has the ability to serve in a number of critical roles within your business. After all, here at Smart Foundations, one of our areas of expertise is to guide businesses by developing their strategic marketing plans — and then being the ones to execute it.

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