As a small business owner, you might be making the key decisions regarding your company and overseeing all daily operations and business development. However, in certain situations, you may need a third party with particular skills to help you objectively evaluate, understand, and come up with solutions. This is where small business consultants come into play.
Consultants generally help small businesses in various ways, including:
Whether yours is a newly launched startup or an established business, the growth path is not always clear. An accredited business consultant can help you craft the most suitable business model. They can also help you craft a business plan that will guide your launch and growth process and boost fundraising.
- Business Strategy
Growing your business sustainably can be challenging. For instance, should you only serve domestic customers or expand your operations to other countries? Should you partner with other brands? Does adding more product lines make business sense? There are the kinds of questions your consultant will help you tackle. They can also help you develop specific tactics to reach your growth goals.
- Sales and Marketing
A consultant with a good grasp of marketing and sales can help you craft a marketing plan that includes utilizing social media, SEO practices, content marketing, sales tactics, and influencer marketing.
- Human Resources
Human resource issues and talent acquisition are becoming more complex and essential for business success. Talented employees can be hard to find, so you should consider working with consultants who have talent referrals and connections to fill the skills and experience gaps in your business. A consultant can help you deal with other complex HR issues like diversity, inclusion, and sexual harassment.
- Crisis Management
Things can unexpectedly go awry – think of the pandemic – making it difficult to manage the crisis as well as sustain your business effectively. A crisis may involve industrial accidents, natural disasters, security breaches, and more. A consultant can help you sustain your business during a crisis.
For a small business owner, dealing with aspects of business finance, like high-level cash flow and financial analysis, can be daunting. A consultant can help you figure out the most prudent ways of spending and advise you on setting up retirement accounts, an emergency account, and effective tax planning processes.
- IT and Security
You can incur significant financial responsibility if you lose customer data to hackers. You may also not be aware of the latest data privacy regulations. A consultant can bring onboard IT and cybersecurity skills and knowledge and help ensure that your data is well protected.
How to Determine If Your Business Needs a Consultant
- Dead-end journey- If you feel that you’re stuck or lost, you should consider working with a consultant.
- Skill gaps – As your business evolves, you may realize that you don’t have certain necessary skills. These skill gaps can impact business performance and undercut your competitive advantage or increase your vulnerability to certain risks.
- Crisis mode – If you’re facing a crisis that’s impacting your brand, sustainability, or bottom line, you should consider working with a consultant with the necessary skills.
From business development and planning to strategy, security, and growth, you can get consultants to help you address all sorts of challenges that come with running small businesses. At Economic Development Collaborative, we will help you get the right consultants and provide other business support resources. Contact us today to learn more!