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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
CAN A SMALL BUSINESS CONSULTANT
HELP YOU RUN YOUR BUSINESS?
There comes a point in every business when the owner realizes they need advice and wonders, “should I hire a consultant?" And, as with most things in life, the answer is,“it depends.” Whether you’re starting a new company or growing an existing business, hiring the right consultant can be a cost-effective way for your small business to leverage specialized knowledge. So, the challenge for a small business owner is to understand the role of a consultant in their business, and to learn how and when it is cost-effective to hire one.
WHAT DOES A SMALL BUSINESS CONSULTANT DO?
A business consultant is simply an outside expert you hire to facilitate an internal business problem. A consultant is a great source of specialized knowledge that brings skills, experience, and processes to improve the client’s business condition. Consultants have independent schedules, may have multiple clients, and are hired on a contract/project basis.
Depending on the consulting firm, consultants may work alone or may bring their own team, which typically includes one project manager and two analysts. A consultant can help with marketing and sales development, business expansion and improvements, and even execution of their ideas and recommendations.
WHY DO PEOPLE HIRE SMALL BUSINESS CONSULTANTS?
Small business owners hire consultants as a cost-effective way to bridge a gap in knowledge and skills within their company, or as a way to bring a fresh, objective, and professional perspective to the company.
HERE ARE THE THREE MOST COMMON REASONS WHY BUSINESS OWNERS TURN TO CONSULTANTS FOR HELP:
To find the problem(s): In many cases, a business may be exhibiting problematic “symptoms,” such as a decrease in sales, or cash-flow issues, and internal management and is unable to pinpoint the source of the problem. In this case, a consultant can come in to observe the symptoms within your operations, conduct some tests and research, and determine the root of the problem.
To create the solution(s): In some cases, you may have a goal that you cannot achieve internally either because there is a skill gap, or because it is simply not within your company’s core competency. Hiring a good consultant can save time, money, and ultimately achieve a better result.
Optimization: When your company grows too quickly, and you didn't expect it, a consultant can come in and bring in some fresh perspective; evaluate any or all areas of your business, and determine the processes and procedures to increase productivity levels.
WHAT ARE THE FEES FOR OUR SERVICES?
Hiring a consultant can be one of the key elements to your nonprofit’s success……….. The cost will depend upon your organization's needs. Whether you decide to do it all yourself or work with a consultant to manage some or the entire process.
Fees for consultants vary widely and depend in part on where your organization is located as well as the number of consultants involved, the work performed, and the contract negotiated. Fees can be project-based or figured at an hourly rate. An average fee for smaller sized nonprofit consultation services is $50/hr and up.