Small business owners usually like to be involved in every part of their business, from designing the look and feel of their offices to running accounting and training staff. In fact, it's hard for many entrepreneurs to hand over tasks to employees or outside consultants. But if you own a small business and spend too much time on things that aren't important to your business, consulting services can really be a huge help. So what types of consultants are out there and how can they help grow your business?
Consultants in accounting and bookkeeping
Small businesses usually need help with accounting and bookkeeping. If you want to and are good at it, you might have time to keep books and do some accounting work for a small business that is just getting started. But as your business grows, it might make more sense to hire a consultant to do some of these more menial (but important) tasks. A strong bookkeeper can manage your records, send invoices, pay bills, do payroll, and prepare the company's books for tax time.
Consultants for IT Services
Information technology (IT) is one of the business fields that changes the fastest because new technology is always affecting devices or software systems. If your business isn't in the field of information technology or if you don't know how to fix problems with hardware and software, you should hire an IT consultant. An IT consultant can do more than just fix hardware and operating systems. For example, they can make sure that important business data is backed up, set up all your cloud computing services, install software systems, train people on how to use hardware and software systems, and give advice on how to use tech to improve your operations and increase productivity.
Consultants for human resources
Problems with people are often hard and take a lot of time to solve. Some small businesses can't pay for a dedicated person or department for human resources (HR). But businesses with good HR strategies tend to have better work environments and higher morale, which makes it easier to keep employees and reduces the costs of hiring and firing. Because of this, you might want to hire someone else to do your HR work. Professional HR consultants are trained to know everything there is to know about dealing with employees. From hiring new employees to onboarding new hires. They are also equipped with legal expertise in this area, can handle staff disputes and can advise on structuring company benefits.
Experts in marketing
Successful marketing is needed to get and keep customers, which is the most important thing for most businesses, especially new ones. Unfortunately, marketing is a very specialized field, and while many small business owners are great at giving their customers products or services, they may not be as good at marketing and may not be able to afford full-time salespeople. The right marketing consultant for your business should know a lot about your field and be able to give you both new ideas and tried-and-true advice on how to create strategies and campaigns.
Consultants in Legal Services
Having a good business lawyer nearby can be helpful in situations where the law is more complicated or where you might find yourself liable; such as understanding partnership agreements or dividing up the shares, handling lawsuits, buying or renting and settling up franchise agreements.
How to find a good consultant and hire them
Word-of-mouth and referrals are a great way to find good help. If you are new to an area, business groups or chambers of commerce may be able to help you find what you need. After you've talked to and chosen a consultant, secure a contract that includes things like rates, terms, and any confidentiality or non-disclosure clauses you need. If you're just starting a business and don't have much money but need a consultant, you might want to trade your services for one. You can also consider applying for a Merchant Capital Cash Advance where your business will receive funds within 48 hours. Using these funds to pay for your consultant’s expertise will put your business in a much stronger position, and is a clever way to finance your business’s immediate needs.
The bottom line
During the first few months or years of business, owners of startups often have to do a little bit of everything to make ends meet. As a business grows and makes more money, it has more needs that are better met by experts in the field. It can also be very hard to keep up with the ever-growing complexity of information technology, regulations, and other legal aspects of a business. Consultants for small businesses can help business owners deal with all of these problems. While it may be hard to hand over such important tasks, using consultants strategically will take your business from good to great.