In the social imaginary, especially amongst entrepreneurs, it’s tempting to want to be alone in the face of danger, like Gary Cooper under the skin of Sheriff Will Kane in the movie High Noon.
But that should not be how business owners act. The small business cemetery is full of lonely heroes who did not ask for advice nor help.
Running a small business has become very complicated in the 21st century. You will need help from professionals to help you make it sustainable. So why not use small business consulting?
I understand, as an entrepreneur, I was also lost and confused when it came to hiring consultants. I mistakenly thought that they weren’t necessary services, at least not until I was very successful and wealthy.
I was wrong.
Small business consulting is a strategic service of first necessity. I learned this after meeting with a financial consultant who completely and successfully redesigned the terrible financial plan of my first company.
Since then, I have always hired the best professionals that my resources allow me to.
What does a consulting company do?
A consulting company directly impacts the growth and improvement of your company’s infrastructure. It has direct responsibility for the financial results of the area it’s advising.
For example, a financial consultant will help grow our financial resources as much as possible.
Do I need small business consulting?
If you think you need to have absolute control over your business, know everything that happens, and endorse every single decision… I kindly ask you to think about what you’re doing.
Can you really not delegate some routinary tasks (that other members of your team could do better than you)?
Do you know more about finances than a financial consultant and more about fiscal strategy than a tax preparer?
I am convinced that if you try to control everything, it is because you think you have to. And, of course, you just want the best for your business. But sometimes, the best is in the hands of others. It can be useful for you to have external help.
Science says that beliefs modify perception. So I invite you to test new ideas: delegate, hire consultants, and then tell me what the results are.
That future you want for your business has no shortcuts, but there are more straightforward and faster paths that a small business consulting firm can help you design.
There are many daily tasks that you can delegate (or automate). But essential tasks, like designing a strategy and implementing it, call for the help of experts.
There are many areas (Technology, Financial Services, Legal Services…) whose complexity requires time and knowledge that you may not have. A small business consulting firm can save you time and money.
How to choose a consulting firm? 6 tips
If you don’t put things in writing, there’ll be no improvement. Write down your goals and define your expectations. When you have defined everything, deciding what kind of small business consulting you need will be very easy.
You need to be prepared for every meeting, yes, but you also need to be prepared for how often you see your consultant.
Consider the communication channels and the preparation time of each meeting you have with a consultant. If the consultant can only see you one or two hours a month, for example, you cannot improvise a meeting: get ready one or two days in advance, write a list of specific questions and make sure what you want to achieve.
Processes and tools
As you know, your company is a combination of people, processes, and tools. Make sure your consultant knows these processes and tools so that they can properly help you.
Ask for references
When you start the hiring process, ask in your sector for consultants with proven experience and results. Openly ask your peers to recommend a small business consulting firm (ask for specific arguments, like what results they have achieved.)
Personally, I am cautious when I hear a recommendation. I try to analyze the recommendation and ask a lot of questions. Why? My goal is only to hire the best of the best.
Double-check the rates of the small business consulting firm and read the contract you sign well.
Each small business consulting firm has very different rates. You won’t find two firms that charge the same amounts. So, compare and find the price that matches your budget, but that has a proven record of being successful.
Also, remember to read the contract thoroughly. This way you won’t be surprised by extra fees you didn’t consider.
Skills and knowledge
Personally, my ideal small business consulting firm is knowledgable and with experience, but its consultants also have:
✔️ Inter and intrapersonal skills
✔️ Agile thinking in the face of constant change
✔️ The ability to help you design systems that better address the future
✔️ The ability to analyze and design a map of your company’s situation
✔️ Solution-solving abilities
✔️ The focus and drive to provide maximum value
Are you ready for small business consulting?
Hopefully, I have helped you reflect on what businesses need. It’s crucial to invest resources for hiring capable consultants that can help you improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your small business.
To delve deeper into the topic, we invite you to continue reading:
I wish you the best of luck in finding the best small business consulting firm!
At Camino Financial, we have the motto: “No Business Left Behind,” contact us and see how we have fewer requirements than other lenders. We can help you improve your financial performance.