The Benefits of Hiring a Business Consultant
Running a small business can be overwhelming. A business consultant that offers guidance on strategy, planning, and implementation can help you to start or grow your business. No matter what stage your business is at, a creative and passionate business consultant who understands your needs will help you achieve your professional goals.
What does a business consultant do? What an individual business consultant offers varies. Some of the standard tasks of a business consultant are:
Meet with you to determine your needs and goals.
Complete an in-depth business analysis to identify strengths and weaknesses.
Prepare a strategic action plan to help your business reach its goals, along with specific steps for implementation.
Provide follow up services to determine the effectiveness of the strategy and adjust as needed.
These tasks are a basic overview of what a business consultant can do for you. Exactly what they do will vary based on where your business is at, how much help you need, and what your budget looks like.
What should you look for in a business consultant?
Trusting someone else to help build your business is a big deal. That’s why you want to make sure your business consultant is someone you feel comfortable with. They should be a clear communicator who makes you feel comfortable to ask any questions you might have.
Communication is key, but you also want somebody who is familiar with your industry. A business plan for a yoga studio is going to look very different from one for a craft brewery. Knowledge of your industry and an aptitude for creative solutions are must haves in a business consultant. Don’t forget, you’ll also want someone who is detail-oriented, thorough, and results-driven. They should be able to gather and organize data that provides clear insights into the ins and outs of your business.
What will it cost you?
According to Talent.com, business consultants in Canada can cost anywhere from $40.00 to $70.00 per hour. This range covers entry-level consultants up to experienced professionals. However, package deals (like our Business Planning package) can be a great way to get help without blowing your budget.
Do you need a business consultant?
If you’re not sure whether you need a business consultant, here are some signs that indicate you could benefit from the professional guidance:
Your business isn’t growing, but you’re unsure why. Maybe you feel like your days are jam-packed with appointments, but your finances aren’t reflecting your busy schedule. Or maybe your website isn’t generating the traffic you want, or turning visitors into clients. A great business consultant can review your business with you to find the problems and create a plan to fix them.
Technology makes your head spin. Do you know how to build and maintain a user-friendly website? Are you optimizing your existing website for SEO? Are you confident in your ability to make content that is accessible for everyone? These are important business considerations in the age of the internet. If the thought of them makes your head spin, it’s time to bring in a professional.
You just don’t have the time. Every business owner is familiar with having an ever-growing list of to-dos. Entrepreneurs expect to be busy, but if you seem to be adding more tasks to your list than crossing them off, it’s a good idea to bring in help. By looking at your needs, your strengths and your weaknesses, you can hire a business consultant to fill in the gaps and get you caught up.
Not everybody needs a full business consultant, and that’s why at Zazen we offer a virtual assistant package. An assistant can help you get organized, streamline procedures, and set up systems that help keep you on track so that you can move forward with a clear head (and inbox).
Opening a business requires dedication, ambition, and passion. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a passion for the technical aspects of a business, like financial spreadsheets and SEO optimization. A great business consultant can take those tasks off your plate. Ultimately, they’ll help you map out a plan for your business’ future that leaves you feeling confident and provides tangible results.