Most business owners will usually start considering engaging a consultant either when they are planning for business expansion or when the business does not appear to be doing well. This post, we are presenting some key reasons on why you may need a consultant and how our role can add value to your business.
1) Instilling Checks and Balances
As business owners, we may tend to have some preferences or inclination towards certain ideas, business model or strategies. Some of us may make decisions based on personal experiences or even out of intuition. In the case for start-ups or smaller businesses, these companies may not have the resources to make the decision making process robust as they may not be able to conduct extensive research or have the luxury of time to go through multiple rounds of deliberations. Smaller companies also face the challenge of not having an experienced or well-rounded board of directors to instil sufficient check and balances.
Many businesses only start to reflect or make changes when they realise that problems are beginning to surface. However, for a business to function and grow steadily, our recommendation is for the management team to do regular reviews and “health checks” to ensure that the business is on track and also diligently identify areas that needs to be tweaked for it to run more efficiently.
2) Providing expertise in certain areas
Some businesses may require specialised or additional expertise in certain areas during a certain phase of growth. For example, if your business is planning to go through a rebranding exercise to target a different group of customers, it may not make sense to hire a full in-house marketing team to do so. There could be merits in hiring a consultant to assist you in the process since it will be more cost efficient and likely to yield better results.
In a situation where your business is expanding rapidly, it may result in a predicament where you do not have the technical or professional expertise to handle larger scale operations. One of the most common issues businesses would face when operations start to scale up is a lack in management expertise or line managers to ensure that the processes remain efficient and continue to run smoothly. There are also other key issues that the company needs to address during a phase of expansion, for example, a change in human resources structure, increase in capital expenditure, need for funding etc.
3) Assisting in growth and expansion into new markets
Expanding into foreign markets will require local expertise and extensive research to ensure that the venture becomes successful. This is a prime example of a scenario where it would present a strong case to engage a consultant. Having an insight into the local market’s consumer preferences, legal framework, culture and buying patterns will definitely help to reduce risks and increase your chances of success.
In a similar note, if your company is exploring the possibility of launching new products or services, hiring a consultant to assist will be useful. The practical help will come in the area of imparting experience, doing surveys to understand consumers’ preferences or even assisting in the area of implementation if you lack the manpower or resources.
4) Aligning vision or resolving conflicts
If your company is at the crossroads, requiring a change in vision or there are major decisions are required to be taken, having a third party coming in from a neutral angle to align the differences will be useful especially if there are different views among the key management team.
There may also be times where the company is facing a situation where there are conflicts and tensions arising. This is where having someone to mediate will help to prevent unnecessary friction and ultimately come to a concerted decision.
5) Managing change
Tackling and implementing change can often destabilise the company’s morale and operations may also be adversely affected if things are not handled well. If your business is looking out to make key changes in certain areas such as redefining business model, reviewing HR system, streamlining kitchen operations, it may be useful to hear from a party who has extensive experience in that particular industry. With years of accumulated experience under their belt, a consultant would be able to provide a balanced expert opinion based on similar projects or situations that they have handled over the years.
Are you looking for the best supplier? Or do you need access to funding from institutional investors? Or do you need to know which marketing agency would suit your needs best? Perhaps you are trying to get in touch with government contacts?
By working with a consultant, you will have access and connections to a large network of suppliers, vendors and institutions. A consultant will also be able to provide you with advice on which institution or organisation would be able to assist in growing your business.
We hope that you have found these pointers useful in the process of deciding on whether there is value add in working with a consultant. Feel free to drop us an email or leave a comment if you are keen to enquire about working with us!