In the modern world increased sales are key to business survival and usually take precedence over any other aspect of the daily operations of a business.
The need for increased sales is aligned with improved profit margins which means cost-efficiencies and clear forward planning are vital components to achieving business targets. That is when the value of hiring a business management consultant comes to the fore.
Business management consultants hail from a broad range of industries, disciplines and skills sets.
They are typically hired for their expertise in a specific part of a business that might need improving, either in terms of increased sales, efficiency, risk management, or future planning and business continuity to name but a few. They are primarily engaged to solve a business’ problems and encourage growth.
Business consultants come from a range of industries, including marketing and PR, finance, HR and employment, recruitment, health and safety, risk analysis and risk management, IT, operations and management, and many more.
These professions can be split into 5 main categories:
Business consultants are hired for their expertise in a specific discipline on a temporary basis. This allows the hiring company to only pay for the services it needs, rather than needing to incest in technologies, and potentially retaining full-time staff whose skills may not be required on a daily basis.
The hiring business also benefits from not having to pay taxes and National Insurance contributions. Nor do they have to provide employee benefits or a company pension.
Consultants provide a significant amount of value to an organisation and can help to develop strategies for growth and even manage ad-hoc projects from end-to-end.
One of the main advantages of hiring a business consultant is their independent objective viewpoint. This can allow for a more diverse set of ideas and solutions that might not have been provided by an employee of the company.
Consultants can also be hired to provide training for your workforce. By the very nature of their job role, a consultant is a trainer for businesses and staff.
The costs associated with hiring a business consultant are easily scalable, which helps to make tracking the value of the hire a lot easier. The hiring company is able to track the costs against the revenue generated from the specific projects the consultant has worked on to gauge the return on investment.
As a company grows, it may become more cost-effective to bring a consultant’s services in-house as an employee. This is where a business can capitalise by employing a consultant with relevant industry experience, on a full-time basis, to build on the good work the independent consultant has completed, while also tasking them with a variety of consultancy projects rather than just one project at a time.
However, many businesses prefer the flexibility and cost-efficiency that hiring a freelance consultant brings.
At a glance, the key points to bear in mind
If you hire a consultant you should ensure they are hired for the duration of the project, so they can manage its success based on their planning, rather than letting them go once they have written up a strategy for you. In doing this the consultant is accountable for their work, but you will also realise that they will want to be involved in delivering a project that they have planned to ensure that it is successful.
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