In a recent meeting with a client we were asked, “What is your biggest strength?” Our answer was ‘people.’ Any business’s success truly hinges on its people. People who get along with others; people who adhere to the training they are given; and people who show a positive attitude and add value are just a few of the things that can make or break a business. When it comes to consulting, we combine our passion for people with business skills such as understanding day-to-day operations and customer service.
Consulting as a field is relatively new. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that consulting in the business world really took off. Here is an excerpt from an April, 2014 Entrepreneur Magazine article on the power of hiring a consultant. According to industry experts, here are the top 10 reasons organizations hire consultants today:
1. To obtain specific expertise. Clients typically hire people who have the skills and expertise their own staff lacks, so it really pays to have a track record that speaks for itself.
2. To identify problems. Sometimes employees are too close to a problem inside an organization to recognize it. That’s when a consultant rides in on his or her white horse to save the day.
3. To supplement a company’s internal staff. Sometimes business executives discover they can save thousands of dollars a week by hiring consultants when needed rather than hiring full-time employees. They also can save additional money because consultants don’t need benefits. So even though a consultant’s fees are generally higher than an employee’s salary, over the long haul, a consultant tends to be a less expensive option.
4. To act as a catalyst for change. No one likes change, especially corporate America. But when change is needed, a consultant generally can do things without worrying about the corporate culture, employee morale, or other issues that tend to elicit high emotions and dissention in the ranks.
5. To be an objective onlooker. Besides seeing problems from a different perspective than internal staff does, a good consultant provides a fresh, objective viewpoint, then delivers results without being concerned about what workers in the organization might think about the results and how they were achieved.
6. To teach. If you have special skills and knowledge, someone will pay you to pass on that knowledge. As a result, it’s very important for you to stay abreast of advances and developments in your chosen field so information can be passed on to clients knowledgeably and authoritatively.
7. To do a company’s “dirty work.” Let’s face it: No one wants to be the person who has to make staff or program cuts. An impartial outside consultant is the perfect person to handle such unpleasant tasks.
8. To bring new life to an organization. Many consultants are retained as idea starters and innovative thinkers. If you’re a subject matter expert who can think on your feet, you can help a company retool or reinvent itself.
9. To assist with a business launch. Business development consultants are in high demand by entrepreneurs and visionaries who wish to leave the groundwork–and grunt work–to someone else. In this role, a consultant may also assist with the day-to-day operations of the new venture.
10. To share contacts. If you know the movers and shakers in business, or have big business or manufacturing contacts abroad, someone will probably want to tap into that knowledge.