Do Startups Need Consultants?

As a start-up, you are probably looking at ways that you can improve your business. Improving your existing business is needed for growth and profit revenue. If you are at a loss on how to improve your existing set-up, then it may be time to call in the experts. Of course, there are the number of companies that provide consultancy for your business, so you need to know which ones are suitable for you. Regardless of the size of your empire, whether it is big or small, established or a start-up, many businesses are turning to hiring consultants to help facilitate growth.

Many consultants will often herald their services as necessary to your needs. Many consultancy based firms will offer a wide range of services, so think about what your business lacks in, or needs room for improvement on, before hiring consultants to look over your empire. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples. If you need marketing service advice, you will look at hiring a consultant that specializes entirely in consultancy aimed at marketing and SEO. Similarly, if you are running a law practice, you would turn to a Lexis Nexis learning consultant, in order to garner expert advice.

Do startups need consultants?

The value of consultants is not considered to the average SME. Consultants offer the best advice that is entirely tailored to your business needs. The price, of course, is to be discussed between you and your hired consultant but the general rates are very competitive.

For many companies in the beginning stages, money is an object. Understandably so. Many companies feel the need for budgeting to be their main focus, as not to overspend or waste money on unnecessary outgoings. Spending money, in the early stages of any company, tends to be the furthest thing from a business professionals mind. As with any business, there is a need to employ certain individuals for certain tasks because it meets with the core needs of the business model. That said there is a lot to be said for outsourcing specific departments and needs, in order to save money in the long term. There are a wide range of business critical things that need to be done that does not require a permanent member of staff to achieve. Consultancy is one of these functions.

Fill knowledge gaps

Start-ups look at hiring consultants to fill knowledge gaps. This can be done on a project basis, for those looking to widen their business scope, or it can be done on ad-hoc basis, should the need for a consultant arise. When hiring a consultant, you are essentially tapping into someone else’s knowledge base. You can utilize their all important skills and experience to get exactly what you need when it is needed. It all sounds rather brutal, but consultants are in the business of making money and helping businesses achieve their full potential. You cannot simply know everything unless you are Stephen Fry, but realistically, if you need expert advice on any business function, you should be seriously considering hiring a consultant.

Need Improvement

Take a look at where you feel your business can be improved. Do you know how to improve it with your own limited knowledge and expertise within that particular area? If you do not, then you need to consider hiring an external consultant in order to expand your empire. The relationship does not have to be lengthy or cost a small fortune, but you can take away a lot from contacting an expert.

Identify problems

For many start-ups, SME’s and small businesses, once you start to identify problems within your business, it is imperative that you get in a consultant to assist you with these issues. If there is a problem or nuance that cannot be resolved internally, then you need to either start looking at hiring someone on a permanent basis, should your budget allow it. Alternatively, you can call in a consultant on ad-hoc basis that makes a cost-effective solution for a start-up with limited means. They will provide you with a strategy and the tactical ammunition to get the problems resolved in a reasonable time limit.

Who can help

So, when you have identified the problem, you need to determine what help you require. That is when you decide whom you call in to assist you with your business dilemma. Ideally, the right candidate will have years of consultancy experience and a proven track record of achieving top results. Ideally, they will be the leaders in their field, and they will share your passion for business. It all sounds rather utopian, but it can be achieved. Going back to my Lexis Nexis example, for those within the field of law, they are all too aware of Lexis Nexis. They are the leaders in their field, and ultimately, they are the go-to consultancy people for those all important strategic gaps within the company. The key is to find a consultancy that is strategic and thinks and performs in a tactical manner. You need a consultant to aid and assist, as well as execute, the plan of action. Doing it alone is not an option.

How much do consultants charge?

Of course, your next big question is about money. How much do these gurus charge? Don’t worry, you do not have to sell your soul in order to hire a consultant. Well, this is entirely dependent on the consultant that you hire. You will need to perform your own research to ensure that you are getting much bang for your buck. In short, a good consultant will recognize the limited resources of a start-up, SME or small business and will hopefully help you accordingly. By in large, those who charge ‘top whack fees’ are working for the corporations, who can afford to pay these large sums of money. For the consultants that advise smaller businesses, they are doing it for the buzz and excitement of helping the smaller business. They know that money is going to be an object.

Consultants tend to have a bad name, and are talking about in relatively hushed tones, but if you are looking at expanding and growing in an organic manner, then you need to seek the help of the experts.