Too many business owners and entrepreneurs try to go it alone when it comes to facing the reality of challenges in their businesses. Whether it’s a feeling of shame that they need help (who doesn’t need help?!) or simply turning a blind eye to the issues in hopes they will somehow go away (they won’t!), there really are no good reasons not to hire a business consultant. Perhaps the better question is “when”? While we believe that always having a list of trusted advisors you can call on for guidance is vital, here are five times when it’s imperative to start that relationship.
1. You are thinking of starting a new business.
The absolute best time to hire a business consultant or coach is BEFORE you start your business. It is during this time that your consultant can help you vet your idea from the ground up. They can help you identify potential issues before they happen, identify funding sources, refine your sales pitch and overall marketing efforts, and so on.
The most typical argument we hear to this thought process is “how do I afford a business consultant before I’ve started making any money?”. We advise clients to put this in their startup budget very early on. A good business coach will save you thousands of dollars in potential headaches. It’s an investment with a great ROI.
2. You’ve grown your business to a point you can’t handle it all by yourself.
So you now have more than 3-4 employees and are starting to have scaling issues. HR is becoming a pain. Cash flow management is daunting. You can’t focus on what you do well because you are trying to handle finance, sales, daily operations, HR, and still have time for your family. It’s time to hire a consultant to help you handle these issues. They can identify the smartest hires you can make, as well as identify potential outsourcing partners for payroll, HR, etc.
3. You want to launch a new product or service.
Adding to your product or service line will mean more revenue, right? Hopefully yes, but it can also mean training, production, design, and marketing expense. The best way to roll out a new product or service is with a great plan developed by someone with experience. A business consultant or coach can help you develop a plan that will lead to a successful launch.
4. Your revenue keeps growing but your profit is shrinking.
We hear this all the time… “Our company is bringing in more revenue than ever but I think money is leaking somewhere because our profit is shrinking (or is even non-existent)”. This can be an alarming fact for a growing business (and its owner), however this is common and is something that can be evaluated, understood, and corrected by a quality business consultant.
5. You know your strengths (and weaknesses).
From small businesses to major corporations, great leaders, entrepreneurs and CEOs are keenly aware of their strengths and weaknesses. This is what allows them to build great teams around them which contribute to their success. Many times hiring a business consultant or coach will be the first step in building your team. They should have a skill set that is complementary to yours. They will be able to bridge the gap so you can focus on what you do well, allowing you to get back to your passion. Further, they will help you make connections where you need them by identifying who to hire internally and additional outsourced partners.
The Hill Productions & Media Group (HPMG) Business Consulting Difference.
We have heard the horror stories of consulting firms that swoop in, give lots of advice and even an action plan, and then disappear just as quickly as they appeared. Our philosophy at HPMG is that we work with you for the long term. We aren’t here to give you only actionable advice and then expect you to do all the work. On the contrary, our plans and advice include items that we will execute, as part of your team. After all, it’s more fun to share in your success than to only hear about it later.
By Justin Hill, Founder & CEO