Being a small business owner is like pulling off a juggling act; you look into every aspect of your business, from strategy to human resources and payroll to accounting and legal aspects. It is not humanly possible for one person to master all areas, some of which are highly technical and need expertise. That is where a business consultant comes in. As a small business owner, you might have given it a thought if your firm needs a business consultant, especially when stuck with a business problem.
Hiring a business consultant does not imply that you are falling short of your responsibility as the ship’s captain. On the contrary, it helps streamline your business operations and lets you focus on growth-related decisions more.
Why Do You Need a Business Consultant?
You know you need a business consultant if you spend too much time supporting business activities that are not your area of expertise. Such speed bumps may slow your pace or pull you off track on your business strategy.
A business consultant is a professional with thorough knowledge and skills about a specific aspect of a business, like tax and legal. While your skills might have been enough to get your small business to its current position, you will eventually need an expert’s aid to expand your business. A business consultant can provide this service and give your growing business a helping hand.
A consultant need not always be required only to solve problems. If your business has been stuck more or less in the same position for a while now, a business consultant can also assist in giving it the boost required to take it to the next level. In case of expansion to other cities, states or countries, experts in the said territories can guide you regarding differences in the new place’s legal system or taxation laws.
And sometimes, getting an impartial, third-party view on things to ensure your business is on the right track can help you prepare for challenges in advance.
What Do Business Consultants Bring to the Table?
Business consultants are more like business partners as their success is linked with the prosperity of your business. Consultants adopt a three-pronged approach to deal with a situation:
- Discovery and Research – They conduct a detailed study of your business, scope, strategy, operational setup and outreach. They also do in-depth market and competitive research to understand the business environment.
- Identification and Evaluation – Next, they identify any problems or potential opportunities your business could encounter and provide effective solutions.
- Implementation – Lastly, they design, customize and implement strategies to solve problems or take advantage of business opportunities.
Types of Business Consultants
There are many types of business consultants you can hire, depending on your business requirement:
- Financial and Accounting Consultants – While it is relatively easier to handle your business finances in the early stages, hiring a professional to sort and store your money matters is better. Financial consultants not only offer bookkeeping and accounting services (including invoicing, handling cash flows and salaries, and preparing financial reports) but also provide tips on how to spend more efficiently to save more. They can advise you on retirement planning or creating emergency funds for your business without significant tax implications.
- Business Strategy Consultants – Their sound knowledge and vast experience give consultants a deeper understanding of how business strategies work in different situations. Such expertise can come in handy for a small business during expansion planning. Suggestions on reorganizing your business to make it more cost-effective or recommendations on mergers and acquisitions for growth can also be valuable. They can also develop crisis management plans and alternate ways to keep your business going in unusual circumstances.
- Human Resource Consultants – Hiring and firing are complex and time-consuming business operations. Delegating the job to a capable HR consultant can take the burden off your back with possibly better results. Since hiring the right employee directly impact your business, letting an expert do background checks and interviews is advisable. But an HR consultant does more than just that. They can also help draft better workplace policies and undertake responsibilities such as employee training, employee discipline and ethics, staff grievance redressal, and staff welfare packages.
- Marketing Consultants – Manufacturing a product or providing a service is one thing, and marketing and selling it is another. Converting product units into sales takes more than just good quality. For this, hiring a specialist can bring great results. Marketing consultants are well-versed in the ways and wants of the market and can guide you on how to sell your product effectively to customers. They know how to develop unique marketing strategies for your brand and boost sales through innovative marketing campaigns on social media or targeted customer interactions.
- IT Consultants – Every business has an online presence in the tech age, from financial spreadsheets and accounting software to cloud computing services and POS (Point-of-sale systems). No business can do without sound technological infrastructure. IT consultants help you digitize your business safely and efficiently. They oversee software updates, data backup, security management and other vital IT services.
- Legal Consultants – For any small business owner, a good lawyer is crucial for several reasons. Legal consultants can perform many tasks, such as drawing up partnership deeds, real estate or lease agreements, trademark or patent registrations, intellectual property rights issues, mergers and acquisitions, lawsuits or legal actions against your business.
Not every business needs every type of consultant. Assess your business needs to identify which areas could do with some help from an expert.
Contact DDL & Co. in St. Catharines for Consulting Requirements
Talk to a business consultant to help streamline accounting and financial operations and avoid costly penalties. At DDL & Co., our accounting consultants can help you comply with all tax laws and maximize the benefits and exemptions applicable to your business. To learn more about how DDL & Co. can provide you with the best accounting expertise, contact us online or at 905-680-8669.