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Consulting: what is it and why do you need it?
by Majenica Moles
So, you want to be a business owner. You know what you want to do, and how you want it to succeed, but do you know all there is to know about getting there? This is where consulting comes in. There are consultants for pretty much any category. When you decide to hire a consultant, it’s important to make sure they are knowledgeable in your business category. Ask for references, and make sure to follow up on those references. You want the best for your business, and hiring someone without checking their work is never a good thing.
Why do you need a consultant?
There are many reasons you might want or need a consultant. A big reason, would be to help you make the best decisions for your business, to help you succeed. Keep in mind, a consultant doesn’t make your decisions for you, they simply consult. This means, they evaluate what it is you are wanting to happen, and they share steps you can take to make it happen. It’s up to you whether you want to take their advice or not.
Another reason you might bring in a consultant, might be to better organize your business. Some people are great at business, but not so much at organizing. A business needs structure and organization to succeed, and if things are just done willy nilly, it can really hinder the success. Consultants can tell you what you need to do or change, to make your business better.
Consultants can also work with you to implement rules for employees. For instance, they might observe the workplace for a week or so, then report back to you as to what they saw, and what you might consider changing. Maybe they noticed things that needed to be changed for the employee’s benefit, or they might see many employees breaking company policies. Keep in mind, that while observing, the consultant isn’t there to reprimand the employee, but to simply observe and report back to you.
How much will it cost to hire a consultant?
The price of hiring a consultant will vary. There are a lot of factors that will determine the cost, such as geographical location and the type of consultant you are needing. You can expect to pay around $80 per hour, as a low end figure. Some consultants can be put on retainer for around $3-4k per month. This means you pay them a monthly amount, rather than an hourly amount. This is an ideal way of hiring them, if you plan to use their services often.
Once you decide to hire a consultant, and you find the perfect one, the logical next step would be to implement the changes they propose. If you hire a consultant, then rebel against every suggestion they give you, then you have defeated the purpose of hiring them in the first place. You need to at least consider what they are telling you, and weigh the benefits of their proposals against the negatives. Don’t just shoot down every suggestion without talking it through, and knowing the benefits, And ultimately, you will hopefully find that your business is running smoother and more efficiently.
"Time spent with cats is never wasted." ~ Sigmund Freud