Hiring A Business Development Consultant – Mistake Or Opportunity?

I just finished searching the web for business and marketing consultants, and even as a professional Business Consultant, I was left confused and skeptical. The profession is apparently filled with those who over-promise, have little experience, and some who only desire to sell you not knowledge predicated on experience. Fortunately, beneath the rubble, there are those who have spent a lifetime in business and that are practicing professional consultants with a great deal to offer the right customers. Since that is my business, I decided it might be time to offer my observations on why you may want a professional consultant, and ways to benefit.

I am a small business Development, Strategic Planning, and Marketing consultant. I specialized in assisting small to mid-sized companies review their current activities and providing Critical Analysis, Strategic Planning and Implementation guidance in my own regions of expertise. My goal would be to help small business and mid-sized companies grow by understanding where they are today, where they want to go, and exactly the way to get there.

With the disclosure taken care of, let me provide my guidance on hiring a business consultant, what things to look for, and what to expect for your time and money.

1) EXPERTISE: The single most significant reason to hire another business consultant is to generate expertise that you don’t already have in house.

Most people have a background in their industry, and many have experience in several industries. www.vimeo.com/scottcoopermiamibeach have even experience with 10 or 15 products within that industry, but knowledge, experience and hands on management of a broader selection of products, from over 100 companies, and building marketing and distribution in diverse markets such as THE UNITED STATES, Europe and Asia is experience few folks have.

When you choose a consultant you want someone who has a breadth of knowledge and experience that exceeds that which you already have. Alongside bringing a fresh or different perspective to your analysis and strategic planning, a consultant should bring knowledge that’s outside the scope of one’s current environment.

By bringing in someone with an array of knowledge and experience within their area of expertise you supplement your current knowledge base. Most companies curently have excellent people on staff performing their duties in the regions of business development, marketing and sales. Limitations occur because of the ‘box’ in which we work. You as well as your staff are running full speed ahead to keep up with the demands of one’s business. In many cases, you are putting out fires as quickly because they ignite (if you’re lucky). This environment dictates that you focus on the job at hand. When you and your staff meet, you’re discussing real problems that need immediate solutions. There is little time to research what other companies are doing and what is successful or not for them.

A consultant should bring an ‘out of the box’ perspective to your table as soon as they walk in the door. They could not understand the minutia of your business immediately, but through discussion plus some research they’ll bring new perspective and suggestions to your problem solving and business planning process. Their expanded world view will open new doors of chance for your organization and offer ideas that have proven successful in other environments.

2) ECONOMICS: The second probably reason to hire an expert business development consultant is saving cash.

Hiring the expertise you will need for every aspect of your business development process isn’t only impractical, but impossible.

Whenever we need professional expertise we either outsource or bring about new staff. Today, in this economy, hiring new staff is really a luxury most small business cannot afford. Outsourcing is a great alternative, and in the case of consultants, a highly affordable alternative.

Along with bringing immediate knowledge, consultants bring all of the great things about outsourcing. Taxes and Benefits are the responsibility of the consultant rather than carried as overhead by the business. Costs are controlled and can fit your allowance. Hiring and firing are as simple as picking right up the telephone. No job search, no severance. Consultants are usually available when you wish them and expendable when you do not. For most that description is a little uncomfortable, but a professional consultant is an independent entrepreneur (or company) who works at the pleasure of YOU.

In addition to all the benefits of outsourcing, a professional consultant brings immediate payback. Duplicating the expertise of an excellent consultant may need 3, 5 or even 8 different positions to be filled by experienced managers. Each position requires training and integration in to the organization. One expert not merely provides the knowledge-base of those positions, but also hits the ground running.

Finally, regarding an excellent consultant’s hourly or daily fee. My experience is they are usually priced at the amount of a senior partner in an attorney or regional accounting firm. When compared to the expense of hiring that same expertise on a long-term basis, they’re almost always a bargain.