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If you are new to the business world, you probably are dealing with many varied issues, some of which are more complicated than others. Although your prior experience may have equipped you to deal with many areas of the organization, there are probably others that seem complicated and unclear. Fortunately, you don’t have to be an expert at all aspects of running a business to be successful. A knowledgeable business consultant can work with you to streamline your company’s operations.

Business consultation professionals are valuable resource persons for providing insight and in some cases, training, to new company owners. Some have worked for major corporations, while others have traveled the world as a consultant, acquiring extensive experience at many companies in a variety of roles. Consultants may be retired CEO’s with a wealth of experience to share or a highly-specialized technician who can address a specific area of concern in your company.


Here are six reasons why you might want to schedule a business consulting session when you are developing a business plan for a startup or updating your operations to a more sophisticated or productive level.

I. Global Exposure

Consultants today often travel from one country to the next on freelance assignments. They have extensive experience with other cultures and a wide range of companies and operations. Even without international experience, consultants generally travel quite a bit around the U.S. and gather insight while doing so. This perspective can be incredibly useful in giving your company an advantage over the competition. A well­-traveled, highly­-experienced consultant can be invaluable to a company that is just starting out or that has arrived at a critical juncture in its development.


II. Objective Insight

Business strategy planning can be enhanced with the perspective of an outsider like a consultant who has no vested interest in your company. The consultant visits your organization one or more times, usually meeting with key staff members who can answer questions and show the consultant around the premises for a better idea of operations. Certain types of consultants can offer their unbiased opinions on business asset value in order to determine the company’s worth. Assessing equipment, facilities, and inventory allows consultants to determine fair and equitable business asset value.


III. Specialized Experience

Consultants often specialize in certain areas. For example, if your company manages intellectual property rights, a consultant with that type of expertise can guide the process if your company lacks experience or know-­how. Intellectual property rights can range from company­-held inventions to publications or creative works that should be assessed for value in a company’s business plan. Consultants’ areas of expertise can vary widely, from accounting to IT, to marketing, or whatever needs your organization may have.


IV. Successful History

How do you choose a good business consultant? With a proven track record, successful consultants know what they’re doing and they have the confidence to do a job well. It’s always a good idea to request the CV or resume of a consultant that you are thinking of hiring in order to identify his or her areas of expertise. Each should be clearly outlined so that you can understand their relevant experience.

Often, the CV or resume helps a company decide whether a consultant is the right person to assist with their organizational needs. Information in the CV or resume can usually be confirmed with a request for academic records or employment verification.


V. Impressive References

When perusing a consultant’s qualifications, also look for references and don’t hesitate to contact them. Ask about the type of work the consultant provided, and the reference’s level of satisfaction. You can also ask if they would recommend this person to other companies, like yours, and if they have any concerns about the consultant’s work. Some professional people keep copies of recommendation letters that attest to their strengths and success. However, it is still advisable to contact the references to ensure their validity.


VI. Time and Cost Savings

The alternative to not using a consultant is to engage in business strategy planning on your own, which can be time intensive. It also can steal hours of work from the company’s regular operations, resulting in lost productivity and income. Training one or more employees for a certain area of operations or to develop a business plan can be costly, as well. Many organizations find it faster and cheaper to work with a professional consultant who can readily provide the necessary knowledge and experience. These and other reasons provide incentives for having a business consulting session that can take your company to the next level. If you need a startup plan or want to update an existing one, get help from someone who has been where you are. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Work with a consultant to make your company as successful as possible while saving time and money over the long run. Tapping into a proven track record is the smart way to enhance your company’s future.

And remember: Always get the arrangement with the consultant and the objectives for the business consulting session should be documented in a written contract.  Good contracts make for good business deals.


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