Why Businesses Hire Consultants
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire; where there’s business cards, there’s us – and where there’s a company in need of help, there’s a consultant. Your profession has unlimited possibilities, and an endless source of work, regardless of the niche you specialise in. Businesses will always need a fresh pair of eyes, and someone ready to get the work done - but there’s a lot more to it than that.
1. To diagnose problems and come up with solutionsBusinesses need consultants to figure out where they're going wrong, and to help them make the necessary changes, especially when they don’t have the requisite skill set or experience to do so themselves. When this happens, it's your job to act as an ideas facilitator, a teacher, a problem-solver, and to evaluate every part of the business, in order to get them back on their feet.
2. To provide information, knowledge, or a skill-set that doesn't exist in their companyIt's expensive to hire a full-time member of staff for one particular job – especially if there's a limited time-frame attached to it. Some businesses will use consultants as a short-cut to knowledge and skills, instead of employing a dedicated person.
3. To offer a fresh perspective from an outsider's viewpointWe all miss things right underneath our noses, and companies are no exception. It's easier to see flaws and problems with a fresh set of eyes, especially when you're not emotionally or financially involved. As a consultant, there's no need to worry about company politics or stepping on toes – you see things for what they are, not how they got there.
4. To pass on knowledge and ideasOne of the main roles of a consultant is to teach. From your specialist subject knowledge, to programmes, software or methodologies you've implemented – businesses are hungry to learn from someone who’s done it before. It's no good helping to turn a company around, and then leaving them in the dark, clients want to know how to keep on the straight and narrow as well as carry on improving.
5. To generate new ideas and business opportunitiesRegardless of whether you're solving a big problem, helping to iron out creases, or acting as staff,, clients will want you to come up with ideas and encourage existing employees to do the same. They’ll also be keen for you to help identify and assess new business opportunities, especially those you might also be able to assist them with further down the line.
6. To put new ideas and opportunities to workIf you’ve helped them identify some new ideas and opportunities, the chances are the client’s going to want to draw on your expertise in the execution of these. This could be anything from bringing existing employees up to speed or assessing the strength of an opportunity, to fully embedding new practices into the business or helping the client thrash out the minutiae of a new product or service launch.
7. To be the bearer of bad newsClients may know that their company's going to face staff losses or budget cuts, but actually going through with it is hard. This is where you step in, removing the blame from the boss, and becoming the explosion of change the company needs.
8. To build up a network of contactsNot only are you working with a company to find solutions for problems, but also to help them branch out across their industry, and build professional relationships. You're likely to have a contact in every field – from web design to recruitment - and can pair up companies needing a resource with that individual. Similarly, if you do a good job for your client, you'll receive referrals and recommendations in return.
9. To make change happenFrom helping a company to reinvent itself, to getting the ball rolling on new initiatives, clients will want you to act as the catalyst for change. You can make big changes happen: you won’t be swayed by employees, chairmen or morale, giving you a clearer path to getting things done.