Small business owners often feel a great sense of pride and ownership over how well they know their own business. However, it is important to remember that an external perspective may shed light on business factors that can easily be overlooked, forgotten, or simply viewed as unimportant due to a myopic view by the Entrepreneur.
It is important for every small business owner to be open to advice, and not take any recommendations personally. Small businesses of any size and age can benefit from a professional consultant performing a business analysis.
Being an Expert in Your Business is a Small Part of Business
Of course, most small business owners know their own business inside and out, especially if they have been running it for some time. However, business itself has so many dimensions that it is nearly impossible for a trained professional to be an expert in all of them, such as: marketing, control environment, communications, accounting, structure, technology, and the list goes on.
To make this point more clear, lets use an example of a small dental practice. The owner and practitioner dentist is certainly an expert at dentistry, and can be running a successful practice – but can it be more successful? How likely is it that the Dentist is also a marketing expert? Perhaps the dentist outsources some of their marketing, such as search engine marketing; however, what about the entire marketing plan? Marketing is just one business aspect noted above, but even marketing itself can be subdivided into many different specialty areas. Staying with this example, perhaps hiring a consultant to create an overall marketing plan for the dental practice would be beneficial to the business; or hiring a process improvement specialist to make the office run more efficiently? There are a vast number of areas in which a professional consultant can help and small business.
Big Decisions are Difficult to Make
Making decisions is often difficult, and for many small business owners it can make or break the future of their company if they make the wrong choice. Hiring a small business consulting expert would provide the Entrepreneur with a sounding board, as well as wisdom in the advice that they would provide based on their experience with many small businesses. Additionally, a consultant can likely find data and quantify the multiple options to ensure that the numbers support the decision being made.
Challenging Status Quo is Healthy Business Practice
For a small business owner to constantly challenge status quo in their own business is challenging. It is very easy to simply continue along the current path, without really considering possible alternatives. By engaging a small business consultant to perform an overall analysis of a business, the Entrepreneur would receive a report with observations of status quo, areas where opportunities to improve were identified, and potentially several alternatives for each as well.
Experience and Education are Very Valuable Assets
Always be sure to get an overview of a Consultant’s background, experience and education before engaging them to review or assist with your small business. However, most professional consultants will have many years of assisting businesses both similar and very different to yours, and they can use what they have learned in the past to help improve your small business.
Hiring a consultant will definitely have a cost associated with it; however, what is the cost of not hiring one? Perhaps a professional small business consultant can help you grow your business significantly faster than you would otherwise be able to. This is definitely something for all Entrepreneurs and small business owners to consider – is your business growing as quickly as you would like?