Hiring external consultants can be an extremely cost effective way of managing various aspects of a business, no matter what size or what industry. In today’s economic environment where austerity measures are finding their way into businesses large and small, the hiring of specialists to handle various aspects of business can make an enormous difference to the bottom line.
Taking marketing as an example, an outsider’s viewpoint can bring a refreshing boost to a company’s marketing initiatives, as often employees get so bogged down in internal politics and the rut of ‘the way things are done here’, that they don’t see the potential of new ideas. External consultants will focus on the brief and won’t get sidetracked because if they don’t deliver, they don’t get paid!
Also, as consultants just get paid for the work undertaken, there are no additional costs such as insurance, office overheads, etc. As many businesses cut down staff to a skeleton operation, consultants are becoming more valuable as specialist support that can be brought in when required, with no complicated or expensive termination contracts. The benefit of using consultants is that they are specialists in their field, and can be hired long term on a retainer fee, or to undertake single projects for a fixed fee.
The key to success when hiring consultants is putting in the time to ensure that you’re hiring the right people. If they do a good job, they may be with you for quite a while. A little basic research will highlight general ‘marketeers’ for hire in specific regions but also specialists in the fields of market research, website design and management, email marketing, Public Relations and Advertising to name but a few.
Carefully research the market and contact a number of reputable consultants who could fit the bill. Then interview a small selection to ensure that their credentials match what the business requires, their experience is relevant and proven and that their personalities will blend in with the dynamics of the business. Then when the consultant has been selected, arm them with a robust brief that sets out the SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time scaled) objectives, so they can take away that area of workload, letting the business concentrate on other areas.