Small Business Consultancy
Small Business Consultancy
As a small business owner you won’t be an expert in every area of your business. You may need therefore to buy in the expertise of a small business consultancy to help you get your business started and to help it grow.
There are consultants who can help you with just about every aspect of your business. At their best they can save you money and time. However, at their worst consultants can waste time and money and even guide you towards disaster.
Just because someone is qualified doesn’t mean that they are any good. And just because a consultant charges a lot for their services doesn’t mean they are good. So how do you tell the difference between the bad and the good? It’s never that easy. Anyone you engage will tell you how good they are, never about their failures or lack of experience. So here are some tips to help you find good consultants in a number of specialised areas.
If you want a website, you’ll need to buy in the services of a small business IT consultancy firm. Most of us want our website to be at the top when we search Google. So, before asking an IT consultant to work with you, Google ‘it consultants’ in your area. If they are not on the first page then are they really any good? Certainly probably not as good as they say!
Small business marketing can be a minefield, but again checking your chosen marketing consultant should be simple. Ask for the names of, say, six local firms they have worked with. Pick three of the names and get in touch with them – you’ll get the information you need.
HR consultants and employment agencies all charge about the same as each other. Having selected one or two to choose from, ask them how they deal with potential job applicants. Some will offer a series of tests and interviews before they put candidates forward, others will simply get names and CVs and send them to you. The choice should then be obvious and you may be surprised to find that you choose another small business like yours rather than the High Street chain.
Tax can be the biggest headache of your life in small business, so find a good firm of accountants to act as small business tax consultants for you. In the case of accountants and other professionals such as solicitors, the best way of finding the right one for you is by recommendation. Ask other local business people. The small business community tends to work together and should be able to produce the name of a good professional.
Chris Hutchins of the Small Business Advice Network www.sban.co.uk
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