A perfect storm of factors in the 90’s and 2000’s have lead to a vast increase in numbers of entrepreneurs. The 90’s brought us the quality improvement, which had some good points, but more often than not meant doing more with fewer people and burning those people out. The 2000’s brought economy changes that squeezed businesses even further, causing high unemployment. But during this period of time technology progressed at an almost unfathomable rate. All of these factors created an environment that has lead to an entrepreneurial boom. Employees were either fed up working for others or simply couldn’t find a job. Technology made starting a business easier than ever, and many have taken the opportunity to do so.
Starting and running a small business is rewarding, exciting, scary, and fun, but it isn’t always easy. You have to be the sales department, finance department, IT department, marketing department, and human services department often with only a small number of people. And of course, this is on top of your “business”. Running a business is very much like running a home. Perhaps you can paint and know how to fix leaky sinks, but you don’t know anything about electrical work (and frankly you don’t want to). Sometimes you simply don’t have the time or expertise to do it all yourself and you look to consultants to help you in certain areas.
Hiring a consultant:
1. Allows you to focus on your business goals instead of trying to learn and do everything else
2. Provides expertise you need in certain areas such as accounting or marketing
3. Can bring an objective “eye” to your business for improving processes, expanding your business market, and even improving your product or service
4. Can help with a particular project or ongoing needs
Sometimes small business owners just need an extra pair of hands, and consultants can be the way to go.
Kim Luedke is Co-owner of ProfessionalEdge Associates, offering a wide range of marketing and support services to businesses that want to increase their success, but aren't in a position to add to their staff.