Small business means small staff — sometimes, it’s just you. But, finding another perspective by hiring a consultant or freelancer can open up new possibilities even for the smallest businesses. Bringing on help, even just temporarily, can lessen the load of strategizing and even help with the day-to-day tasks. So why should small businesses reach out to work with consultants or freelancers? Here are four reasons a small business should consider hiring a consultant.
1. It’s hard to see the forest from within the trees.
Yes, it’s cliche, but it’s true. When you’re the business owner handling all the big decisions and the day-to-day, it’s hard to see the big picture. Working with someone on the outside can help generate new ideas, see why an existing strategy isn’t working and generate new opportunities for growth that you would not have thought of on your own. Hiring a consultant to work on business strategy, marketing or a website helps identify potential you didn’t even know was there in the first place.
2. Most small businesses don’t always have the right skills on the existing team.
Maybe you have a team of 12, or maybe it’s just you, but for many businesses, the reality is that small teams don’t offer the widest range of skill sets. Start by looking at the skills that you don’t already have on your team. Then, determine which ones can be learned — and which ones can be outsourced. Some skills can be taught through workshops and online classes, but, many skills are actually cheaper to outsource. Experts handle tasks like that often, so besides just getting a better end result, outsourcing also tends to be faster.
3. Experts can pinpoint what’s missing.
When you go the DIY route without the pre-existing skills, there’s often something left out. When business owners design their own strategy, often elements like an emergency plan and a marketing plan are left out. When business owners design their own website, SEO elements often aren’t up to par to pop up in those search results right away. Hiring an expert in the field, you’ll not only get a better result, but you’ll be able to pinpoint why it wasn’t working in the first place.
4. Freelancers and consultants are often cheaper than you’d think.
Sure, hiring of course means that there is a cost involved, but, in the long run, bringing in an outside expert is often more affordable than most think. Freelancers and consultants don’t cost businesses in extras like insurance, vacation time and retirement benefits, but they bring in very specific skills that help to grow the business in the long run, helping build a larger income for the business. Freelancers can also be brought on as an as-needed basis, which further drives down the costs. Factoring in the growth and the lack of extra expenses, and freelancers and contractors aren’t quite as expensive as most business owners would think.
Small businesses don’t have to have small skill sets when outside contractors and freelancers are brought in on a per-need basis. From strategizing on the business plan from handling tasks like website design, hiring external help is often the perfect way to gain more while stressing less.