Growthink Blog

Why Hire a Business Plan Consultant?

Print
Categories:

During the process of growing a business, entrepreneurs, business owners and managers are often faced with the question of whether to bring in an outside business business planning consultant.  This can be an especially challenging decision for entrepreneurs, who are by definition independent and self-reliant.  However, it’s important to recognize that even the most talented businesspeople can benefit from the support and guidance of an experienced consultant (or consulting firm).

From our perspective, here are some of the key benefits to bringing on an outside business consultant.  

Functional Expertise

Perhaps the most common benefit a consultant brings is his or her experience.  More specifically, the consultant’s experience should directly fill gaps in the entrepreneur’s or management team’s own skillsets.  

For example, a businessperson may be gifted at recruiting employees and partners, and motivating them to achieve the company’s strategic goals.  But that same person may struggle to assemble a detailed financial model, conduct strategic market research, or convey the company’s growth plans in a succinct, marketable written document.  

A skilled consultant or consulting firm often fills these functional gaps, in order to help the company complete a particular task or achieve a milestone.  


Prior Domain Experience

Especially when venturing into new markets or devising a new product or service offering, a client may seek a consultant’s experience in a particular domain.  Experienced consultants and consulting firms can apply past consulting experience to new client engagements.  Aside from simply getting the project done, this familiarity with various markets and business models is a value-add that an entrepreneur or manager would not likely otherwise receive, without conducting months or years of competitive and industry research.


Objectivity

Engaging with a consulting firm provides more than smart, timely advice on crucial business decisions.  Specifically because they are not engaged in the day-to-day operations of their clients' businesses, consultants are able to analyze a business decision from a position of greater objectivity.  By working with an experienced, credible consultant, you receive 3rd party, objective analysis of your situation.  This perspective is critical for gaining organizational consensus around one course of action out of a sea of competing choices, and it helps assure you that you’re following the best business opportunity.


Time (Opportunity Cost)

Aside from the expertise and objectivity that a consultant brings, perhaps the greatest value is the simple fact that another person (or firm) is handling a part of the burden.  Engaging with an outside firm to assist with tactical or strategic responsibilities allows the internal management team to remain focused on the critical day-to-day actions and responsibilities that drive ongoing revenue and sustain the operations of a company.  Each person and company may set a different value on their own time.  However, often times it is economically beneficial to hire a qualified firm to efficiently manage a project, rather than allocating resources internally or hiring additional full-time staff to fulfill the need.


Other Benefits

Aside from the direct value of a consultant’s domain and functional expertise, engaging with a consultant or consulting firm can provide other benefits.  Because of their existing relationships, established consulting firms can introduce and connect clients with a wide array of potential customers, strategic partners, supplies, investors, and board members, etc.




What Do You Think?

What are other reasons why you have hired an outside consultant? What advice would you give regarding the pitfalls and benefits of hiring a consultant?

 

 


Share this article:


Ken Pirok says

Yes, it's all about specialization and expertise. You hire a consultant to gain some expertise that you don't have. And, yes, this may include contacts and referrals as well. Such information is just as valuable to you if you can't get it otherwise. The best test is to ask for references and lists of projects and clients. This will really tell you a lot.
Posted at 6:02 pm
Ken Pirok says

And another thing....Expect to get references before hiring a contractor. Use those references. Contact them. Ask questions. But, so many business-owners ask consultants to see business plans, financial statements, legal work, and accounting that they have prepared for clients in the past. This information is confidential. You won't get it. Don't expect it. There are plenty of other ways to tell if your professional is really a professional.
Posted at 6:06 pm
Michael says

I would add one additional benefit that is slightly more difficult to quantify - a sense of urgency that can be provided by consultants. Although growing organizations generally have plenty of ambition and energy, bringing in outside help to assist with a business problem (or problems) sends a strong signal to employees. Employees realize that consultants are expensive, and if management is willing to spend money for their help, it often has a strong impact on how that issue is viewed and prioritized in the organization. Not to say that this should be a primary reason for bringing in consultants, but it is certainly a benefit.
Posted at 2:52 pm
navneet says

Apart from the listed benefits, one very important aspect of neutrality of the consultants perspective. A consulting firm will evaluate management, employees and policies of an organization in a very neutral, objective and contextually relevant manner. such an evaluation is difficult to be done by management itself.
Posted at 12:29 am

Most Popular
New Videos

"Business Plan
SHORT-CUT"

If you want to raise capital, then you need a professional business plan. This video shows you how to finish your business plan in 1 day.

CLICK HERE
to watch the video.

"The TRUTH About
Venture Capital"

Most entrepreneurs fail to raise venture capital because they make a really BIG mistake when approaching investors. And on the other hand, the entrepreneurs who get funding all have one thing in common. What makes the difference?

CLICK HERE
to watch the video.

"Brand NEW
Money Source?"

The Internet has created great opportunities for entrepreneurs. Most recently, a new online funding phenomenon allows you to quickly raise money to start your business.

CLICK HERE
to watch the video.

"Old-School Leadership
is DEAD"

"Barking orders" and other forms of intimidating followers to get things done just doesn't work any more. So how do you lead your company to success in the 21st century?

CLICK HERE
to watch the video.

Blog Authors

Jay Turo

Dave Lavinsky