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Home » Welcome

Why you need a consultant

Many of us work with other people everyday either through joint ventures or using others as sounding boards at networking events or more formal mastermind groups. But if you think that you have all the advisers you need, I’m sorry but you’re wrong.

This is because the people who can help you most aren’t your peers, they are advisors. The people that can help you the most are consultants.  These are the people who will help you earn more money, save time, get more clients and push your business forward.

Many business people avoid consultants in the same way they avoid professional designers or lawyers. They prefer to go it alone thinking that they can’t afford them, learning what they need to know from books, blogs or by browsing the internet and ‘having a go’.

Whilst that can work, there is a major problem with this approach, which is that you often have to figure out how to apply that information you’ve leant to your business.  And if  the reason you didn’t hire a consultant in the first place is because you can’t afford it, as you’re short of money, then you’ll definitely be short of time too. Plus it’s unlikely that you don’t have the expertise you need to figure out the best way forward and use that information.  Therefore, chances are you’ll mess it up and make mistakes.

Mistakes cost you money.

This is why it’s better to hire a consultant.  A consultant’s job is to figure out the right strategy for your business. They are experts in their field and they know how to apply different principles to different businesses.  They can save you time and help you avoid those costly mistakes.

The fact of the matter is, is that consultants are going to make you more money.  A good consultant will generate a return many times more than the cost of the assignment – whether that’s new clients, reduced costs or more sales.

This is called investing in your business.

A consultant’s job is to help you get new clients, deliver new projects, generate new referrals and build your business – quickly. Business owners who put off hiring a consultant because they think they can’t afford one – are likely to take much longer to get the results they want. And don’t stop to think about what happens if the competition gets there before they do.

If the consultant could help the business owner implement a new strategy which makes an extra few thousand dollars every month, then that’s more than enough to pay for the consultant’s fee and still have cash to spare. And keep doing it every month.

The best bit though is that consultants can do this in a week. Sometimes a day. Sometimes even in just an hour.

Good consultants aren’t cheap. But business owners need to understand the difference between price and cost. Whilst many business will think that for the same price as hiring a consultant they could buy a large screen TV  or go on a holiday. They fail to consider  how much will it cost not to grow the business, not to increase sales or not reduce costs.

Remember: A consultant’s  advice is designed to make you more money. The consultant’s aim is to bring you a great return on investment, quickly.

Consultants specialise in taking your fee and turning it into much bigger amount – not just once, but many times over – and with a lot less effort and much faster than you could trying to figure it out on your own.

Just imagine the size of your TV or the holiday you could go on then?

 

Newsflash! Most consultants can give you tangible results in a single session. A one hour consulting session gives you loads of ideas and suggestions for a one off low fee.

Even bigger projects which may need checking in with a consultant on an ongoing basis need not be a big expense. Between you and the consultant you can work out a schedule and billing cycle to suit you both.

If you really can’t afford to hire a consultant right now, then make it a goal to hire one  soon. Start setting aside 10% of your earnings from every project you work on. Even if you work on $5 articles, you can use this method. Start building up that pot of money to hire an expert.

Then hire one. And you’ll find out that their advice was worth every penny – because your profits will increase and your business will grow.

8 Comments »

  • Eleanor Edwards said:

    Having read your case studies, I agree that hiring a consultant is a great idea. And I loved your suggestion for what people should do if they genuinely can’t afford a consultant right now (the thing I was thinking in my head as I read this!)

    I also have to acknowledge though that for some, spending on this is a cost that just can’t be justified. I say that with my Give A Brick hat on because every single pound of income we have comes from people donating their money. Whilst I imagine your argument would be that it would be a good investment if it resulted in increased income for the charity, it’s still a very difficult cost to find money for. Every single penny of charity funds has to be accounted for and available for public scrutiny via the Charity Commission.

    That said, I’ll certainly be keeping your advice from the penultimate paragraph in mind for Heaven and El 😉

  • Matthew Needham said:

    Thanks for the comment Eleanor. This is an arugument that many people come up with. Let me illustrate this as an example: I’ve just finished up working with a charity. In 8 weeks they recovered my initial fee and within 12 weeks I gave them a plan to reduce their cost base (without reducing headcont) by £1m in year. I didn’t cost them that. In addition the process for recruiting international students was simplified as well as the processes associated with the payment of the overseas agents. All of which helped the University attract and recruit high income students. Significant business benefit was gained. You really do have to look at the investment, not the cost!

  • Eleanor Edwards said:

    I guess the charities you work with are in a completely different league to Give A Brick then if they are able to reduce costs by £1million a year. We don’t even have a tenth of that as income in a year! And as for head count, we have zero salary costs. We do it for the love of it 🙂

    I believe that a year from now we’ll be the biggest small charity in the world but would like to think that we can have a massive International impact without having to pay huge salaries. Maybe that’s naive but I’m proud of the fact that every single penny goes direct to our projects. I believe it’s important because when people Give A Brick, they can know that they are helping real people rather covering admin costs.

  • Matthew Needham said:

    At the moment you don’t have a 10th of that income, but who knows what a year or two could bring? Maybe at your Trustee’s meeting you should pose the question ‘How big do you think we could be?’ and explore the aspirations of the group. Could be very interesting.

    Whilst it’s great that people at the moment do it for the love of it answer the following questions 1) in the long term is that a sustainable model 2) do you have the skills within the team to deliver the plan?

    I’m not saying you don’t – just something to think about. I don’t know if you saw Mary Portas Charity Shops programme last year where she worked with Save The Children’s Shop (you can see a clip on YouTube here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8qCiTpaiwY&feature=related ) I think she highlights a number of issues affecting the charity sector.

    Just a thought… 🙂

  • Jess Webb said:

    These are good points, Matthew! Consultants are absolutely invaluable for a business owner. And it’s a good reminder that I need to look at getting some more consulting sometime soon as well…. 😉

    Thanks for the tips!

  • Joshua Black | The Underdog Millionaire said:

    Matthew,

    You have shown some excellent consulting case studies here. Your cusomters would be crazy not to do business with you.

    Consultants bring that added outside look at a business, where many times there is a glaringly obvious fix, or something just hiding under the surface that a business owner will never see. They are just too involved with the business.

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

  • Matthew Needham said:

    Thanks for the comment Joshua, much appreciated. Too often business owners are too focused working in the business that they don’t even focus on running the business.

  • Warning About Stretching Your Comfort Zone | Success Coach - Business Coach - Life Success said:

    […] Another thing to consider regarding stretching your comfort zone. From personal experience, I know that some of my best business building moments came when I was trying new things (i.e. uncomfortable things). The most successful actions were ones that came on advice from advisers. Matthew Needham wrote a great post about getting proper advice for your business here: http://bigredtomatocompany.co.uk/2010/07/why-you-need-a-consultant […]