Before we proceed to the benefits of hiring external consultants, let’s briefly see who consultants are and what they do.
A consultant diagnoses problems, offers practical solutions based on his expertise and experience, or provides critical analysis for business development.
There are two types of business consultants, internal consultants, and external consultants: Internal consultants are employed by the business. However, external consultants are independent and are hired on a project-based.
So, whenever a firm or company suffers from a problem and can’t handle it, they hire consultants for practical solutions.
Corporations always keep consultants to optimize their workflows and business processes; however, small businesses usually hire external consultants for the time being.
So if you are feeling hurdles in your business processes, should you hire independent consultants to help you streamline your business?
For instance, should you consult an industry expert if your sales are stuck and you have no idea where the problem lies?
In this regard, different business owners have different approaches.
Some business owners believe in Lance Lindon‘s theory that consultants would borrow our watch to tell us what time it is.
But I have a different opinion.
Among the top reasons 45% of new businesses fail, #1 is lack of knowledge, and consultants have a knowledge advantage that doesn’t let businesses fail.
I believe that there are huge benefits to employing internal consultants; they keep eagle eyes on your business, but there are some extra advantages of using external consultants that we have debated below.
The following advantages of external consultants will make you acknowledge how significant it is to use outside consultants even when you have employed internal consultants.
Let’s get started.
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Consultants are industry experts.
The top reason one should hire external consultants is expertise and great experience.
Actually, external consultants are the ones who work with different organizations at a time, and it enhances their creativity to solve problems efficiently.
Moreover, they have met many problems in their careers and solved most of them; there is a great chance that they have already worked on your issue elsewhere.
Basically, when the market trends change, most companies face the same difficulties. Of course, the path could differ for each business, depending on business plans, financing problems, and workforce, but the solutions are always the same.
External consultants have an objective approach.
Most of the time, organizations’ concerns require an objective approach.
You might already have an internal consultant, and if things aren’t going great, that means the consultant isn’t objective. You need an objective approach to identify and resolve the issue.
For example, if a company suffers financial issues and downsizing is essential, the internal consultant might be influenced by internal politics. However, an external consultant can fetch the company from this crisis with an objective approach and fresh eyes.
They use fresh eyes.
“My greatest strength as a consultant is to be ignorant and ask a few questions.” – Peter Drucker
As a human is an emotional animal, a business person can never be emotionally detached or objective. Emotional attachment can blur the crystal-clear solutions to problems. As a result, business owners might not see the solution or be ready to accept it.
In all such situations, an external consultant, who has no emotional attachment to the business, but with business growth will not only diagnose the problem to solve but also convince owners to implement different strategies to get different results.
For example, it’s human nature to see our problems microscopically and not see the bigger picture from which we started. So consultants hold our hands, remind us of the bigger objectives for which we started, and turn our eyes off the specimen slide.
An external consultant saves you time.
You might have to maintain the bookkeeping, use digital marketing strategies to attract new customers, manage the stock, etc.
You can’t do that alone.
So an external consultant will save you time to let you focus on the other productive stuff.
Hiring external consultants is cost-effective.
Many business owners believe external consultants could be expensive because of their high fees, but that’s not always true.
Some consultancy firms may charge a lot, but you might not necessarily need them.
Any independent consultant with a sound background and profile can be a good fit for you. Independent consultants often charge much lesser than agencies.
Secondly, as it’s a project-based agreement, you can say goodbye once the task is completed.
In this way, you are already paying less than your employees. Secondly, you are not bound to pay them salaries every month.
They get an edge of flexibility.
48% of UK executives who used independent consultants said flexibility was the most significant selling point. Flexibility gives freedom and peace of mind and lowers stress.
So hiring an independent external consultant can bring magical business results because of the consultant’s energetic mind, which no one can get from the stressful political environment of an organization.
They already have expensive equipment.
You often need expensive equipment to complete business tasks; small businesses can barely imagine using that equipment.
Corporations use such tools to stay ahead in the market.
If you hire an independent industry expert (external consultant), often, they already have such advanced tools; and you get an opportunity to get optimal results without buying expensive tools.
They will help you keep the organization running.
Some companies often don’t tend to hire external consultants and want their employees to meet the situation. However, this is not a great idea for SMBs.
Undoubtedly, anyone could be a consultant because no specialization is required to secure the title. Still, if a business starts investing in employees to become consultants, there are three disadvantages a company can suffer.
- It will disturb the running of the business. It will daily disturb routine work.
- It will cost a lot of money to train them and provide them with advanced equipment.
- There are still chances that they won’t become creative to meet the challenging situations.
So if you don’t want to disturb a running business but need a cost-effective solution to identify and resolve the issues; it’s far better to hire experienced external consultants.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the role of an external consultant?
The role of an external consultant in the organization is the same as an internal consultant. Both provide professional coaching to keep the growth of a business sustainable and get it to the next level. However, external consultants are not members of the client organization.
Why do companies hire outside consultants?
The top reason why companies hire outside consultants is their specialization in the field. An outside consultant who has worked with many companies has met hundreds of situations and has excellent exposure to getting results that can be eye-catching for companies to bring them to the next level.