As the year winds to a close, it’s the perfect time to do a little self-evaluation of your business. Every year you are setting goals for business growth, planning projects to put resources into, considering products or services that need changing or launching and thinking up action plans to put into motion. The problem? Even with the best of intentions, there isn’t always follow through and you end the year falling short.   So, you’re considering hiring a consultant?  Not sure if that’s what you really need? Worried hiring a consultant may be a waste of resources or money? Wondering if it’s worth it because, if you just set your mind to it, you could accomplish these things yourself right? Well, maybe, maybe not.  Let’s break down that decision.

Here are three signs that you need to hire a consultant for your business:

The Problem: Projects Started and Never Finished

This one happens a lot, with everyone, so don’t feel too bad.  The problem is that you go in with the best of intentions and then life gets in the way.  Other projects, duties, fires to put out, etc.  You keep discussing these projects in meetings and you’ve even outlined timelines and designated jobs to people.  You might get a little headway, but you look back at the end of the quarter or the end of the year and it isn’t completed.  Progress was miniscule.  It feels like more and more gets piled on and that backburner is getting farther and farther away.

Why a Consultant is a Good Solution:

A consultant’s only job is getting that project done for you.  Your interaction can be as brief (come in, finish, project, leave) or as ongoing (hiring them to get the project done and then moving on to the next one) as you like.  You’re not taking on the commitment of a whole new employee.  You are simply outsourcing individual projects to get them done faster, more efficiently, completely, and without overextending your regular team. Often times, a consultant will be an expert in that specific area so you are actually bringing in a wealth of knowledge and experience you didn’t have before.

The Problem: You Need Help Identifying the Issues and/or Areas for Improvement

Sometimes there is something wrong, but you can’t put your finger on it.  When you’re in the middle of the storm, it’s hard to see what’s really going on around you and what your biggest priorities should be to fix first.  If a part of your business is failing, you want to fix that.  It isn’t always so easy.  Sometimes you can identify the problem, but have no clue what a solution would be.  Whereas other times you know what solution you need, but aren’t sure about what steps to take to get you there.

Why a Consultant is a Good Solution:

A third-party neutral is a great perspective to have on your current situation.  Someone is coming in with a much wider perspective on your business –which makes it a lot easier to see problems that may be obvious and overlooked.  Consultants have individual expertise from past projects and they can offer up fresh solutions and action plans that can take you where you need to be, and where you probably didn’t even think to go in the first place.

The Problem: You Need Creativity or Specific Niche Insight

Occasionally, whether it’s wanting to break into a new market or just spice up your current business, you find yourself racking your brain for solutions.  Maybe you are starting a project that requires a specific set of skills or experience that you don’t have.  Maybe you have found your team in a rut and you need something to shake things up.

Why a Consultant is a Good Solution:

A third party can break up the flow in a good way.  Fresh ideas, a new perspective, and years of experience make up a great combination to have in your corner.  If you are developing a project or product that you don’t have a lot of experience with, a consultant with a specific set of skills that you need can come in and provide the insight and knowledge that you need.  Not to mention the amount of time you’ll save by completing a project with someone who knows what they’re doing and has done it all before.

Consultants can offer a wealth of good to your company.  It’s about finding the right fit and identifying what your needs are so that they can be met.  If you’d like to hear more about how we can help you and your business: contact us here.

Jim Nagy is Co-Founder/Owner & Managing Partner of JSTD, LLC and a business consultant who specializes in technology consulting and project management. He is also our designer and primary technician. He’s an expert in software development and business applications, with over 30 years of experience in IT, 25 years in software development, 21 years in executive management, and over 10 years entrepreneurial experience in the technology industry.