When is the “Right” Time to Hire a Strategy Consultant?

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Business owners are facing greater challenges now than ever.  The business landscape is changing on what seems like a daily basis.  Evolving technologies in production and distribution, increasingly globalized markets, constantly moving regulatory requirements, competition for employee talent and increased employee litigation are just a few of the hurdles that you may be facing in your business right now.

At times, it probably seems like there is more to keep track of than you have the ability to do on your own, even when you have a great management team in place. When is the right time to hire a strategic consultant?

In our previous article, we discussed some important benefits that an independent strategy consultant can bring to your business.  The next step is about timing…and understanding the right time to hire a strategy consultant to help your business take it’s next, most important steps.

Not every business may need to hire an outside strategy consultant.  In addition, the timing of when to hire a strategy consultant will vary greatly from business-to-business.

If you’re considering company expansion, such as opening a new location or going nationwide or entering new global markets with your business; implementing new software systems or technologies; expanding your services or planning a major reorganization or restructuring in your company, these are ideal times to consider bringing on an outside strategy consultant.

To really get the most out of hiring a strategy consultant, here are a few tips that will help you make a better decision about when to bring a strategic consultant into your business:

  • When you need to accelerate project management – When your organization has a project that could increase your bottom line but is currently sitting stagnant because of either a staff shortage or a lack of expertise to complete the project, this is the perfect time to bring in the expertise of a strategic consultant.  Hiring a strategy consultant at these times will give you the focus and productivity that you need to complete important projects when your current employee base isn’t able or available to complete the project.
  • When you need to maintain team flexibility – Strategy consultants can greatly assist an organization in completing key projects without having to make a long-term commitment for a new hire.  For example, if you are experiencing a growth spurt, before you hire a new employee or manager, you might ask the question:  “Are we currently experiencing a long-term increase in sales or is this just a spike that we can accommodate in the short term?” Having a strategic consultant enter the picture at these times saves you valuable time and money when you are unsure whether you will need a long-term solution. 
  • When it’s time for a new perspective – There’s nothing more powerful than a new point-of-view.  A strategy consultant can bring a new perspective and fresh ideas to a project, even to your company overall and breathe new life and energy into the project at hand.
  • When you need to save money on the project – It can be considerably less expensive overall to hire a strategy consultant for your project than to hire a new employee or even put a current manager or employee on the project.  The bottom line is that outside strategic consultant are typically more productive.  A strategy consultant comes in, does the job and pushes onward. According to statistics from the Department of Commerce, consultants are productive and focused on the task at hand 90% of the time, versus employee who often spend more than 30% of their time engaged in activities unrelated to work!

Hiring a strategy consultant can be a valuable resource to you and your company, especially when you evaluate the timing of your projects and your need for specific outcomes.  Consider these suggestions as you evaluate your current business and you’ll experience higher levels of productivity and more successful outcomes in your company growth through hiring strategic consultants.