By Rhonda Campbell
The right business advice can reveal blind spots and help you develop clarity around one or more of your business or lifestyle goals. Get the right business help related to the process of starting a small business and you could gain awareness about the specific steps you need to take to achieve your goals.
Benefits of Working with Business Consultants
If you’ve done your due diligence (and you have if you take your business dreams seriously), you know about developing a business plan, identifying and building your management team and understanding your market. In fact, you may have worked with business consultants to conduct in-depth market research before you actually moved forward with starting a small business.
Yet, for all of your preparation, for all your planning, you are on new ground. There may be a lot at stake, including your pride should you encounter obstacles you didn’t see weeks or months ago. Because you’re on new ground, exploring abilities and talents you always had inside of you but had somehow gone unaware of, you may benefit from working with effective business consultants.
For example, if you’re having challenges packaging your products in such a way that they grab the attention of your target audience, an experienced and effective business advisor may be able to offer you clear guidance on what you can do to increase your customer sales. In some cases, a business advisor might suggest that you package your products in clear containers so customers can clearly see what you are offering them.
Business Help for Those Starting a Small Business
Business consultants can also look at your products and services, your brand, from the customer’s angle, something small business owners rarely do. For example, if you perceive your products as being the best, even as your products are failing to gain customer sales, good business consultants can point out weaknesses in your products or services that you have repeatedly missed – weaknesses that you may not have wanted to see.
Specific areas that business consultants could work with you to improve include pricing, market segmentation, hiring, organizational development and product development. Business consultants can also tell you if your product or service is suited for catalog, cold calling or in-person sales pitches. Top business consultants will also give you a list of catalogs, newsletters, journals, etc. you can advertise your products or services in.
Although some business consultants advertise their services online, other consultants aren’t as easy to identify. This is because some effective consultants are small business owners themselves. They’ve taken their companies to levels you aspire to reach. They generally have a wealth of knowledge, not to mention experience, you can tap into. If you want to reach these folks, consider attending industry networking events or asking certain successful small business owners if they’ll meet with you to find ways to strengthen your firm, offering actionable advice.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to small business owners you admire. Sure. Their time is limited, but they might be open to meeting with you for 10 to 15 minutes to share tips they’ve learned the hard way.
What effective business consultants won’t do is care more about your dreams and goals than you do. Work with effective coaches and consultants and you’ll soon realize that they expect you to do what it takes to make the process, the journey to success, work for you. Good business consultants also expect you to live a rewarding holistic (whole) life as you learn how to start a business and progress toward your goals. This is a good thing. It’s a check of sorts, measuring your real commitment toward achieving the success you’ve spent so much time talking or thinking about.
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