Monday, September 10, 2012

Business Consulting Services

Business consulting services have become a necessity for companies today to obtain the right direction. The firms provide professional, cost effective management consulting services for the business and information technology communities.

Whether you are running a small business or something on a very large scale, business consulting services will help you take the right steps in the right direction to ultimately increase your revenues. Their main job is to provide advisory services to help senior management improve the effectiveness of corporate strategy, process, or operations by assessing business needs and reviewing business functions, plans and directions.

Firms providing business consulting services have expert teams who excel in conducting a market research and work with the aim to empower their clients with a significant competitive advantage. Their corporate executives resort to both quantitative and qualitative research methods for optimum results.

A typical business consulting service firm will provide service like: Information systems planning, analysis and design; operations process and workflow analysis; performance improvement, business automation planning; computer hardware and software evaluation, selection and implementation; project management and facilitation; internet and web site strategy; web design; network planning; financial and manufacturing systems; feasibility studies; cost containment; contingency planning.

All the above mentioned services help business establish themselves firmly in their respective industries. One of the major services in demand is a thorough market research. If this research is conducted by experts, the next move or strategy for your business can be planned with confidence and with the least amount of risk. Business consulting firms, with their experience can also predict the results from a particular move made by a company. Therefore, their advice and consultancy can vastly help business travel the way to success confidently. The services they provide are innovative solutions meant specifically to suit your particular business which ultimately helps to maximize your growth opportunities and dominate your competition. This comprehensive quantitative research provides insights into what factors are driving your markets and where they are forecasted to go in the future.

The professionals in a business consulting Services Company also help you to take crucial business decisions. There may be occasions when one small decision can affect your business to a great extent either in the positive direction or the negative. The consultants help you by collecting the relevant data from authentic sources along with economic, demographic & social statistics that will support your decision making process.

Business consulting services can be a massive support for businesses in any industry. They help you achieve your business objective with an assurance that you are taking the right step.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Do You Need A Business Consultant?

All too often, business owners, managers, or supervisors find themselves in a position where growth has slowed, stopped, or reversed. Though these are pressing reasons to consider finding the outside help of a business consultant, they aren't the only reasons. This article will cover reasons you may need a business consultant, the affordability of a consultant, and what to look for in a consultant and their firm. Companies sometimes look for help when they are having trouble but the best practice is to reach out to a business consultant when your company is stable or in a position of growth.

It is much easier to grow your business if you acquire assistance while your company is stable or growing because you are not trying to recover lost revenue from earlier forecasts. A business consultant is a great resource to improve your company's sales and growth. They are also an excellent resource when sales have dropped, slowed, or are stagnant. Though business consultants can help in winning or losing situations; the most value or R.O.I. is achieved when a business consultant is hired to move your company to the next stage of business, or improve upon your current sales, marketing, management, web development, and security processes. A good consultant will be able to provide you with a strategic plan for long-term growth while also being able to identify areas that can promote immediate growth. New businesses benefit by having a business plan developed while finding assistance to build a foundation. Loan package preparation is also a benefit of hiring a business consultant, but the most pressing reason to hire a consultant is to plan for long-term success. The aforementioned services will prove to be a great value to the companies with the vision to obtain them. The gain typically overshadows the cost of a business consultant.

Many business owners wonder, 'Can I afford a business consultant?' The question that should be asked is 'Can you not afford to hire a business consultant?' Business people know that increased marketing efforts, enhanced web development, a good strategic plan, and many other activities will increase their current and long-term revenue. Even knowing that, many of these activities are not aggressively pursued. An additional 20-40 hours a month in focused marketing efforts can bring a company a substantially enhanced amount of revenue dollars. Since the efforts are not made in many cases, the money is essentially lost to the company. Some sound advice to follow is; do not let the initial cost of a business consultant cloud the potential for future gain. The value a business consultant provides long survives the initial payment and contract.

Choosing a good firm to contract with can also be a challenge. The process can be made fairly simple by following the advice below. First, you must speak with the consultant that you are considering conducting business with. A good consultant should be able to understand your needs as you explain them. When dealing with more complex areas of business, a good consultant should be able to explain methods and processes in terms that you are able to understand. The ability to simplify complex processes usually indicates a strong understanding of what they entail. A consulting firm should also have a diverse team of individuals specializing in various segments of business development. Just as many businesses are not able to thrive with one employee, a consulting firm also needs a strong team to provide the best results. The ideal team will at least consist of a business growth expert, a web/graphic designer, a marketing expert, and a financial analyst or expert with good reputations in their industries. Finally, you should always maintain the feel that the consulting firm you decide to contract has your best interest in mind. Following these steps when locating a consultant or consulting firm will increase your chances of receiving a service that continues to benefit your growth for years to come.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Business Consulting Certification - A Business Consulting Career

Business consulting, also called management consulting, is a career field that is becoming more popular with strategic planning consultants, finance consultants, business associates, supply chain management consultants, business analysts, financial analysts, process improvement consultants, and risk management consultants. Consultants work with company leaders in a variety of areas, including strategic planning, process efficiency, communications within the organization, and more. Though it is not a regulated industry in the United States, many client companies are beginning to hire for certified consultants over non-certified ones. Consulting certifications can be earned through a training course and qualifying exam.

Some traditional universities and college offer degree programs in management consulting but these are usually thousands of dollars and take years to complete. In contrast, business consulting certification training courses can cost under a thousand dollars and be completed in less than six months. The most flexible format for these courses is an online format. This flexibility allows students to keep their full-time jobs while pursuing the business consulting certificate. Lecture videos, study guides and memorization aids are all used to help students learn the fundamentals of business consulting. Theses guides and aids assist in preparing the students for the qualifying exam, increasing the success rate on first-time test takers.

Good business consulting certification courses also teach the best practices in the field of management consulting. Students learn how to structure consulting assignments most effectively. Client garnering and retention are addressed. Good courses also train their students in consulting delivery models and service line management. Marketing considerations, such as branding, are also considered. An overall view of business consulting as a business helps students confidently build their own consulting companies if that is their wish. However, some students are entry level workers for a consulting firm and simply want to advance in the company they already work for. Training courses are beneficial for both kinds of student.

Management consultants are in the business of increasing efficiency and productivity. However, making a business more efficient does not mean cutting out integrity. Business consulting certification training courses also teach the ethical and legal compliance issues in the consulting business. A less than reputable business name is a very difficult thing to overcome, so it behooves students to start out and stay strong in high business ethics. After passing the certification exam, business consultants can add the certification credential to their business cards, resumes, and websites. Some courses even offer resources and support after the completion of the course to help ensure continued success.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Business Consultant Certificate - Choosing a Business Consultant

The career of business consulting is growing rapidly in the world today. However, the industry is still not regulated in the United States. Because of this, even uneducated and inexperienced people can call themselves business consultants and market their serves for any price. They simply get themselves a website and some business cards and, voila, they are a management consultant. Companies who are looking for the services of a consultant range from sole proprietorship home-based operations to multi-billion dollar corporations. The needs of these organizations will be drastically different from one another. No matter the specific needs of the company, all savvy business leaders should check for a consultant certificate before hiring a consultant.

A Certified Business Consultant, or CBC, is a trained professional. They have completed extensive coursework in consulting in the business space. They have passed a qualifying exam to earn the business consultant certificate. The training course includes the core fundamentals of business consulting as well as practical daily operations. The core fundamentals consist of models, processes, methods, and formulas of successful business consulting that have been proven through time and circumstance. These are the best practices of the field, tested and confirmed in efficiency and effectiveness.

Certified Business Consultants are able to see the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threat inherent in a business's current processes. They can make recommendations based upon scholarship rather than merely opinion. They are experts in strategic planning and financial analysis. The business consultant certificate is a sign of someone who has a good understanding of how to structure consulting assignments, market and brand products and services, and retain clients through a high quality of service. They don't just deliver; they over-deliver value to their business leader consumers. In addition, they are well-versed in ethics considerations and guidelines. While making a company more profitable, no consultant should ever suggest a course of action that is unethical or illegal.

A consultant certificate in business is the first qualifying step in the process of choosing a qualified consultant for business. However, there are more considerations to take into account. Every consultant has a different background, expertise, and record of experience. Many will specialize in either small or large business. New business ventures need a consultant that focuses on entrepreneurs and capital raising. Older businesses may need a fresh perspective in marketing or technology. Once a business leader has found several coaches who have the appropriate credentials and specializations, they should meet with them and see who fits in personality. This is the beginning a beneficial business relationship.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Business Consulting - The Latest 6 Maximum Secrets to Jumpstart Your Consulting Business

How do you know when your business consulting approach is getting stale? Ask your clients and prospects. Regardless of their answers to that question, take a fresh look at your business methods and practices from time to time. Here are six dynamite secrets to jumpstart your business consulting business.

1 Take a Fresh Look at Your Niche

Mining your niche market may no longer be your best business option. The rapid pace of change in today's business climate demands that you look at your niche market with a critical eye.

2 Identify New Trends or Markets

Survey your prospects, clients, and colleagues. Analyze the market data and determine whether or not changes have occurred in the trends and markets.

3 Look at the Problems and Issues

As a result of your survey, identify new issues and problems occurring in the market. Armed with this knowledge, prepare yourself to really stand out.

4 Develop Lasting Solutions

Lost time and money translates into lost customers and lost business opportunities. Bring lasting solutions to business problems and your consulting services will be in high demand.

5 Promote Yourself

The only way to unearth and attract new prospects is to promote yourself and your business. Let the world know that you are the expert.

6 Find New Clients With Article Marketing

Quickly develop credibility with your new prospects. Write problem solving articles and post them on specific article boards. Promote your problem solving expertise without giving away too much of the solution. Raising a prospect's interest is the first step to closing the sale.

Business Consulting Firms - 4 Intermediate Ways to Grow Your Business Consulting Firm

Gone are the days when you can count the number of business consulting firms using your ten fingers. Today, as more and more people are building their own businesses, consulting firms become very in-demand.

If you are one of those people who have built a business consulting firm to meet the current demands, this article is for you. In here, I will share some tips on how you can easily grow your firm so you can position yourself as industry leader while you maximize your revenue in the process. Here's what you need to do:

1. Hire the best people. What they say is true; the success of your business will largely depend on your people. So, make it a point that you only hire those who are competent, highly skilled, and motivated. During the hiring process, look for people who have relevant experiences, trainings, and educational background on running or managing a business. Also, make sure that these people are easy to work with, result-driven, and reliable to make sure that they'll be able to offer your clients with great experience.

2. Make your marketing campaign more aggressive and more targeted. As I have mentioned before, the field of consulting business is very stiff at the moment. Thus, it is very crucial that you invest time, effort, and even money to make your marketing campaign more effective, more compelling, and more targeted. Do a thorough research about your prospects and know what can push their buttons. You will need to target their emotions and convince them that you are the best firm for the job to get them to sign up in no time. Make your marketing messages more powerful and benefit-driven.

3. Impress your clients. If you want to easily create a good reputation in this industry and if you want your customers to keep on coming back, you've got to do all you can to make these people happy in doing business with you. You must assign to them competitive and very knowledgeable consultants who can meet their needs and demands. You need to make sure that your firm will be able to give these people everything they need to reach their goals or to grow their business exponentially in as little time as possible.

4. Develop an effective consulting team. Invest on giving your consultants relevant trainings and seminars that can help in improving their skills and their knowledge in this field. Take this as a wise investment as this can help you promote 100% customer satisfaction.

Business Consultants - What to Look For in a Business Consultant

If you have recently started your own business but clueless as to how you can really succeed in this field, you can hire a business consultant to help you out. Don't worry as you will not find this task challenging as there are thousands of business consultants from all points of the globe who are offering their services online.

Since you've got a lot of options, choosing the best one might become challenging for you. So, I suggest that you solicit recommendations from your colleagues or from those people who have hired business consultants before. This can surely narrow down your choices a bit.

To make a wise decision in choosing the best business consultants, use this article as your guide.
Here's what you need to look for when you are choosing that person who can help you grow your business:

1. Go with a coach who has proven track of record and someone who is known in the business community. He must have relevant college degree (accounting or business management for example), at least 10 years experience in running his own business, and relevant trainings. He must also be sought after by other business owners from all points of the globe and he must be recognized by prominent organizations. Do a thorough research online and enter the name of coaches on the search page results. Through this, you'll surely find more information about them; their achievements, their contributions in the business world, etc. These information can surely help you make a well-informed decision.

2. Go with coach who listens. You would want to work with a coach who is willing to shut his mouth even for a while just to hear you out. Someone who cares about what you say and who cares about your ideas. Avoid coaches who think that they are always right -- they will surely not be able to help you reach their goals.

3. Go with a coach who is genuinely concern in helping his clients. Make time to talk to people who have already worked with the coach that you consider hiring. Ask them if this particular coach will go out of his way to help you out. This really matters as you need somebody who can cover your back in case you get lost in the process and who can offer you with expert advice if he thinks that you are going off track.

Business Consulting Firms - Uncover 4 Powerful Secrets to Supercharge Your Business Consulting Firms

There is no denying that the global economy is not in its best shape right now. There are thousands of job losses and hundreds of businesses shutting down. Most of the businesses that were able to withstand the crisis are trying their hardest to save their money. They cut their advertising cost and they try not to hire additional personnel. If you are running a business consulting firm, this situation surely doesn't sound very promising. However, there are still some entrepreneurs who need consulting services. Although there are only few, you can still win their business if you do all your might to improve your services. Here's how you can do that:

1. Target ebusiness owners. If you don't know it yet, more and more people are trying their luck online. The good thing about this is that not all of these people have information as to how they can get started and most of them are seeking help from business consulting firms. It would work to your advantage if you target such hungry crowds. Get to know all the information and the resources they will need in running their ebusiness and make sure that you offer these to them.

2. Hire reliable consultants. If you intend to target ebusiness owners, you will need to hire consultants who are well-versed in internet marketing or online business. Entrepreneurs who are trying their luck online will surely need assistance on search engine optimization, website creation, competition analysis, internet marketing, link building, and product promotion. Make sure that you have enough and reliable personnel that can meet the needs and demands of your clients.

3. Promote your consulting firm. You'll be able to attract more clients if you properly promote your products and services online. I recommend that you create your own website where people can give you a visit and where they can find relevant information about your offerings. Make it very interactive, easy to navigate, and make sure that it speaks volumes about your expertise and credibility. You can also promote yourself and your consulting firm using article marketing, video marketing, teleseminars, forum posting, blog marketing, email marketing, and ezine publishing.

4. Check on your competitors. You need to make sure that your potential clients will not sign up to your competitors as this would mean losing their business. Outplay the people that you are up against by making sure that your consulting firm offers more reliable and complete services that can give your clients great value for their money.

Business Consultant - Outstanding Ways to Make Money by Being a Business Consultant

More and more entrepreneurs are seeking the help of business consultants in growing their business. They rely on these people for unbiased feedback and suggestions as to how to improve their processes and boost their revenue.

If you have a thriving business and if you want to share your techniques, you can make money by being a business consultant. Don't worry because this is not your typical 9am-5pm job. You will still have a direct control over your working hours while you earn hefty cash. These days, business consultants are earning as much as $12,000 - $25,000 per client.

Here's how you can make money by being a business consultant:

1. Sell yourself and advertise your services. The only way to make money from this endeavor is to get your potential clients to sign up. Start by selling yourself as someone who is extremely knowledgeable on your chosen field. How to do that? Well, you can share a piece of your expertise on article submission sites, on blogs, and on your own website. The more valuable information you share, the higher your chances of earning the trust of your potential clients. Then, advertise your consulting business using PPC advertising, banner ads, paid links, and banner ads. You can also talk about your service through relevant forums, blogs, and social networking sites that are often visited by your target market.

2. Know the job description. Before you sink your teeth into this field, make sure that you know what your clients expect to get from you. Aside from your advices, these people might also need a hand in their marketing strategies, customer service, product improvement, branding, leadership, etc. Make sure that you have in-depth knowledge about these things in order to give your clients great value for their money.

3. Personalize your services. Although you might be serving people with the same goal (to grow their business), these people might be requiring different information and assistance so do not offer them with generic services. Get to know their problems and the things that they are struggling with and offer them with consulting service that really match their needs.

4. Offer more. You'll easily be able to make a lasting mark on this field if you strive to make your clients extremely happy. One of the best ways to do this is by giving them more than their money's worth. Go out of your way and make sure that they have everything they will ever need in growing their business even without them asking.

Business Consulting - How Can it Sustain Your Business?


When small businesses are first starting out, one of the many difficulties they face in the early years is being able to resource skilled members of staff at particular times during the year. This article explains how you can use business consulting to your benefit to sustain your business whenever you have a requirement for a particular niche skill.

Key benefits

Hiring a business consultant can add tremendous value to your small business when you need it most. For example, if you have a specific project which you need help on, you can go out to the market and get issues resolved quickly and speedily. Using a consultant allows you to avoid the expense of a full-time employee in terms of employer's national insurance and fringe benefits. The business consultant wins because he/she is often invoicing the client via a limited company and is therefore in a much more tax advantageous position than if working as an employee.

Why and how you must define your business requirements?

One of the hardest things to do is to find the right consultant. At the end of the day, success is largely determined by how closely you match your business requirements with any prospective candidate. When you hire a business consultant, you must be absolutely sure that they have the requisite skills to undertake the tasks you have defined for them. Each task must have clearly defined set of deliverables and a date by which these must be completed. Remember, is it your money that is being spent here and daily rates are not cheap. Make sure you keep a tight control on your consultant once they are hired!

Ways to Earn at Home With Offline Business Consulting

Offline business consulting is today's buzzword for internet marketing specialists. Offline business which are your brick-and-mortar businesses have found it necessary to make their presence known online. This presents a lot of opportunities for those who have internet specialties while working from home. There are countless ways to earn at home with offline business consulting and this article will talk about some of those ways.

If you are already freelancing as a web content writer or article writer, you can offer this very same service to offline businesses. Almost all offline businesses have no idea or skill to write articles, much less write keyword optimized articles. While freelance online writing can earn you from $5-$12 for every article, offline business owners are willing to pay as much as $25 for every article that you write for them. This may seem like it's too much, but business owners know when they are paying good money for even better returns for their business.

Writing press releases is another lucrative way to earn at home. Press releases have some similarity to article writing. The main difference is that press releases are mainly promotional. This is more expensive than articles and businesses don't need these as often as articles that are optimized for web content. You can charge from $50 to $200 for every press release. You can learn to write a proper press release from different online sites, most of these are offered for free.

Designing a company's website is another specialty that you can do to earn at home. If you have the necessary skills to do this, companies will pay good money to hire you. Large companies are willing to pay huge sums of money for professional website designers. You can charge small businesses 50% off for your service which is just as professional.

Some businesses may already have a website to start with. But if you ask the business owners if they are generating sales or leads from their website, most will tell you that it's just sitting there. If this is the case, you can offer to create a blog for their business. A blog will put them in touch with their customers. It will give their customers the assurance that they are there for real. It is a venue for communication. A blog is also the place where they can update their customers about new products and promote their sales.

Now that you have given their offline business an online presence, it is a necessity to join online social networks to further grow their business. Here's another service that you can offer as part of your offline business consulting. Offer to create their profiles at various social media such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn. After their profile is created, you can now add contacts and friends. This will expose their offline business to more and more people in their area. You can charge as much as $500 for this service, not bad for someone working from home.

Furthermore, after you have done all this, you can also offer to maintain their blogs, website and social network. You can charge a monthly fee for this service and earn a stable income. Indeed, offline business consulting is a viable way to earn at home.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Benefits of Using Business Consulting

There are numerous ways in which a modern consulting service can be beneficial. For example, a consultant can help you to develop a deeper understanding of the market and prevailing conditions. A professional consultant would understand how to survey potential customers and put together a comprehensive marketing plan.

Not all managers are able to take a step back and analyze in detail the way in which their companies function. Being able to identify both strengths and weaknesses is important, knowing where there is scope for improvement can help to ensure that a company continues to prosper.

Branding of services and products is crucial to success. No matter what sector or industry you are involved in, your brand should give off the right image to help attract potential customers and clients. A consultant can provide excellent information on how to use branding to the best effect, for instance, what particular demographic group to target and how to reach out to the market using available tools.

It is all too easy for people in senior positions to take on so much responsibility that important aspects of running a business get overlooked. When hiring consulting services, a plan of action can be put forward that encompasses all factors and considerations that would impact on a business' success.

Knowing how and when to make crucial decisions is not always easy, consulting experts understand what it takes to help make all companies succeed. Being able to leverage this expertise when making important decisions can help in ensuring competition is dominated and progress is constant. Business consultants are often forward thinkers who can put forward various scenarios that may arise depending on decisions chosen today.

Minimizing risk is vital in today's corporate world. As the economy has never fully recovered from the recession, it is essential to have in place a well thought out strategy that can minimize risk and reduce the possibility for losses. Most managers would not be able to dedicate the required amount of time to understand how to create such a plan, but a consultancy would.

Innovative solutions that are specific to your actual needs can come about when liaising with a professional consulting firm. Though a lot of managers would have studied various business concepts in college, the type of planning that is required today is a lot more advanced. At the end of the day, a consulting firm is only interested in one thing, improving your bottom line so that you can see a marked increase in profits

Services Offered By Business Consultancy Firms

Every businessperson must make new strategies to run business processes smoothly. They hire business consultants, as that perspective outside the box can be useful. Many businesses today hire companies providing services like small business management consulting to improve internal management and operations.

As not all entrepreneurs have the needed educational background to know exactly how the business runs, advice from an experienced and knowledgeable party expert can be useful. If you look at websites offering consulting services, you can find many professionals who can help with specific aspects of your business.

If you are a small business proprietor, hiring the services of a third party may pose a challenge. You may not have enough funds to spend for outside help. This applies even more if you are just getting started with your business. It is a good thing there are business consultancy firms that focus on small businesses. With their expertise and guidance, you can save a good amount of funds and be sure you get specialized counsel.

What kind of Business Consultant Should You Get?

Before getting a company offering small business management consulting, think about the tenure of the company. This can reflect how long they have been practicing their expertise. Most consultants have degrees from prestigious business schools. Some may even be business executives themselves. If you want to make sure about your consultant's expertise, find one with a consulting company.

Another factor you should think about when looking for a business consulting company is experience. While it is true a degree from a top business school may be impressive, nothing beats firsthand experience. Some successful business executives and entrepreneurs provide consultation on the side.

Business consultancy firms may have a specialized niche of business scale or industry. Some business strategies may work well in defined industries for companies with a certain size. If it is possible, look for a consultant with expertise of at least experience handling a business with the same model as yours.

Look at your consultants' record of accomplishment. See if their business consulting services were effective in the past. Look for an advisor or consultant with a high success rate. This might be the only thing you need for your business to take off.

One thing you should look into is the kind of field your consultant is in. There are those who are efficient in organizing systems and improving employee productivity while other consultants are better off proposing ideas for expansion and other ways of implementation. Hire a consultant who specializes on the aspect in your business you need improvement on.

Consultants will still refer to other companies. Though this may give a general viewpoint and help you understand your business, there might be cases where there is conflict of interest. They may not be as focused to your case as they are with other clients. Make sure you get a loyal consultant.

Small business management consulting does not reduce the risk of launching your own business. They also do not help eliminate your competitors. The best thing they can do is provide noteworthy counsel. In the end, tough business decisions still depend on you.

Lochlan Muir knows about small business management consulting and wants to work in reputable business consultancy firms.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Invest in Advice From Business Consultants When Establishing Your Small Business

If you are considering establishing a small business, invest in the advice of business consultants during the start-up phase. A consultant can even help even after the start-up. There are many facets of creating a successful small business from applying for the right permits to writing press releases to even streamlining production processes to reduce expenses and increase profits. While you may have great products or services, do you know how to market to the customer? Do you know how to create a financial proposal to apply for a small business loan?

Financial Aspects

Whether you are just at start-up or have been in business a while, chances are at some point you will want to apply for a small business loan to establish or expand your operations. Business consultants are well-versed in creating business plans. They know how to study the marketplace, evaluate trends and forecast potential future business - things you need to know in order to draft a financing proposal to a bank or other funder. Consultants can also help you write grants to the government and other entities as well.

If you are the idea or concept person and accounting aspects of your business are just not your forte, an outside consultant can help you manage your accounts, create financial reports, and interpret them too. By understanding the financial reports, you will be able to see how your business is doing day to day as well as recognize what is profitable and what should be re-evaluated.


You may want to hire a consultant to evaluate your production processes to see where operations can be streamlined to reduce expenses. Is there a step or two being handled by people that could be accomplished with a machine? Would changing the product packaging be helpful? Could your current facilities handle the addition of a new product? Can some of the same machines be used or would you need to make a capital investment in new equipment? How long would it be before your new product made a profit, based on the capital investments in equipment? These are just a few of many aspects on the operations side to consider.

Marketing and Publicity

Sometimes, the hardest part of owning a small business is figuring out how to spread the word about your products and services. Sure, local magazines and newspapers are no-brainers but how about expanding to a website? Do you want your website to include an online store so customers can order from home? How do you boost online traffic to your website in the first place? Do you invest in pay per click advertising or offer affiliate marketing? SEO and internet marketing is an important facet for many small businesses with social media outlets gaining ground.

Should you create a brochure for your products and services? Would your business benefit from a direct mail campaign or radio advertising? Another thing to consider is purchasing booth space at exhibitions and trade shows. As you can see, there are a number of ideas to consider when it comes to marketing and publicity. Business consultants can handle a number of small business aspects so consider hiring one to make your life a little easier.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Making Use of Your Expertise to Start a Business Consulting Service

If you are an expert in some particular field, you like working with new people, love challenges, and you are keen on starting and running your own business (in other (and more appealing) words "be your own boss"), then working as an independent consultant is the perfect business for you, which accommodates all of the above mentioned features. Do you think your expertise is sellable in today's business world? Well, what are you waiting for? Get your skates on and go, sell it.

These days, consultancy businesses are growing like mushrooms. Businesses may use their advice or services in many scenarios, for example to spot the fault, training the staff or helping the business coming to grips with a new market or technology.

Different types of business consultants include:

Management Consultant: Helps with issues related to management such as business planning, implementing new strategies, brainstorming, etc.

Marketing Consultant: Helps you in getting started with marketing campaigns, identifying the niche, making market penetration plans, writing marketing copies or creating the buzz for your business.

Human Resource Consultant: Deals in recruiting and training the staff, also helps when the business has to go through some downsizing.

Financial consultant: Financial consultant can help you in financial planning, budgeting or making some crucial decisions of financial nature.

IT consultant: Many types of consultancy services may fall under this category like networking consultant, Microsoft consultant or SEO consultant.

Legal Consultant: You may seek their advice on all of the laws and policies related to your business.

These are just few of the promising consultancy services, but of course, these are not the only options, the fact is that you can offer just about any kind of consultancy service that maybe helpful to some businesses. You may or may not need to obtain relevant degree or certification, depending upon the competition, but for the sake of outshining your competitors, it is always recommended to have sufficient educational background along with your experience.

Starting and advertising a consultation business:
If you have got the knowledge and expertise, starting a consultancy business is not much of a fuss. You can start from your home, and you don't really need any staff in the beginning (though having an assistant or secretary can be helpful). Real challenge is to reach your potential clients and establish yourself as an expert, in your respective field. There are various methods of advertising, such as brochures, newspaper's classified section or public speaking, etc. Then we have a relatively new but mighty effective method known as "Blogging", use the ever growing internet to start a Blog and write regularly on your specific topic.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Small Business Consulting: Fresh Eyes Equal Fresh Savings!

Starting a business and running a business are difficult tasks. There are many different things to worry about, and financial issues are one of the main ones. Without a full understanding of all the financial aspects of a business, owners could potentially lose money or face even more dire consequences. A CPA can help with financial consulting and ensure that the business is on track to succeed.

Defining Business Structures

One of the most important small business consulting roles a CPA can play happens when you are starting your business. You will need to decide on the best structure, and the structure you choose will affect several different things. This includes taxes and what you will owe to the state you live in, and much more. A CPA can ensure that you choose the correct structure for your personal situation and the correct structure from a financial and tax standpoint.

Creating a Legal Tax Strategy

CPAs understand tax laws in-depth, meaning that they can help you create a legal tax strategy that accomplishes two things: keeps you in compliance with state and local laws and allows your business to keep as much money as possible. With financial consulting from a professional CPA, you will understand exactly what taxes your business must pay, when they must be paid, and what deductions your business can claim as well. This will allow you to keep every cent possible in a legal manner, so you are covered without paying in unnecessary money.

Determining Investments

Another important thing a CPA can do during small business consulting is help you determine what kinds of investments your company needs to make and can afford to make. From marketing to other business ventures that can eventually help the growth and success of your business, a CPA can help advise you on what the best choices are while staying within your investment budget.

Annual Tax Return Preparation

One of the things a CPA is most known for is preparing the annual tax returns. This is especially important for businesses, because there are certain forms that must be filed and certain types of taxes that must be paid. Your CPA can also set up different types of tax payment plans and ensure that you are fulfilling all of your legal obligations and that you do not owe the IRS anything.

For small business consulting, a fresh pair of eyes will equal a lot of savings and can make sure your business is stable and financially secure.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

What You Need to Consider When Investing in a Business Consulting Franchise

What Experience Do You Have?

You will have a major advantage if you already have experience of running, or working within, a successful business; or in sales and marketing; or in lecturing in business studies and marketing; or in business or marketing consulting.

Having the right kind of business experience, expertise, and knowledge already, puts you in a strong position to enjoy early success as a business consultant working within the legal framework of your franchise agreement, and the support structure available within the organization. You have all that expertise already, but now you also have the trusted brand behind you, a collection of marketing and analytical tools, and ongoing training resources and support for when you need it.

If you don't have the appropriate experience, all is not lost. You can attend various business and marketing courses at community colleges and universities, and online courses are also now available to you. A good franchisor should also be providing a comprehensive training course when you first invest in the franchise, along with ongoing professional development, so if you have a strong desire to become a business consultant then you can still do so. Just take into account the time it will take for you to acquire the appropriate expertise to get started successfully.

What You Need To Run Your Consultancy Business

You will need premises, but a room in your home will be suitable, or you can rent a small office somewhere. You can even use the services of an online virtual office (internet based) if you do not need to meet clients on your own premises. Normally, you will be meeting clients where their own business is located.

You need internet access, maybe your own web site, you need a telephone, computer and printing equipment, stationery supplies including letterheads and business cards, travelling expenses, maybe a car, marketing materials and resources, and possibly personal and professional training in addition to what your franchise company supplies.

All in all, your expenditure can be kept to a minimum, and is nothing like what would be required to operate a normal business.

The Cost of Your Consultant Franchise

Your big financial consideration, of course, is the franchise fee. Just like starting any kind of business you will have a relatively high up front capital investment. You won't, however, have to pay for expensive premises, equipment, manufacturing, stock, and staffing.

Instead, you are paying a franchise fee to buy into the franchise, with all the benefits that brings to you. Franchise fees vary greatly so you need to do a lot of research to compare what you get for your money. Like anything, you get what you pay for. What seems like a good deal might prove a disastrous investment if you don't receive the support and resources you expect, or if there is not enough business available for you, or there is too much competition.

Many banks are happy to lend money for a franchise business they approve of, provided you satisfy their credit rating requirements, so if you don't have the capital needed to invest in a really good business consultancy franchise, this can be the way for you to go.

What You Need to Check Before Investing in a Consulting Franchise

* Speak to some business consultants for advice

Ask one or two franchise consultants to recommend a reputable business consultancy franchise in your country.

* Do your market research

What kind of businesses will you be expected to consult with? How many such businesses are in your area? What competition can you expect from other business consultants in your region? What prospects are there for future growth? If your franchise agreement does not restrict you to a specific area then you have the advantage of consulting with businesses in other areas.

You need to be satisfied that you will have access to plenty of business consulting opportunities and that the potential market for you is extensive enough to keep you in business for a long time.

* Speak to some current franchisees

Speak to some current franchise owners already working with the business to find out first hand what their own experiences are. You are trying to find out if the amount of work required, the running expenses, and the income being earned, matches up with what the franchise company is promising you. The head office staff will always paint a rosy picture but this may be very different to what consultants in the field are finding.

Of course, if you are considering a newly launched franchise operation, then you will be unable to speak with active consultants because there won't be any! There lies a big advantage, possibly, if you are one of the first to purchase a franchise and help get the business launched. There may well be a discount on the franchise fee during the initial launch period.

* Read the prospectus and franchise agreement several times

You need to read very carefully all these documents to get a complete understanding of every aspect of the business. You need to know all your rights and responsibilities, what you can and cannot do.

It is highly advisable to ask a fully qualified franchise lawyer to check the franchise agreement which is a legal document. It is no good asking a general lawyer because he will not understand many of the terms of the contract. You MUST go to a lawyer who specializes in franchise agreements because he can properly advise you. It's worth spending a little money at this stage to check there is nothing in the agreement that could cause you a big problem later on, after you have invested a lot of money in purchasing the franchise.

* Find out all the ongoing costs before you invest

You will know the initial investment required to purchase the franchise. You must also find out what other costs are involved, apart from the normal day-to-day running costs.

There is normally a monthly charge payable to the franchisor (the franchise company) that pays for the ongoing support and backup. This will be either a flat fee, or a percentage of your profits. There is usually, also, a fee to be paid to renew your franchise every few years or so, and this will vary according to the type of consultancy.

* Investigate the level of income you can expect

The Company should be able to provide you with income projections based on different levels of commitment on your part. No level of income can be guaranteed, of course, because there are so many variables, but you should be given spreadsheets with examples of what you can expect to earn based on certain conditions.

* Will you be provided with operating manuals and other essential resources?

How much information and guidance will you be given to help you run your consultancy business? The whole purpose of a franchise business is it provides you with a proven system to follow, and if you follow the system, then you should be successful. So how detailed is the system you will be following, and do you feel confident you can do so?

* What kind of training and support can you expect?

You are paying a substantial sum of money for your franchise. Find out as much as you can about the training you will be given when you start, and about the ongoing training and support you can expect. Speak with the management team, meet them if you can. Are they people you can work with? Are they approachable and supportive? Do you trust them? You will be part of a team so make sure it is a team you want to be part of!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Business Consultants - How They Can Help?

Many people have a different and incorrect interpretation of a business consultant. To them, business consultants are troubleshooters who only come into the picture when the company is facing a financial dilemma or a crisis. In point of fact, business consultants specialize in dealing with all types of company matters. They provide oversight into a company's activities and are instrumental in advising companies and even government institutions in making correct, efficient and profitable decisions.

Business Consultants offer a Broader Perspective

Business consultants are hired specifically to look at company issues from a different and broader perspective. These consultants are experts in their relative fields and offer sound advice and guidance to companies as to how to proceed ahead with an issue at hand. They have no direct relation to the company and are hence outsiders working on the inside. However this works perfectly for the company itself. Being a third party, businesses consultants can see things top management may fail to see. This enables them to weigh the pros and cons of the strategy more efficiently and helps them achieve the best solution.

Types of Business Consultants

Business consultants often specialize in specific fields in order to meet the varying demands of today's companies. Management consultants advise on various aspects of corporate operations such as marketing, finance and corporate strategy. However their role also extends into assembly line or other manufacturing processes, information systems and computer networks, data processing, e-commerce, and human resources.

Some firms offer technical consultants who provide technical advice relating to non-management activities. These include monitoring compliance with various safety and health regulations, an in-depth analysis of technology applications and scientific knowledge in fields like physics and biology. There are consultants available for every almost every field. Another good example is environmental consultants. Companies hire them in order to determine whether they are meeting government emission standards. This allows the companies to keep themselves in check and correct the problem beforehand and avoid hefty penalties.

How Startups Benefit from Business Consultancy

Startup businesses often hire business consultants to ensure they stay on track with the company vision. They help make business plans and formulate marketing strategies. In addition they provide legal consulting services to familiarize firms with all the legal aspects of their business that they may not be aware of.

Business Consultancy is Not just for Big Corporations

Contrary to the popular belief, business consultancy is not just for large high profile corporations. People base this belief on the notion that hiring all these extra consultants is only going to add to their expenses. Smaller companies simply cannot afford business management consultants regardless of the increase in revenue they bring to the table.

Business consultants are no longer an option, rather a requirement for businesses to survive in today's competitive market. Depending on the nature of the business and the type of consultancy they require, they should hire appropriate type of consultants to assist them in their business endeavors.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Business Consultants Boost Practices

Business consulting boosts revenue and businesses. Hiring them in this day and age has become indispensable to ensuring that a certain business succeeds. There are many consultants out there who can offer alternatives in situations other than their area of expertise. A business is sure to operate effectively when consultants like accountants and CPAs are hired for it. A consultant immediately recognizes the contours of the business by discovering its weaknesses and strengths.

There are many benefits you can reap by hiring a business consultant. Consultants keep an eye out for situations and circumstances that usually escape the notice of the regular staff. Consultants for businesses are usually very well-informed about the market situation and therefore, they easily enhance the experience of the staff while remaining oriented towards a positive result for the company they are helping. Most businesses, these days no longer possess the capability to analyze past failures and successes to base future plans upon.

A business consultant possesses considerable analytical skills that enable her to discover ideas and solutions for business growth and maintenance of a healthy relationship with customers and clients. This way, the businesses that consultants support usually stay ahead of the competition. Professional experts offer comprehensive information on different aspects of managing a business effectively. It's as if their presence and absence makes the difference between success and potential failure for a given business.

Business consulting gives business owners more time to think over core activities that are critical to the business's long term goals without having to think about faults in the system that could harm the enterprise if left unnoticed. Business owners are like captains of a ship while business consultants are the engineers discovering and immediately sealing minor cracks that may grow to sink the ship if left unattended. In addition to working on a short term basis, business consultants can act as a practice manager's long term aid. With the help of a business consultant, employee productivity and performance are dramatically improved.

Business consulting is an indispensable ingredient for new businesses. Two things are mainly required for a new business: a business plan and funds for its proper management. A plan that is thoroughly prepared will convince financial institutions and others to invest. Not only do professional business consultants greatly contribute to the development of such a plan, but they also free entrepreneurs from the stress associated with the process. Once the business is established, its owners or providers will want to increase sales or productivity. Business consulting services make possible the development of a strong marketing plan to increase sales. What go into a strong marketing plan are the analysis of growth, competitors and customer behavior.

Business consultants must be able to understand the business they will provide guidance for. This almost guarantees the success of that business. Therefore, business owners and practice managers must recognize their own objectives before consulting a business professional. That way, the consultant will know exactly what to focus on so that the company may be able to achieve those targets.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Can a Business Consultant Make a Difference in Your Company's Success?

A business consultant has many roles and can help an old company re-new itself and find itself again; help founders start and develop a new venture or project; help to turn around a company fraught with problems; help a company identify new opportunities and markets; or help a company develop a business success plan.

A good business consultant has experience working in and with a broad range of businesses. An experienced business consultant has broad and narrow stroke experience and typically, twenty years or more of accumulated business experience. Having an MBA from a good business school isn't enough. The consultant must have solid real world experience with many types of companies to be an effective consultant.

So what does a business consultant do? First and foremost, a consultant gets to know and understand your business. As the business owner, you know more about your business than anyone else. For this reason, a good business consultant will take the time to learn from you, your department heads and key employees the ins and outs of your business.

The consultant then goes to work identifying problems and opportunities. Those may be certain problems and opportunities you point out to the consultant, but also a good consultant will have a process to identify problems and opportunities which a business owner has not identified. A consultant brings fresh eyes, fresh experience and an open mind to your business enterprise, providing a completely different perspective than that of someone who has been running the company for some time or someone looking to start a new venture.

A business consultant will then analyze this gathered information in order to provide solid solutions and plans for the future. Often business ownership is so focused on working "in" the business that short term and long term outlooks and strategies are overlooked and neglected. The consultant re-focuses a company's strategies in order to solve immediate problems, while taking advantage of future opportunities. Steps taken in a good consulting process include: learn about the business; identify problems; identify future opportunities; perform analysis; provide solutions through a concrete plan; listen to feedback and adjust the plan; and implement and track the plan.

The consultant considers all company input to develop a business plan that will be effective. The consultant listens to the opinions of the company's advisors (accountants, lawyers, bankers and other advisers). The consultant can use Delphi sessions and red teams which contain industry experts and competitive viewpoints. The consultant also listens carefully to the view points of the company's ownership, founders, board, top management and key employees. A final business plan is agreed upon and signed off on by the company with the consultant helping to implement, track and re-work the plan as necessary over time.

When an entrepreneur is thinking about starting up a new business, a business consultant can apply a start-up analysis to determine if it is a feasible opportunity, which includes: analyze and evaluate the opportunity; develop a business strategy and model; resource audit; acquiring and leveraging needed resources; venture deployment; and getting and distributing value.

When considering an existing business acquisition, a business consultant can employ an business analysis, such as: products and services analysis; management team appraisal; operational analysis; market position; competitive factors; SWOT analysis; analyze financials; valuations; and risk assessment.

A business consultant's derived value pays for itself. What you pay in fees for a good consultant will pale in comparison to the profitability the consultant's strategies will create. A business consultant is an investment in the future success of your company.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Could Hiring a Business Consultant Be One of Your Smartest Business Decisions?

Today, businesses are facing a variety of challenges and thus, the needs of the business are changing. Owners and managers are faced with questions of growth, development or whether they should "batten down the hatches" for survival. Often, managers and owners do not know exactly what to do in such uncertain times. Others may have ideas of what needs to be done, but are unsure of the exact plan to reach the desired outcome. This is precisely the situation where a business consultant becomes a tremendous asset to a business. A business consultant that understands the business objectively can be managements' coach through these challenges.

As businesses mature, new problems and challenges arise that offer various complexities that management may not be able to place in context. An experienced business consultant will put those challenges into perspective- by using their broad knowledge base- smoothing out the complexities in a way that will also allow management to learn and evolve.

By retaining a business consultant and by keeping him/her summarily involved in your business at all times, you put a key ingredient in place for success. Not only will that consultant be able to react quicker to issues- by not having to "catch up"- but the consultant will likely spot trends that can be lost, when day to day operations get in the way of objective thinking by on site managers.

Issues with inventory control, operational efficiencies, market changes, employee morale and other key day to day operational or administrative tasks can be vetted and outlined by an engaged business consultant; saving a company time, money and other valuable resources.

What makes the business consultant such a great decision?

Regardless of size, all business owners and managers face tough decisions. Those decisions can be muddied by the stresses of day to day operations, outside influences or a lack of organization. Business consultants have one objective: Support their clients business and its management, in a manner that provides prosperity.

1. Business Consultants are engaged in analyzing the business culture and environment. By understanding your individual environment and that of the entire market, your business consultant will give you clear, objective advice on issues affected by these.

2. Business Consultants will have a top down view of your operations. Through regular review of your operations, they will pinpoint inefficiencies and/or weakness in your operations, again, providing you with objective advice in order to take corrective action.

3. Business Consultants will understand your financial situation and how each part of your company contributes to that situation. Through regular review of your operations, your consultant will identify positive and negative trends within your company, tackling issues long before they become infectious or cause too much damage.

4. By being a part of the forward looking plan, you will gain an objective pair of eyes, looking out for your business from an entirely clear perspective. Always with an ear to the ground on industry or local issues, your consultant should provide advance information on a wide variety of topics that may affect your company's future.

Small business consulting is a growing field of expertise. It has been realized that all business owners and managers benefit from having an objective consultant on their team. By engaging a business consultant and keeping them involved with your company, you ensure that he/she will be able to react for your business in an efficient manner, helping you solve issues quickly. In today's hyper-communication environment, reacting to issues efficiently with sound information is key in making good business decisions and having a prosperous business.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Do Business Consultants Really Help?

A consultant is a professional who provides advice in many different fields of expertise. Business Consultants are professionals who give advice in regard to management and operations of a business. This area of expertise can be broad and confusing to a small business owner or manager, searching for help with day to day business issues. So the question is, can a generalist, or a basic business consultant, really help your business?

Generally, the answer is yes. A management consultant with a sound, structured approach towards business can help a small business owner or manager.

First, a business consultant can help an owner or manager assess the business, using objective tools to analyze the businesses potential. It is very important to have a clear understanding where the business is and where it may be going. Many times, owners and managers can lose the forest through the trees, and having a business consultant on their side to keep them on target can be reassuring and rewarding.

Second, consultants are a good alternative for some specialized tasks. There may be research, or reporting requirements, which could be more complex than hired staff may be able to accomplish. Having a trusted business consultant on your side to help with special needs, ads the proverbial "looking over my shoulder". This is a nice backup for owners and managers.

Third, a good consultant can help you identify plans to expand (market) or streamline (add operational efficiency) to your business. Consultants can be used to brainstorm about expansion, adding products to a business offering or merging and/or acquiring additional assets. Having a consultant on board gives the owner or manager a built in "devil's advocate". It is someone who understands the goals and the business limits in an objective forward thinking manner.

Fourth, a properly chosen consultant will provide clear and objective counsel to help the business owners and managers make effective and forward moving decisions. Using a consultant as a sounding board during decision vetting is one of the best ways for owners and managers to utilize a consultants time. Again, using your consultant during the planning phase will also give your consultant great insight, allowing them to remain involved when operational issues arise and or future changes are needed within the organization.

Finally, it is important that your business consultant can help you within all aspects of your business. It is essential to keep a business consultant, as you would a CPA for your taxes, a lawyer for your legal issues and a financial planner for your retirement. Why not keep a business consultant for your current business?
Business consultants, who have been engaged with their clients through a structured approach, are generally successful in helping their clients be more successful. They should always take an objective approach that is clear to the company's management and owners. A businessman who properly utilizes a business consultant will see higher rates of return on his investments and smoother operational efficiencies within his organization. You will also see that a businessman, who uses business consultants, will have more time to enjoy interests outside of his business, adding more to the value of the Business Consultant.

©YourBizDr.Com 2009

Friday, February 3, 2012

Business Consulting - Revealed - 5 Great Steps to Impact Your Consulting Business

When you do article marketing, people automatically feel attracted to and come and read your articles that are naturally interesting to them. Writing articles of interest to a particular niche market is one way that you make your business stand out in your niche market. Make sure you write information and give samples of your high quality content to attract prospects to your business consulting expertise. Revealed - 5 great steps to impact your business consulting.

1. Stay focused on the idea that expending time toward building a business is an investment rather than an expense. When you consciously choose to reach out and do things to serve your niche market, that will pay you big dividends.. This is a very easy way for you to build your reputation is being someone credible and reliable in your niche.

2. Plan out your goals, and then enact those plans expecting great financial success. When you go about your work using an attitude whereby you expect successful results, because you use that mindset, the mind and brain work together so that you experience those results.

3. Everyday people are very interested in receiving your high quality coaching program. Remember to work with these everyday people in a respectful way.

4. Instead of making excuses about how it's impossible to achieve, focus on how success is easy for you. Using that mindset, you discover success is easy for you and your students.

5. Choose financial goals to achieve instead of thinking in terms of numbers of prospects to bring into your business each day.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Does Your Company Need Business Consulting?

A lot of companies are simply in denial when it comes to business consulting services. Many choose to remain dubious on whether or not to avail the services of consultants in order to improve their quarterly forecasts. This attitude only worsens the company's financial standings and by the time they come to realize their mistakes, the situation has already gone past the point of no return, hence the reason for this article.

This article will focus on whether or not a company should sign up for businesses consulting services by highlighting a few scenarios. If any of these ring a bell, then your company needs business consulting.

· Declining Financial Assets

This is essentially the red flag that should signal the need for a new strategy to be formulated. If a company's revenues are declining every quarter then something is not being done right. This is a serious issue, one that requires business consulting services. Immediately bring a consultant into the management team. Provide him with all the information he needs to do his job in order to turn things around.

· No Improvement in Revenues

If your net profits come out to be zero then that's a cause of concern. Either your expenses are too high or you not doing enough to push your products in the right markets. Something needs to be done and a business consultant is the just the right person for the job. He will analyze your current marketing strategies as well as your organization's entire structural makeup and offer the most cost effective solutions based on it.

· Unimpressive Revenues from a Specific Product

It is not uncommon for companies to do a thorough analysis of their products and see how well they are doing in the market. When revenues don't meet expectations, a good idea is to implement business consulting services on the managerial level to get to the root of the problem.

· Lack of productivity from Employees

Business consulting services covers ALL aspects of a company and that includes their employees. Many companies hire consultants in order to boost employee performance and work productivity. They look at their daily routine and find out the mistakes they are making. They also pinpoint areas where employees can improve. This makes them better at what they do and also for the company.

· Poor Communication

Communication is the key to a successful business. Oftentimes poor communication is the reason for low sales and revenues. Communication is absolutely essential for managerial staff as they have to clear and precise with what they expect from their teams. Consultants offer valuables insights into the art of public speech in order to get the most out of them.

The above mentioned signs just a few indications that something is amiss and business consulting services should be considered in order to get things back in order. The primary objective of such consulting is to make your company better and profitable because if you succeed, they succeed.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Small Business Consulting Services - Is it Money Well Spent by Small Businesses?

A wise man knows that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. All Massachusetts leading small business consultants can provide many services including strategic assessment, strategic planning, marketing and promotional planning, loan and grant proposals, customized training solutions all wrapped up in a comprehensive business plan solution or individually, based on a specific need.

All the services mentioned above require planning in some form. Many times, businesses don't have the staff nor ability to perform these services for themselves because they are usually bogged down with the day-to-day operational side of the business. So that is where and why consulting services can help.

Again, you may be considering help in the areas listed above or you may be seeking an unbiased professional opinion on specific issues. You may need help preparing a complete business plan, pro-forma financial documents or a marketing plan. Whatever your needs, small business consulting services encompass many answers to the problems facing small businesses.

Consulting services are utilized by every business size imaginable. Both large and small accounting and consulting firms are always employed by companies as big as Microsoft. Any size business has needs that can not be met internally because businesses sometimes look at themselves subjectively rather than objectively or lack the experience and expertise in an area that could improve a component of their business which could translate to growth and higher profits.

But wait, if you're short on resources whether it be financial or human resources and you need small business consulting services it's important to find one of the Massachusetts leading small business consultants that offers a strong track record of success and a firm which will listen to your needs carefully.

You need to remember that careful planning and consulting is extremely valuable to any profitable the Visa commercials's priceless!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Hiring a Business Consultant - Smart Or Stupid?

This question comes up quite often during company meetings and rightfully so. Business consultants are in great demand and every company should employ one in their arsenal. However many critics argue the financial expense they incur on a company's budget and question the move entirely. Truthfully it all depends on the company and what are their business plans for advancement and growth.

Hiring a Business Consultant

There is no arguing the benefits a good business consultant can provide to a company. Some companies only seek them out when they are facing severe financial or operational difficulties. A safer and more traditional approach is to hire them from the very beginning. This ensures that they keep a track of things from day one. These consultants not only keep a sharp eye on the company but also on their competitors. Their vast knowledge of the company's area of expertise enables them to foresee things beforehand and take appropriate action that is in the company's best interests.

Direct Impact on Sales

Sales are the bread and butter of any business and a business consultant can help ensure that it increases at a steady pace. They analyze the company's entire organization and operational infrastructure in order to seek out problems. Their analysis helps identify problems and provides solutions for them. Furthermore, they are crucial in providing better solutions to the ones already in use by the company.

In other words they fine tune a company's existing infrastructure into a revenue generating system. Such measures directly influence a company's sales.

Watch Out for Competition

Earlier we mentioned that consultants keep a sharp eye out for competition and their activities. Depending on your type of business and relative industry, this could be the most vital feature for your business to survive. Most businesses hire a consult purely for this reason. However the intention is not to spy, but to keep tabs on what they are doing within ethical limits and take the next step before the competitors do. In today's tough market, getting there first is more important than getting there period.

A Realistic Analysis of the Present

Oftentimes, companies expand at an alarming rate and as a result are unable to get a better grasp of how things are overall. Expansion and growth does not always necessarily mean revenue. On the other hand, cutting costs and keeping a tight budget does not necessarily indicate losses. Business consultants put the entire company under a scanner and give an in-depth and accurate picture of what the company's current situation is. This aids company executives in deciding the best course of action for the future.

The only downside supposedly of hiring a business consultant is the extra burden on a company's payroll. However now it is clearly evident that the increase in revenue provided by these consultants is well worth the expense. In light of this, it's not a question of why should you hire a consultant; it's rather why should you not.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

When to Use a Turnaround Business Consultant

When a business is in difficulty the directors broadly have three options:

- to fix it, either outside an insolvency process or by taking advantage of the protection some processes offer;

- to sell it, normally to somebody who believes that they can fix it; or

- to shut it.

This article looks at the 'fix it option', and what turnaround firms or an individual turnaround business consultant do?

In essence, turning a business around involves reversing its decline and restoring firstly stability and then secondly to use this as a base from which to re-grow its value. But however good a turnaround consultant or a turnaround firm, while company doctors can try to heal the sick, they cannot raise the dead.

Conditions for a successful turnaround

The starting point for most turnarounds is therefore a brutal assessment as to whether they have the necessary seven factors in place to stand a realistic chance of success which are:

1 A viable core business (or businesses) that is, or can quickly be made, profitable to then act as the base from which future growth can be rebuilt.

2 Time to carry through the turnaround, if they are started too late they will either fail or require the protection of an insolvency process.

3 Funding, as it is usually cash that provides the business with time and it is also true that turnarounds need money to carry out as there are often costs associated with both the initial restructuring (such as redundancy costs) and then with financing the eventual regrowth of the business. This funding will need to be generated from either within the business's trading activities, or by selling surplus assets, or from outside through refinancing or attracting new investors.

4 A goal, a clear vision of what the business will look like once it has been changed to restore success, which then provides management with both a target and motivation.

5 Managers in the business with the belief and willingness to work to achieve the goal, who also have sufficient functional and situational skills to be able to achieve success, or access to external management resources to provide additional support when and where it is needed.

6 Support from the business's key stakeholders, of which the most important in the crisis stage is often the bank, but in truth the business's managers cannot do it on their own and they need to be able to take a wide range of people including suppliers, customers, staff, bankers, shareholders, and others with them.

7 Doing so requires giving these stakeholders confidence in the plan and the process, as they will need to be convinced that the business's management who were in charge as the business got into difficulty have the ability to get it out again, which usually requires a clear and structured plan and an active programme of communication to keep them advised of progress.

An appropriately qualified turnaround consultant, such as a member of the Institute for Turnaround, introduced as a Chief Restructuring Officer will bring critical situational skills to the process from an extensive experience of dealing with such situations before and will focus on leading the business through the restructuring process. They will be able to 'speak the bankers (and if necessary the insolvency practitioner's) language, and help give that vital credibility to the plan by driving communication with the key stakeholders.

Phases of a turnaround

Turnarounds normally go through three distinct phases and whilst finance, people and marketing issues need to be addressed in each phase, priorities usually shift from being financially to marketing orientated as the turnaround progresses.

Turnarounds normally start with a cash crisis, where the management priority focuses on the short-term survival of the business and solving the immediate financial crisis. This often involves slimming the business down to its viable core and reducing its portfolio of products and markets to only those that are clearly profitable. Cutting staff numbers is often needed at this time but it is crucial to ensure you keep the key staff who you want to retain committed to the business while you do so.

A period of stabilisation and preparation usually follows the end of the immediate crisis. This is the time to plan the regrowth of the business as you develop new products and markets. Ensure that you have the right management team in place to take the business forwards and take the steps needed tosecure the finance facilities you will need for increased levels of trading.

Finally, you then need to achieve the regrowth required to return value to the business based on achieving long term sustainable competitive advantage and financial stability.

The key tasks of a turnaround plan

A successful turnaround process therefore involves five key tasks:

1 Recognising the need, as to solve a problem you firstly have to realise you have one, what it is, and that you need to deal with it.

2 Surviving to do it, as to fix the problem you have to avoid being pulled down by the immediate cash crisis, and in doing so get a strong grip on your business's finances and what these tell you about its performance, problems, and potential solutions.

3 Deciding what to do, as you have to take an objective look at your business's internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as the external opportunities and threats presented by the environment within which it operates. Only then can you develop an appropriate strategy and short and long term priorities which then become detailed action plans showing who is going to do what, when, and what success looks like.

4 Making the plan happen by locking in the support you need from stakeholders and managing your people, keeping them and the stakeholders informed and motivated; managing the process, continually looking for the next quick win whilst also continually monitoring your plan against reality and changing circumstances; managing the business, keeping an eye on the numbers and the everyday activities of your business; managing the inherent insolvency risks of a turnaround situation; and lastly managing yourself as any turnaround activity will be stressful and challenging.

5 And finally, keep on succeeding as once your business has recovered you need to keep it going that way by using the skills and approaches you have developed during the turnaround to ensure it continues to succeed.

Of course the information contained in an article like this can never be a full statement of the legal position as the relevant laws are complex and liable to change. This article can only therefore be a general guide as to the issues involved and you should always seek appropriate professional advice on your own particular circumstances before taking any action.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Four Benefits of a Business Consulting Franchise

Do you have a lot of business acumen that you want to share with other people? Are you good at handling responsibility and finances? Are you tired of the rat race and making someone else's living for them? If you answered "yes" to all these questions, then you may wish to consider opening your very own business consulting franchise. A business consulting franchise can do you and your clients a world of good. You just need to take that first step. If you're having issues stepping out on your own, then here are four more benefits of a business consulting franchise to entice you:

Help others realize their personal and professional goals: A business consulting franchise gives you the opportunity to help others deal with the difficulties and challenges of running a business. When you are in the position of helping others, you will be surprised at how that can come back to help you down the road. Do a good job, give good consultation, and it could be that your next client will come from your previous. Referrals are a large part of getting ahead with your business consulting franchise, and should not be overlooked in favor of traditional advertising. If you can tell a client is pleased with your assistance, ask them if they know of anyone else who can benefit from your services.

Work your own hours: With a business consulting franchise, you will often get to work and schedule your day on your time. Now to clarify, working your own hours does not give you a license to be lazy. No, if you work for yourself and you are successful at it, you will find that the hours you work are comparable to if not more than a regular full-time job. The advantage: you work on your timetable not another person's, and you work when it's necessary. No more "busy-work."

Achieve financial independence: There are few feelings more rewarding than achieving financial independence by your own means. It's your way of validating your effectiveness as a business person and a human being. A business consulting franchise can be a very lucrative endeavor when the referrals start coming and you get your name out into the community--whether online or brick-and-mortar.

Strengthen your own business by strengthening others: When you help to strengthen other businesses with your business consulting franchise, you find yourself in positions to see what works and what doesn't in other businesses, so you can implement strengths and take out weaknesses on your own. It truly is a win-win situation because you're providing a viable service that businesses need and beefing up your own bottom line in the process.

A business consulting franchise may be the answer you're looking for if you've always wanted to put your business skills to use in a positive way. Take that first step today, and see how working for others is a great way of working for yourself!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Why Small Business Owners Need to Hire a Business Consultant

Most small business owners would benefit by electing to hire a business consultant, particularly if they are just starting up or if their business is not doing as well they hoped it would. Consultants can help you in many ways, offering the breadth of their experience in business start-ups and management to enable you to get off to the best possible start or to rescue a failing business that nevertheless has good potential.

Business Consultant Services

When you hire a business consultant you are hiring experience and expertise in a wide range of business elements. They can bring a new perspective to your business in terms of operation analysis, obtaining finance, strategic planning, management consulting and a great deal more.

Very few small owners have much business knowledge or acumen, and even fewer contacts in the business world that can help them with good advice. Business consultancy services can offer you these missing ingredients that can not only turn a failing company round into a successful enterprise, but can also build on the success of a successful firm and enable it to even further dominate its market.

So your small business need not be failing for you to make the best use of a business consultant - successful businesses also employ them to accelerate what may already be a rapid growth rate.

Why Hire a Business Consultant?

  • Have you just started up and are unsure where to go next?
  • Is your business losing money?
  • Do you understand your market but lack some necessary business skills?
  • Is your business growing but you want it to grow faster?
  • Have you reached a point where you need professional help to advance?
  • Have you a need find out more about your customers' needs?

If you can identify with any of these situations then a business consultant can help you. Here are some of the benefits hiring a business consultant can offer:

  • Starting up a new business from scratch
  • Maximizing the profitability of your business
  • Locating areas of your business needing specific attention
  • Identifying potential problems and being proactive in resolving them
  • Helping you to formulate strategic and systematic plans to enable your business to grow
  • Making best use of marketing and the USPs of your products or services
  • Helping you find finance to develop your business
  • Providing you with new ideas and strategies you had never thought of yourself
  • A business consultant provides the knowledge and know-how currently missing in your business

Although you may believe hiring a business consultant to be expensive, they are more affordable than you might believe. They are very cost effective and what you spend in fees you can make many times over in improvement in efficiency and profitability.

There are no doubts that hiring a business consultant can benefit your business, but to make the best use of such as service you should:

a) Hire the best you can afford - with good references and an excellent track record, and

b) Learn from them: how do they operate, what techniques are they using and what third party services, websites or software do they use.

Hiring is fine, but make sure that you learn from them as much as possible. While the major reason why business owners need to hire a business consultant is that they genuinely need help, it doesn't make sense to pay money and fail to learn how to copy their techniques and understand the third party services that they may use.

The Gung Ho Approach: Try it and See What Happens!

Many entrepreneurs use a gung-ho trial-by-fire approach to improving their business - see what happens and if it works, then great, but if not, then start again. Why? Why try to reinvent the wheel and prove what is already known? By employing the services of a business consultant you can get off to a flying start, have any problems you encountered resolved immediately and get on to making more money as quickly as possible.

What you lose in 'learning for yourself' would be better spent on outsourcing your business knowledge and would offer a better return than the cost of learning. So, if you feel that you need a bit more knowledge than you already have, don't wait until you have learned by trial and error, but pay for it and get on with building a successful and profitable business.


Hiring a business consultant can offer a business many benefits - whether that is a new start-up, a failing business or a successful concern. Every business can improve, and if you believe the financial benefit exceeds the outlay, then it's a no-brainer.

So take that burden off your shoulders and pass it on to somebody with the breadth of experience and proven ability to make the changes and improvements that you need to let you sleep easily at night without worry for yourself and your employees. That's why small business owners need to hire a business consultant. To teach them what they don't know!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Benefits of a Business Consulting Franchise

What is a Business Consulting Franchise?

Rather than go into business consultancy on your own, you can invest in a franchise with an established business consulting company that is offering a franchise to practise business consultancy, usually, but not always, in a specific geographical area. In return for the franchise fee, you should receive the backing of their brand name, training, ongoing support, business and analytical tools, marketing resources, and maybe in house expertise to call upon when needed.

The company offering the franchise is called the FRANCHISOR while the person investing in the business consulting franchise is called the FRANCHISEE.

Better Chances of Success and Generating Income Earlier

Getting started in any business of your own can be a huge step. Fear of failure stops many people going ahead with their dream. If you have issues going it alone, then consider investing in a franchise. It vastly increases your chances of success, and tends to generate income much earlier.

If you want to become a business consultant, it can be very difficult acting alone because you cannot have all the expertise required to meet the many challenges of consulting with different kinds of businesses. Even if you specialize in a specific industry or field, there will be many occasions where you just don't know how best to help a client business. A business consulting franchise, by its very nature, can offer a powerful support structure.

All the Support and Resources You Need

For example, a good business consulting franchisor will provide you with training both when you first get started, and on an ongoing basis. They will also be able to offer you advice and help with many specific business growth and marketing strategies that your client businesses may require, whatever line of business they are in.

You should also have the benefit of a selection of marketing materials and reference materials to use on an ongoing basis.

In general, franchisees are better supported, better motivated, better skilled, and better financed, to win new business than new business start-ups on their own. So if you are starting your own business consultancy, and going it alone, you could face an uphill battle.

Being a business consultant on your own can be a very lonely existence. On the other hand, when you are part of a large supportive organization, particularly in these days of online membership forums, you will always have colleagues willing and ready to help you, not just with expertise and possible solutions, but with encouragement and mutual support.

The Backing of a Brand Name - Possibly Well Known

You also have the powerful benefit of a strong brand once the business consultancy company has established itself in the market, and by buying into that brand through your franchise, you have all that credibility and trust behind you. It will be easier to acquire new client businesses to consult with, when you have a strong company brand behind you.

A Proven System

The whole point of investing in a franchise is that you will have access to a proven system that has already been well tested.

You Are Your Own Boss

You will, of course, be your own boss, and you can work when and how you want, and be very flexible. There is nothing like being self-employed and being in control of your own working hours. However, many business owners are just slaves to their businesses, having to be there all the time. As a business consultant, you can probably work from home, or a small office, so overheads and business expenditure can be kept to a minimum, leaving you with a higher income. Also, you have no staffing problems!

Substantial Incomes Can be Earned

As a successful business consultant, you can become financially free, meaning you no longer have any money worries. If you are helping businesses to expand and grow their profits, then there are substantial earnings to be made, especially if your agreement with your client businesses includes them paying you a percentage of the extra profits you helped generate.

Very Worthwhile and Respectable Profession

As a successful business consultant, you will experience the satisfaction of doing something worthwhile with your life, knowing that by helping businesses to grow their profits, you are helping all the people associated with that businesses: owners, management, staff, manufacturers, suppliers, joint venture partners, and all their families. You are helping make the world a better place and that's a very worthwhile cause to attach yourself to.

Helping others realize their personal and business goals by showing them how to successfully deal with the difficulties and challenges of managing a business, also brings more back to you in the future. The more value you give to others, the more you receive in return, and not just the financial rewards from the business you have given value to. You will receive much more in return from other sources. Whenever you work successfully with a client business you can use their own testimonial to help you acquire new businesses to consult with, or the satisfied business itself is happy to recommend your services to other non-competing businesses. So by giving real value through your consultancy services, you should never be short of new business challenges to find solutions for!

If you have a family, then you will be proud to be providing for them the lifestyle you all deserve, and doing so while pursuing a very professional and highly respected business consultancy.

Great Way to Acquire Expertise, Experience and Authority Status

As you gain more and more experience of dealing successfully with different business consulting challenges, you are acquiring valuable expertise, knowledge, and confidence. All this raises you to a much higher level of business consulting competence. In so doing, you will also become a respected business consultant in the field, and possibly acquire expert status, with the backing of the franchisor's brand, so on a professional level, you feel on top of the world.

So, a business consulting franchise may be the perfect way to go, if you would like to put your business skills to use in a positive way, especially if you want a change from running your own business or working in someone else's business, and not getting the rewards you feel you deserve.