Hiring a consultant for your small business may sound like a great idea, but can they actually help your company grow? Are the results worth your business’ time, money and resources? At the Michigan Small Business Development Center (Michigan SBDC), we understand that consulting can be a long-term investment for your small business. Despite some of the common misconceptions that exist about consulting, there can be significant value in seeking out a small business consultant.

What is Small Business Consulting?

The goal of small business consulting is to provide expert advice and guidance that will help your company thrive. Small business consultants can address a wide range of needs, from company strategy and financial planning to internal operations and marketing efforts. If you’ve heard that business consulting is too expensive or only for start-ups, think again. Now may be the time to reconsider those biases and consider the facts of business consulting.

Myth: Small Business Consultants Just Reiterate What You Already Know

Every business owner understands the importance of strategy and efficiency for company growth. Why should you hire a business consultant if you already know what it takes to be successful? Many people believe that basic business growth knowledge is enough to eventually achieve results, and that business consultants provide the same perspective. However, a deep understanding of business management coupled with an objective point of view, however, makes for more original advice than you’d think.

Fact: Consultants Offer Unique Insights Customized to Your Business

Every company is different, and business consultants are trained to understand your unique needs in order to provide customized advice. Your business provides products or  services to a specific audience, so business consultants intentionally offer guidance and support in a way that is meaningful to your organization. While you may already know the value of project management, for example, a business consultant can take your understanding further by teaching you to implement tools in a way that will work for your employees and serve your business’ goals.

Myth: Business Consulting Services are Too Expensive

When you think about services like market research, business growth or strategic planning, you may be seeing nothing but dollar signs. Seeking out consulting help from third-party organizations can be a heavy lift for many businesses, especially when you’re just starting out. It’s easy to believe that every consultant is expensive, and while they sometimes are, that’s not always the case.

Fact: Small Business Consulting Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive

The price of services can vary drastically, so it’s important to investigate individual rates before deciding whether or not to engage a small business consultant. At the Michigan SBDC, our small business consulting services are available to you at no cost. We recognize the difficulties that come with starting or growing a business and seek to alleviate some of that stress with affordable support. Regardless of the price you’re paying for consulting services, however, it’s important to understand the results you’re investing in.

Myth: Consulting is Only Valuable for Small Business Start-Ups

Another common misconception about consulting is that it’s only truly valuable when you’re just starting your business. By year five, business owners have their strategy, operations, finances and goals all figured out, right? In reality, you’re almost always reevaluating aspects of your company’s operations – whether it’s identifying a new target market or shifting the way you’re marketing your services – and small business consultants can assist with this.

Fact: Consulting is Helpful at Every Stage of Your Small Business

While consulting is certainly valuable if you’re a start-up just beginning to set strategic goals and operational values, it can also be useful in every step of your journey. As a business owner, you constantly have a multitude of responsibilities and it can be difficult to ensure you’re covering every aspect of your company’s growth. Seeking out consulting once your business is more established can be a valuable way to reevaluate priorities and ensure you’re on the right track.

Connect With a Small Business Consultant

Now that you understand more about the facts of small business consulting, get ready to set your small business apart. Seek out expert no-cost consulting services from the Michigan SBDC by answering a few questions about your small business. We’ll start by connecting you with the perfect consultant for your unique needs. Whether you’re just getting your company off the ground or are seeking future growth, small business consulting can be the extra boost you need to ensure success.

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