As a business owner, people expect you to know what you're doing at all times. As a human being, you know this isn't possible. There will come a time when you need to seek the guidance of someone better than you (for lack of a better phrase).
You could need legal advice for a disgruntled employee, marketing advice for a slow business, or operations advice to learn how to optimize your business. Regardless, you need an expert consultant. But what are the types of consulting firms you can hire?
Types of Consulting Firms
Consulting firms have been helping large and small businesses alike for dozens of years. As professionals spend more time in their industries, they become experts or authorities in their field. In doing so, they have learned to provide valuable services for those less capable.
If you're a business owner looking for some expert advice to streamline your company or an industry expert looking to start a consulting firm, we can help. Check out some of the most common types of consultants.
1. Financial Consultants
Did you know that seven out of 10 workers in the UK are on the verge of being broke? They're living paycheck to paycheck, just barely making ends meet each month.
As a business owner, you can't afford to fall into that pattern. A financial consultant can help you keep track of your money (revenue and expenses). They'll teach you how to document your finances so you aren't left wondering where all your money went.
They can also help you cut unnecessary costs, save, and invest in the right places.
2. IT Consultants
The field of information technology certainly isn't for everyone. It demands a steep learning curve that some business owners are simply too busy to attempt. However, there are IT consulting firms out there for just this reason.
These professionals can help you and your company with web development, support, troubleshooting and more. Some offer a SharePoint ticketing system that allows users to follow along and become educated with common issues and problem-solving steps remotely.
IT firms also help with cybersecurity to keep you and your clients' important data safe and secure.
3. Human Resources Consultants
HR firms are one of the most common types of consulting agencies. They provide valuable HR professionals who specialize in dealing with the people-side of business.
This includes everything from filling vital roles within the company, solving employee disputes, overseeing labor laws, and more. HR consultants help keep personnel issues off the desk of the business owner, allowing him or her to focus on bigger issues.
4. Leadership Consultants
Just because you own a business, it doesn't mean you're a born leader. Many people lack basic leadership skills, which can quickly lead to the downfall of their company.
Leadership consultants, sometimes called "coaches," are common specialists who help business owners grow to become more effective and successful leaders. They can improve their people skills, time management skills, goalsetting, and more.
5. Marketing Consultants
No business in today's world can survive without high-quality, effective marketing. However, this task falls outside of many business owners' comfort zones.
As one of the most popular types of consulting firms, marketing agencies improve a business's impact on its target audience. They assist with brand creation and recognition, advertising strategies, digital marketing techniques, SEO implementation, website design, and more.
6. Operations Consultants
The efficiency of a company often determines its success. For example, if you have six employees working when three would be plenty, you're losing money and teaching employees to be lazy.
Operations consultants can look into the day to day habits of your company to find waste or inefficiencies. They dig deep into your customer service, sales, distribution, costs, processes, and more to find ways to make your company more streamlined.
These types of business consultants can boost your numbers by optimizing your costs, improving products, etc.
7. Strategy Consultants
Strategy consultants and operation consultants are very similar types of consulting firms. However, strategy consultants focus on long-term plans, where operations consultants focus on immediate operations.
Strategy consultants can help give your company direction. They'll work with you to determine long-term goals and plan how to get there. These are common for brand new businesses or businesses that are starting to see a decline in sales.
8. Legal Consultants
Legal professionals are the most commonly used types of consulting firms because business owners are more vulnerable to legal issues. You're liable for every customer you serve, every employee you hire, and every product or service you offer.
When people do business with you, they tend to view you like a thing (a company), not a person. This makes them much less ambivalent about filing a lawsuit against you for any perceived injustices.
Hiring a legal consultant helps you avoid potential issues or solve current issues. They will make sure you're not violating any laws or codes based on how you treat your employees and do business. They'll also provide legal advice in the event you're being charged.
9. Social Media Consultants
Finally, as a business owner, you need to accept that you're living in a digital world. Nearly 67 percent of people living in the UK have a social media account. That means you have a reliable platform on which to market.
However, it takes a certain personality and skill to make a social media account popular. Not every business owner has the time or knows how to create a thriving Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube account.
In this case, social media consultants are incredibly valuable. They can work with you or completely take over your social media accounts. They know what to post when to post it, and how to encourage user engagement.
Want to Learn More About Business?
Whether you're looking to get into one of the major types of consulting firms or looking to hire one, it never hurts to learn more. Take a look at some of our other articles to learn more about business. We have countless business case studies from real businesses that provide incredible insight.