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Starting a Consulting Firm? 10 Reasons Your Clients Need You

According to industry experts, here are the top 10 reasons organisations hire consultants today.

Entrepreneur

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It wasn’t until the 1950s that consultants began to emerge in the business world. Until then, consultants could be found mainly in the legal, finance and employment fields. Then in the early 1960s, the economy changed from production- to service-oriented, which proved to be the perfect incubator for a new comprehensive consulting industry.

Happily, by positioning themselves as experts in their particular fields, consultants found themselves in great demand by companies that needed help but couldn’t justify increasing their payroll to get it.

The top 10 reasons organisations hire consultants

According to industry experts, here are the top 10 reasons organisations hire consultants today:

1. To obtain specific expertise

Clients typically hire people who have the skills and expertise their own staff lacks, so it really pays to have a track record that speaks for itself.

2. To identify problems

Sometimes employees are too close to a problem inside an organisation to recognise it. That’s when a consultant rides in on his or her white horse to save the day.

3. To supplement a company’s internal staff

Sometimes business executives discover they can save thousands of dollars a week by hiring consultants when needed rather than hiring full-time employees. They also can save additional money because consultants don’t need benefits. So even though a consultant’s fees are generally higher than an employee’s salary, over the long haul, a consultant tends to be a less expensive option.

4. To act as a catalyst for change

No one likes change, especially corporate America. But when change is needed, a consultant generally can do things without worrying about the corporate culture, employee morale, or other issues that tend to elicit high emotions and distension in the ranks.

5. To be an objective onlooker

Besides seeing problems from a different perspective than internal staff does, a good consultant provides a fresh, objective viewpoint, then delivers results without being concerned about what workers in the organisation might think about the results and how they were achieved.

6. To teach

If you have special skills and knowledge, someone will pay you to pass on that knowledge. As a result, it’s very important for you to stay abreast of advances and developments in your chosen field so information can be passed on to clients knowledgeably and authoritatively.

7. To do a company’s “dirty work”

Let’s face it: No one wants to be the person who has to make staff or program cuts. An impartial outside consultant is the perfect person to handle such unpleasant tasks.

8. To bring new life to an organisation

Many consultants are retained as idea starters and innovative thinkers. If you’re a subject matter expert who can think on your feet, you can help a company retool or reinvent itself.

9. To assist with a business launch

Business development consultants are in high demand by entrepreneurs and visionaries who wish to leave the groundwork – and grunt work – to someone else. In this role, a consultant may also assist with the day-to-day operations of the new venture.

10. To share contacts

If you know the movers and shakers in business, or have big business or manufacturing contacts abroad, someone will probably want to tap into that knowledge.

Although you can consult in just about any field these days, business consulting firm Attard Communications says that the types of consulting businesses that are thriving today include:

  • Accounting. Businesses of all sizes – and especially small businesses – need everything from bookkeeping to tax preparation, making this a solid career choice for a new consultant.
  • Advertising. An advertising consultant may be needed to develop strategic ad campaigns, write copy and make ad buys.
  • Career. Widespread corporate downsizing has created a need for consultants who can help job seekers reinvent themselves, polish their resumes, and otherwise make themselves irresistible to employers.
  • Computer consulting. Consultants who are well versed in web page and blog development, software and hardware installation and troubleshooting, internet marketing, and other things cyber-based can build a viable business.
  • Education. From finding scholarship money and advising kids who are writing their college applications to assisting school districts with budgetary issues and other matters, an education consultant may find themselves in great demand these days.
  • Executive search. No matter whether the economy is in recession or booming, headhunters (aka executive search consultants) are always in demand.
  • Human resources. Corporations often need help with personnel issues like conflict resolution, violence in the workplace, sexual harassment awareness and other people matters–not to mention those downsizing issues mentioned earlier.
  • Insurance. Advising people about their insurance needs and finding the best policies at the best price remains a field with strong opportunities for new consultants.
  • Management. Fresh ideas on how to manage a business better are always in demand, especially when a company is facing challenging economic times.
  • Public relations. Companies thrive on press coverage that puts them in the best possible light, and the consultant who has the tools and contacts to get such coverage can be invaluable.

Other fields with strong possibilities for fledgling consultants include corporate communications, graphic design, editorial writing, marketing, motivational speaking, payroll management, strategic planning and tax advising.

Entrepreneur Magazine is South Africa's top read business publication with the highest readership per month according to AMPS. The title has won seven major publishing excellence awards since it's launch in 2006. Entrepreneur Magazine is the "how-to" handbook for growing companies. Find us on Google+ here.

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Types of Businesses to Start

10 Businesses You Can Start Part-Time

Find your perfect match for a successful part-time start-up.

Nadine Todd

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Start your part-time business today

Contents

  1. Public Relations
  2. Freelance Photography
  3. Corporate Videos
  4. Small Business Advertising Agency
  5. Writing, Editing and Proofreading Services
  6. Internet Marketing Consultant
  7. Web Design
  8. Tax Accountant
  9. Business Consultant
  10. Business Plan Consultant

Launching a company – even if it’s operated part-time – is all about drawing on your skills, talents and interests to create a viable business. What you know and what you’re good at form a good basis for a part-time business because these companies either become an extension of what you enjoy doing most or they are based on your strengths.

Working part-time while still maintaining a permanent job is time consuming and often exhausting, so choosing what you take pleasure in or are good at can keep you focused and motivated. The right fit is important when it comes to launching a part-time business. Selling a service rather than a product does not require large start-up costs, which means you can grow your business without financing until it becomes self-sustaining.

Are you looking for a business that you can launch in next to no time?

Read: 10 Business Ideas Ready To Launch!

Corporate Communications & Promotions

Corporate communications covers a host of areas, mainly because this is the sector that takes care of how companies look to the outside world – something that is very definitely a service, but also that is not often taken care of in-house.

If you can write, edit, have a knack for advertising, can take photographs or create promotional and corporate videos, you can offer your services part-time to companies both large and small that are in need of these services.

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10 Business Ideas Ready To Launch!

Where do you find a good business idea? Right here. Here you’ll find several innovative business ideas that are ripe for plucking.

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Where do you find a brilliant business idea?

It’s not as hard as it may seem at first. In fact, the idea is arguably not all that important. There’s a reason investors talk about backing the jockey and not the horse: It’s often not about the idea, but the execution.

A great entrepreneur can turn even a mediocre idea into a success; all that’s needed is a USP and great customer service.

That said, some ideas are undoubtedly better than others. And some businesses are easier to get off the ground. In the following pages you’ll find a curated list of business ideas that have reached a point where they’re just waiting to be exploited.

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The 10 Best New-Age Business Ideas You Haven’t Heard About Yet

Creating the company of your dreams often begins with learning more about something completely new to you.

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You don’t have to over-utilise iPads and smartphones to transform your business into a modern one. Connecting with newer generations is easy when you take advantage of the cool, in-demand ideas at your fingertips.

Here are 10 new-age business ideas to get you started.

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