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Signs your organisation should hire a consultant

Organisations may face operational and logistical challenges, especially against disruptive shifts such as supply chain constraints, economic turmoil and disruptive technology that can leave some organisations standing while competitors leap ahead.

Unchecked challenges can result in inertia where organisations remain stuck while agile competitors – often with a clear strategic direction – win market share and realise efficiencies.

Bringing in external expertise can be a smart way to unlock your organisation’s potential. Experienced consultants, unencumbered by internal politics and entrenched processes, can be the fleet-of-thought catalysts an organisation needs to move confidently forwards.

Consulting has many benefits, but the first step is recognising signs that your organisation should consider hiring a consultant.

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10 signs that you should hire a consultant

Organisations are constantly facing challenges, uncertainty and opportunity. Several signposts can indicate your organisation might need to consider hiring a consultant.

1. You’re making consistent profits

Consistent profits may seem a positive, but it can be a sign that you’re not investing enough in the right areas for future growth.

Investing profit back into your organisation can make strategic sense to ensure you’re in a position to scale, enter new markets or prevent new entrants from eroding your market share.

From developing new products, implementing pricing strategies or investing in technology, a management consultant can help you identify and invest in the right areas of your organisation.

2. Uncharted industry change

Shifting industry landscapes can wrongfoot even the most stable of organisations. From industry-defining legislation to disruptive technologies, broader change can quickly overwhelm organisations that haven’t mapped a path through disruption.

If your organisation doesn’t have the resource capacity to identify and assess the impact of industry change, then this can be a surefire sign that you need to hire a consultant.

A consultant can identify threats and opportunities, and develop a strategic approach to capitalising on opportunities while mitigating organisational risk.

3. Growth has stagnated

Growth can be hard. Organisations can expend considerable resources in maintaining existing revenues, customers and operations – leading to a challenge in moving from static performance to scaling your organisation.

Consultants can bring two skills to bear. Firstly, they can help an organisation take a step back from the everyday and identify strategic growth opportunities – from new markets to innovative processes that transform output.

Second, they can lead in implementing change that drives growth, from optimising existing revenue streams and deploying platforms, processes and activities designed to grow the footprint and revenue of your organisation.

4. Trendspotting is a struggle

Identifying trends and repositioning your organisation to take advantage of them can be left on the side of desks as employees focus on the day-to-day.

Consultants can help organisations shift through competing trends to identify those that impact them. By modelling how trends impact and shape an organisation, they can form a crucial part of strategic planning based on insights and data.

5. Change is proving difficult

Implementing change within and across an organisation can be difficult. You might have tried introducing strategies to improve your company’s processes and efficiency but have seen little success. When in-house plans lose momentum, they can result in stagnation and an entrenched workforce resistant to change that may be vital to long-term success.

Implementing change and bringing leaders, managers and employees along is a genuine skill. Hiring a consultant can be an effective catalyst for change, with skills and experience – from coaching to HR expertise – that can equip a workforce with the tools, resilience and flexibility for change.

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6. Struggling to deliver projects on time

If your organisation struggles to complete projects on time, it could be time to find a management consultant.

Failing to meet deadlines can put your organisation on the back foot through:

  • Increased costs
  • Stakeholder dissatisfaction
  • Loss of clients
  • Wasted time, resources and effort

Consultants – such as our marketplace of expert, experienced management consultants – are versed in efficient delivery, focused on project management that meet goals and with a clear set of outputs.

7. You’re coming unstuck with decision making

Indecision can lead to organisational paralysis. The challenge is your competitors, and new market entrants might not be standing still.

If your organisation struggles to make crucial decisions, this could signify when to hire a consultant. From the top team down, conflicting opinions can be healthy in mapping out a path, but a clash of views gums up the works that can be problematic.

A consultant can present an impartial viewpoint, not influenced by internal politics, to help forge a critical path and cut through decision-making inertia.

8. You need specialised expertise

Your organisation might need a particular skill set that is lacking from your internal team.

If your organisation is built with clearly defined functions and industry expertise, it can lack specialist skills and experience that can support growth. For example, traditional bricks-&-mortar stores moving into e-commerce sales may lack a specialist understanding of e-commerce platforms, payment gateways and digital marketing techniques.

Rather than employing full-time staff, it can be better to hire a consultant who can hit the ground running, imbue your organisation with valuable insights, and bring a been-there-done-that level of experience to bear on the problem.

9. Headcount resourcing

Hiring new employees can be inefficient and expensive, especially for one-off projects.

If you find your employees are often working on tasks outside of their skill set but not to the extent you can justify hiring FTEs for the role, then consulting might be a viable alternative. For example, you might want to develop a marketing strategy, but your organisation might not have or need a full-time marketing function.

By hiring a consultant, you can avoid internal employees wasting time completing tasks outside their expertise and potentially to a poor standard.

10. You want to understand where you are

A lack of clarity on how processes, from cyber security to customer satisfaction, are working and whether they are fit for purpose can be a pitfall for senior leadership teams.

Leaders often rely on their internal teams to provide unbiased updates and reports on performance and processes – typically in areas outside their expertise. For example, over a quarter of organisational leaders never get a cyber security update and lack adequate cyber security understanding to make effective decisions.

A consultant can offer an independent review of systems, processes, policies and people, providing leadership understanding of organisational gaps and risk areas to address.

Concerned about when to hire a business consultant?

Realise the benefits of consulting for your organisation and find an expert consultant for your strategic needs with our Portevo marketplace of independent consultants.