Why do need to hire an external consultant?
Hiring an external consultant can be a smart decision for businesses looking to improve their operations, enhance their bottom line, or tackle new challenges. In this article, we’ll explore the advantages and limits of hiring an external consultant, and provide examples of how they can help your business. Why do need to hire an external consultant?
Consultants sometimes get bad press. Managers often mistakenly believe that hiring an outside consultant is an unnecessary expense and that the money should be put to better use. While it is true that some consultants do not always offer very good value for money, most will really make a remarkable difference to your business and save you money in the medium or long term. Here are the reasons to use an external consultant.
Reasons to hire an external consultant
There are several reasons to motivate business leaders to hire a consultant.
First, a consultant works with a group of clients, often from various sectors of activity and facing various problems. What’s more, companies often hire a consultant when they are going through a crisis or when they do not have the expertise necessary to carry out a project. The consultant is exposed to more complex and varied situations than a permanent employee, which contributes to increasing his wealth of knowledge, his creativity in solving various problems and his propensity to manage stress well.
Specialized expertise: in general, the director of a company uses the services of an outside consultant when he needs specialized expertise and does not have the skills required within his company. These cases concern, for example, new technologies or new management methods.
Then, the consultant is not part of the company and therefore has a necessarily different perspective from that of its leaders and remains impartial at all times. This allows him to be innovative in the way he interprets the results and in the way he proposes solutions.
Objectivity: other reasons can motivate a business leader. Indeed, he may wish to obtain an objective point of view on a complex situation that involves several people within the company. Even the most qualified person within a company runs the risk, in analyzing a problem and defining practical solutions, of being influenced by its personal implications, its habits and its ways of seeing things. Because he is independent of the company, the consultant can be impartial in situations where it is difficult for people inside the company to be.
Finally, we cannot exclude the fact that a consultant has a volatile financial security, linked to his ability or not to accumulate contracts. This often pushes him to offer the best of himself to his clients, in order to interest them in renewing their agreements with him. This also pushes him to improve and find a specialization where he will become an expert.
Credibility: an outside advisor may be asked to present a report in order to support a decision that has been made by a company director. A director can know exactly what he wants and what decision to make, but prefers to refer to a consultant to obtain the necessary support in the realization of his project. This may oppose, at that time, the integrity and objectivity of the consultant.
Work capacity: often, the client company lacks available executives to carry out a study or an internal project.
Conclusion on hiring an external consultant
If you are looking for an external consultant in financial modeling or in the development of management tools, do not hesitate to contact us.
The advantages of working with an external consultant
Here are some advantages when you hire an external consultant:
To meet a very specific need, you will propose a defined and framed mission. In return, the freelancer offers a service that perfectly meets the needs expressed by the company: it’s tailor-made! External consultants offer flexible solutions tailored to your specific needs. They can work on a project basis, for a defined period of time, or provide ongoing support as needed.
Whatever your field of activity, you can find specialized consultants. To remain competitive, freelancers train regularly and are actively monitoring their sector of activity. They acquire skills and experience that make them true experts. External consultants bring specialized expertise and experience to the table. They can provide insights and recommendations based on best practices, industry standards, and their own experience.
Not only is the freelancer to whom you are going to entrust a mission an expert in his field, but he is used to collaborating with different companies. In fact, he regularly adapts to new environments, quickly grasps the context and the issues, is autonomous… He also has every interest in managing his mission within the time initially planned. A professional who is available, immediately operational and efficient is generally all that a company needs!
External consultants can offer an objective perspective on your business operations, free from internal biases or politics.
By calling on an external consultant, you bring a fresh eye to the team. His experience, his skills and his vision will allow you to take a little height on a project, especially on the most sensitive subjects. Indeed, the freelancer is not yet involved in the life of the company and the issues will not be the same for him as for an employee. This can help to identify areas for improvement and opportunities for growth that may have gone unnoticed otherwise.
The use of an external service provider allows the company not to increase its payroll, and the costs related to hiring. This is a much less binding option: the company retains a certain flexibility and can act taking into account the economic context and its financial situation. The terms of the service will be established according to the needs of the company and the budget it can devote to it. This can be especially beneficial for small businesses or those with limited budgets.
The collaboration between a company and a freelancer is very simple to set up. Administrative procedures are reduced to a minimum and the recruitment process generally involves fewer people. Hiring a freelancer will therefore be much easier and faster than recruiting on a fixed-term or permanent contract.
Read also: Business Consultant Job Description
The limits of recruiting a freelancer consultant
The freelancer is free
The freelancer being free to choose his clients and his missions. It does not commit beyond the clauses set by the contract that binds you.
If a mission requires the processing of confidential data, it may seem more difficult to work with an external consultant rather than an employee. Nevertheless, you can clarify the details in the contract that binds you by including non-competition and confidentiality clauses.
When working with an independent consultant, be sure to sign a contract in good and due form, for example by making sure to specify that the two parties remain independent (without a link of authority or subordination) in order not to risk to see the contract reclassified as a permanent contract.
External consultants can be expensive, especially for complex projects that require a significant amount of time and expertise. This can be a limiting factor for businesses with limited budgets.
WELL INTEGRATING THE EXTERNAL CONSULTANT INTO YOURTEAMS
Have you found a service provider to entrust your mission to? You will now be able to focus your efforts on integrating this freelancer. A good welcome is the first step towards good collaboration. Successful onboarding is based on three axes.
We are talking here about the human aspect. A warm and sincere welcome will obviously be appreciated. Notify your teams of the arrival of a new service provider. If the mission is carried out in the company, plan a workstation before his arrival and a presentation time with the team. Feeling that you are expected and respected, although not part of internal resources, sets the tone.
The idea is to transmit as much information as possible to your freelancer in a short time, without drowning him under a lot of documentation! Unlike an employee, the service provider will not have the same integration time, but you must provide them with the basics so that they can quickly understand your company, its values and its mission. You expect him to be quickly operational. To get started, he therefore needs all the information that will allow him to assimilate the issues and the context surrounding the project.
The listening and the exchange between the external consultant and the company must be fluid. The freelancer should not be afraid to ask questions, to say what is right and what is wrong. It will be all the more effective. His expert feedback and your discussions should bring you a lot.
Recruiting an external consultant is a solution that has many advantages: the company benefits from flexibility, expertise and time savings, while keeping costs under control. It’s a win-win collaboration!
Examples of How an External Consultant Can Help Your Business:
Suppose you’re a manufacturing company looking to optimize your production processes. An external consultant can conduct a comprehensive analysis of your operations, identify areas for improvement, and recommend solutions to streamline your processes and reduce waste.
Suppose you’re a traditional business looking to embrace digital transformation. An external consultant can help you develop a digital strategy, identify areas of opportunity, and implement new technologies to enhance your operations.
Suppose you’re a growing company looking to develop the leadership skills of your management team. An external consultant can provide leadership development training and coaching to help your team maximize their potential.
Hiring an external consultant can offer many advantages for businesses, including specialized expertise, objectivity, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. However, there are also limits to consider, such as lack of familiarity, time constraints, and cost. The examples provided demonstrate how an external consultant can help businesses improve their operations, embrace digital transformation, and develop leadership skills. If you’re considering hiring an external consultant, it’s important to weigh the advantages and limits carefully, and choose a consultant that is the best fit for your specific needs.
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