Business consulting services to consider in 2018

Are you using business consulting services? Most small business owners are good at the technical aspects of delivering their business products and services.  This is true of marketing professionals that can develop marketing materials, lawyers who are great in the courtroom or in creating contracts, doctors who love to heal people and so on.  Michael Gerber, the expert on small business and the author of the E-myth is fond of saying that most small business owners are technicians who got caught up in an entrepreneurial seizure and started a business.  But most small business owners are just plain bad at many of the mechanism of running their own business.

Today, we are going to take a look at things that small business owners try to do for themselves and often times end up wasting the time that they could be spending on business development or delivering the awesome products and services that they have created on items that someone else could do for them.

Save time and money – What is an hour of your time worth?

I ask you to consider how much an hour of your time is worth when it is spent on either developing your business or fulfilling the business purpose that you have. Let’s look at an example for a solopreuneur who makes custom designed widgets.

Selling your small business services

Track the amount of time that you spend on the sales process, be it speaking, networking, cold calling, delivering sales proposals and so on.  You might want to do this for each service or product you sell.  A one-thousand-dollar service might take you five hours to sell, a five-thousand-dollar item might take fifteen.  So, if you sell about the same amount of both, you need twenty hours to sell six thousand dollars’ worth of “stuff”.

If you need to sell $18,000 a month to meet your business needs, your sales time commitment is 60 hours per month.

Delivering your small business services

Now, what does it take to create these widgets? Let’s assume that it takes you the same amount of time – just to make it simple.  So, you have another 60 hours in the delivery of the widgets. I’m sure you did an exercise like this when you came up with your widget making idea.  You figured you could work a thirty-hour week, make 18,000 per month – and pocket the money.  But business life intervened.  It turns out you are spending another 120 hours a month on other stuff like paying bills, designing websites, posting social media, doing IT support, bookkeeping, filing taxes, researching legal issues and so on.  And you hate doing most of these.

Net-net to your small business

You thought you would be making about $150 an hour – you are really making $75 an hour.  And you are awful at a lot of the things that you are doing.  Your IT skills removing a virus from your computer has you taking four hours to do when you could hire someone for $85 and they take an hour – or less.

You find yourself in the position that you cannot grow your business because you do not have time to do one more thing, and you hate 50% of what you are doing.

How do you grow your business using business consulting services?

If you simply outsourced the 120 hours that you are spending on stuff you hate and starting spending that time doing stuff you love or are good at, hopefully selling and delivering, as long as you can hire people for less than 150 per hours, you will end up making more money.  What can you outsource?  There are two types of business consulting services that you should consider.  You are going to need both.

Business Consulting services to free up your time

The first thing you need to do is free up your time.  Get those 60 hours back – you will use some to grow your business to pay for the services.  Let’s say that you can hire people to do your 60 hours of work in 30 hours.  I know you are rolling your eyes, but they are better and faster.  And let’s say that it costs you the same $150 per hour, it might be less. You can spend half of the time that you were doing those hated tasks and pay for those services.

There are many things that you can outsource – here are a few to consider:

  • Bookkeeping, payroll, and taxes
  • Legal work
  • Marketing fulfillment of what you are doing already
  • IT support
  • Office cleaning
  • Delivery services and the like

In researching this blog entry, I found an excellent blog that gives you more information on how to do this outsourcing. Also, two weeks ago we looked at productivity tools to help you grow your business. There is not one way to become more productive – you can combine different ways of freeing up your time to do what you are great at.

Business consulting services to expand

Now, we can have some fun with the rest of your time and money.  For now, continue to work those 120 hours that you used to spend doing the stuff you hated and you are now are bringing in $36,000 per month.  You are spending $9,000 for the services you used to have to do and no longer do.  You have $9000 per month to spend growing or improving your business.

When you want to expand there are three things you probably need to add in:

  • Business Coaching
  • HR – hiring and staff recruitment
  • Marketing strategy development
  • Help in fulfilling or selling your services

You are probably wondering well where do I start?  And that is the dance that you probably need help to learn how to do.  A good business consultant or coach can help you to figure out how to start to invest in growing your business through staff extension,  Then you can deliver more and get more revenue.  This is followed by marketing and other services to grow your staff and your customer base.  But the key is just doing it.  Start out looking at what things you can pay someone else to do so you can sell and deliver more.

Where do you go to find business consulting services?

I have been using BNI for years now to find people that can help me with my small business.  In any BNI chapter, you are going to find two things. Centers of influence that can connect you to people that can provide the services that you are looking for.  Some will be in the group you visit and some will not be.

The second thing that you are going to find is a group of micro business owners that believe in helping others to grow their business.  They can offer you a fresh perspective and their own experience in their own success in growing their business.  In my years of experience with BNI as a member and director, I can tell you that people come for the referrals and they stay because of the support and encouragement of like-minded business professionals, why not check out a BNI meeting if you are looking for help in growing your small business.  You will find many of the services that you are looking for – as well as people with connections to the services that you need that are not in the group.  It costs nothing to visit and we will welcome you to our meeting – to find a chapter in your area to visit check this page out.

 Image Credit – Adobe Stock
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