Four Times Your Business Should Hire a Consultant

When it comes to keeping a business running smoothly, it can be hard to decide whether you should hire in-house help or outsource to a consultant. In some cases, hiring an in-house professional to help you as needed makes sense. For some things though, hiring an external consultant will be better for your business overall.

Here are four times your business should hire a consultant rather than bringing someone on staff permanently.

Compliance Consulting

For businesses looking to adhere to standards set out by governing bodies, whether they’re producing a pharmaceutical or looking at shipping their product across borders, they need to be completely sure that they are following the rules. Mistakes in compliance can be extremely costly, and prevent you from doing business in the future.

For the businesses that regularly check in with compliance issues, it does make sense to have someone on staff that’s knowledgeable of the rules and regulations. However, when it’s a new product or a market you haven’t shipped to before, it’s best to hire a consultant. According to EMMAInternational.com, working with a consultant can help you avoid any potential pitfalls by providing guidance while the product is still an idea being vetted by your organization.

Software Development and Training

While your IT department may have a lot of experience in software development, implementing new systems means that everyone needs to be trained, IT department included. Whether you’re changing your accounting system or implementing a new shared drive across the board, bringing outside help to assist with training goes a long way.

Think about it: while the IT professionals in your organization may know the products inside out and backward, teaching isn’t their bread and butter. Software trainers have both the technological components of the software down pat, and also know how to share that knowledge in a way that resonates with people. If the systems are changing drastically, they’ll also be able to teach your IT department how to help everyone in the future.

Mass Layoffs or Terminations

The hope is that no one ever has to worry about this service, but it’s an unfortunate reality when businesses are struggling, or a merger takes place. Rather than putting the burden solely on your HR department, it’s best to bring in an expert who has experience in this specific situation. They’ll be able to create a system to communicate the changes effectively, lessening the chances of word getting out in advance and causing a panic.

While many HR professionals have the training required to handle a few terminations, the organizational culture can turn sour rather quickly when mass layoffs are involved. In these scenarios, it’s important to have a consultant who can talk the executive team through the days ahead.

Auditing

The word “audit” is dreaded across the board in the business world, even if a company has done nothing unsavory. The auditing process is tedious and drains time and human resources from the daily operations, in addition to creating a mess of paperwork in the office. However, audits aren’t just government mandated occurrences; many companies instigate regular audits themselves.

Whether you’re being audited by a government agency or holding an audit to cover your bases with shareholders and ensure nothing untoward is flying under the radar, working with an audit consulting agency can make the process less arduous.

Bringing in an agency can also help uncover any hidden incidents of fraud within the company that internal accountants would be able to hide. Auditing consultants can also review your processes and systems to ensure they are set up to reduce the likelihood of fraud.

Looking for help outside the confines of your workplace is a smart move for the long-term success of your business. Know when to hire someone to work in-house and when to work with an external consultant to help your organization grow and flourish.

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