As anyone who works in large companies knows, it is customary to involve outside consultants to advise on the company’s processes and operations. There are many factors involved in doing business that expert advice can help a business thrive. These include asset management, formulating business strategies, manpower requirements, technology adoption, working capital, and negotiating commercial loans.
However, for small businesses looking to improve their operations, the cost of these consultants can be prohibitive. Fortunately, there are many service providers who provide free advice to small business owners as part of their marketing and business acquisition endeavors.
For example, finance companies like Beyond Merchant Capital can help small businesses redefine their working capital needs and help them find the best type of small business loan that matches their goals and needs.
Of course, these companies will recommend their own products in exchange for this advice, but that doesn’t stop companies from shopping around for the best deal.
Most service providers that provide free consulting services – whether they are financial companies, insurance brokers, equipment suppliers, or providers of ancillary products such as accounting and account processing services. payments – do this with the knowledge that not all customer contact will lead to ongoing business, but it is still a very cost effective way to market their services to small business owners.
The key to getting good advice when counseling is offered free of charge is first to make sure there is no obligation to agree to get counseling and secondly , to ensure that the company offering these services has experienced and experienced consultants. skills in the business processes for which you seek advice.
Commercial audit and development
Some service providers may even offer a full small business process audit if the owner feels they are underperforming. This will require a lot more work than what is usually offered with free consulting services, but often service providers will be ready to take the next step if the business owner is willing to commit to the minimum. the products or services of the service provider. consultation service.
These service providers find it helpful to do extra work when they “walk in the door” because if they can help a small business improve their business processes, that business could become a more profitable customer over time. for the service provider.
For a business owner, these consulting services can be very valuable as the performance of the business can often be improved in a way that the business owner may not see, but may be obvious to the outside world. . a consultant who has faced many similar situations in other companies.
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In the case of unsatisfactory businesses, a proper resource audit is usually the best way to start. The next step is then to identify the bottlenecks in business processes and determine if there are any redundant tasks or resources that can be eliminated. Once identified, many business owners may be surprised at the results they are likely to overlook as they seem to be part of the routine in their daily business activities.
Adaptation of new technologies
Nowadays, it would be foolish to refuse the help that new technologies can provide.
Cloud computing, cloud accounting, and virtual meetings have changed the traditional business environment, and there are many technological advances that can help companies streamline their operations.
Many business processes can be managed using telephony applications, which most business leaders did not consider possible five years ago. Even business loan applications can be made online, with processing time taking only a day or two, rather than weeks or months, as was the case when business owners used only their local bank. as a source of funding.
From telephony applications to cloud-based technology solutions, many processes can be improved by using new technologies to improve business efficiency and therefore profitability. Keeping track of what’s new and what’s working for a specific business can help outside consultants.
In any business process assessment, there are issues that staff at the unrelated company can more easily spot, and for some, implementing these processes properly can mean the difference between making a loss or making a profit. .
So when the opportunity arises to use the free consultant or consultant services offered by the service providers, use them whenever you can, as they can potentially offer good advice at little or no cost. .