Mark E. Buckley

Why should I hire a consultant?

In order to manage your business, there are many actions that need to be taken. Ultimately you have two choices.

The first is to do it yourself. The second is to hire someone else. You should follow the first option if you know how to do it, you enjoy doing it, and it will save you money by doing it yourself.

You are often going to hire outside people. At times you will need to hire an attorney. You can avoid this by going to law school for four years and learning about law. The cost of this would be well over $100,000. Or, you could choose to fork over the $500. or so and realize that it is money well spent.

You could hire an accountant, or you could do all your bookkeeping and tax preparation yourself. If you enjoy bookkeeping and know what you're doing and can spend the time learing all the tax regulations, which is considerable, you could do your books yourself. If you feel this is not a good investment of your time, you should hire an accountant and/or bookkeeper to take care of these items for you.

Likewise, consultants are valuable because they have an expertise in a certain area that you can tap into. Instead of learning the ins and outs of sales and marketing, you could hire a marketing consultant. If you already have a background in marketing or sales, then you can avoid doing this. If you enjoy working with computers, you can do your own networking and programming. If computers drive you nuts then it may be money well spent to hire an IT consultant.

Some of the other benefits of hiring an outside consultant include:

Because they are an outsider, they can be more objective in their analysis of the business.

Because they are not involved in the business permanently, they can avoid the political issues that arise even in small businesses.

Because they are hired for specific projects, you can utilize them when you need them. This differs from employees, where you might retain them even when business has slowed down.

Finally, because they are independent contractors, you are not responsible for paying them benefits, sick time, vacation time, and various employment taxes.