New entrepreneurs often need assistance during their initial launch or when growing their business. Several local and national resources such as learning materials and networking groups are useful tools for business owners during these uncertain times. Recruiting the help of a subject matter expert is also an effective way to optimize business operations.

Efficiency and Productivity

Efficiency experts are a specific type of consultant that offer businesses a way to maximize production efforts. In this specialized role, an experienced consultant will conduct tours of an office or facility to determine if operations are running at peak performance. They will make suggestions based on industry standards and best practices to increase efficiency in daily activities. This phase may require making upgrades to existing equipment or minor investments in new products. Recommendations made by a consultant are usually categorized into several different areas according to the business model, but generally include an analysis of human capital.

Recruiting and Team Building

Most consultants who are retained to help businesses optimize operations choose to spend some time with employees at many levels of the organization. These cursory investigation of the human resources provides significant information about business operations. In much the same way that outdated or inoperable machinery hobbles production, dissatisfied employees can cripple an organization. A company vision and mission statement should be clearly communicated with all qualified candidates and new employees during the on-boarding phase. Problems arise when not all employees understand the overall goal. Team building exercises may be an effective way to encourage open dialogue and help employees begin working toward the common good of the company. During this phase of investigation, consultants may recommend making changes to the employee lineup.

Sales and Marketing

The goal of any effective consultant is to ultimately increase profits for a new or struggling business. Utilizing practices such as the investigation of associate behavior and general business operations helps the consultant determine what could be done better. They will then create a comprehensive plan to help business owners or the executive team understand how to create strategies that will successfully boost sales. Consultants who specialize in sales and marketing or franchise operations will be most helpful in developing enhanced marketing plans designed to meet both short term and long term sales goals.