A major percentage of successful businesses have considered hiring a marketing professional at one point or another. With that said, it can be tricky to determine when your business needs a marketing consultant at hand.
The most significant consideration when asking this question should be whether or not your business is willing to be challenged to change its approach.
Is your company ready to make the changes necessary to grow?
If the answer is yes, it might be the right time to hire a consultant.
Some small business owners take the path of doing everything in-house. They consider marketing experts to be expensive or risky to their operations – which can be true, depending on who they hire. However, hiring someone who has a wealth of expertise in marketing and advertising can be incredibly beneficial to businesses of all sizes, increased costs aside.
Assessing Your Business’s Needs
Knowing when to enlist the help of a consultant requires an intimate understanding of your business’s current operations and standing.
Are you generating leads but failing to close the deals?
Are you battling to attract the right customers or clients to your company?
If so, these are excellent indicators that you should consider hiring a marketing professional, even on an ad-hoc basis.
Many small business owners voice concerns about the expense and worry that their consultants could potentially be inefficient and simply prove to be a drain on their finances. When selected and used properly, however, a good consultant can bring their clients exceptional ROI boosts that fully warrant the up-front costs of their services.
Here are some indicators that it might be the right time to hire such a professional to revamp your marketing efforts:
#1: Business is Down
Business owners who are noticing a down-turn in their profit margins may be reluctant to add another member to their payrolls. The question to ask yourself, in this case, is: why is business down to begin with?
If you are battling to compete with your rivals or have lost important service workers or company assets, a marketing consultant will likely be unable to assist with your concerns.
However, if the business is down because of a dip in the economy, inappropriate pricing compared to your industry, or ineffective marketing strategies, they may be just what you need to get back on track – slow business cycle or not!
Expert consultants can adjust the way you are marketing your products and services and get your business the attention it needs to thrive again.
#2: Your Marketing Strategy Seems Incoherent
As the owner of your business, you may feel that nobody knows the company – or its marketing strategy – better than you do. Unfortunately, that knowledge can also prove to be a weakness in some cases!
Nearly every marketing strategy can be optimised in some way, and consultants have created and implemented plenty of successful marketing plans in their time. They also serve as objective third parties who can work on your strategies to strengthen and correct them where necessary.
#3: Office Dynamics are Hindering Progress
If your business already has a complex office dynamic, you may be concerned about bringing a consultant into the mix. Your team may have had to navigate plenty of clashing perspectives and strategic differences in the past.
Interestingly, this is a situation in which a marketing consultant can actually prove quite helpful. They supply an objective source of information, ideas and perspectives. They can listen to a team’s conflicting suggestions and notions before creating a consensus-based both on specific office dynamics and on the business’s best interests.
#4: You’re Pressed for Time
“I just don’t have the time to hire a marketing consultant,” many business owners might say. That is a clear sign that you might need the help of a professional! Business owners who feel consistently overwhelmed will be pleased to know that a good consultant can save them time, both immediately and in the long run.
Jobs that you complete from an amateur’s perspective can be completed by consultants in a fraction of the time. A skilled professional knows that you will only rehire them if you perceive value in their services, so they are highly incentivised to achieve as much as possible during a specified time frame.
If you are struggling to handle all of your company’s operations and stay on top of its marketing efforts, it’s time to consider enlisting the skills of a trained pro.
#5: You Need to Upgrade to Modern Marketing
The digital marketing world is complex, nuanced, and at times, overwhelming. You might have a solid understanding of basic sectors of the marketing industry, but be perplexed by others – say, in the case of social media marketing.
The right consultant can guide you in all areas of your marketing strategy and can assist you in upgrading your methods to more modern channels. They can also synergise your marketing strategy across all of the appropriate platforms to create a more coherent and polished corporate identity for your brand.
The Bottom Line
Knowing when to hire a marketing consultant is something that should be left up to each individual business owner’s discretion.
The truth is that not every business is a perfect fit for these consultants. You need to critically assess your own company, its inner workings and its needs before making the choice.
It’s recommended that you carry out a cost-benefit analysis to understand exactly what you stand to gain from hiring a marketing consultant and how much they will cost you. This is an important first step to deciding whether a professional marketing expert will bring about the improvements you want to see in your business operations.