Can Your Business Benefit From Bringing in a Consultant?

Wed, Aug 15, 2012


In a word: yes. There are a wide variety of consultants on the market that can offer businesses all kinds of benefits that they can get from neither full- and part-time permanent hires nor from temps. That said, a responsible business owner/manager needs to think carefully about the pros and cons of taking on a consultant, including what they stand to gain as well as the potential drawbacks of choosing a contractor over a full-fledged staffer. So if you’re thinking about bringing in a consultant to help you address a specific issue facing your company, here are just a few things you’ll want to weigh before you sign the contract.

The first thing you need to know is that the financial and legal aspects of hiring a consultant are very different from those involved with hiring a permanent or even temporary employee. In most cases you will pay more for a consultant than another type of hire, but the flipside is that you will have a finite contract that spells out exactly what you’re paying for, you won’t be on the hook for extras like health benefits (or taxes – contractors are solely responsible for these payouts on their earnings), and you’ll enjoy limited liability (depending on whether your contractor is working on-site). In addition, the payment a consultant receives is a different type of expense than a regular employee, so the choice could be beneficial in terms of bookkeeping.

That said, there are a number of other considerations, first and foremost being the type of services you’re seeking. Consultants can do any number of jobs within your organization that might otherwise be filled by a regular employee. But their main draw lies in the fact that they often specialize in something that the average worker has only a passing knowledge of (like audits or waste assessment, for example) and you can hire them on for a project of limited duration without having to worry about keeping them employed after the fact. Most consultants offer you the services of an expert when you simply don’t have a worker in your employ that can handle a specific project or task. Although you will have to pay a little more initially, a consultant can alleviate the burdens of opening a new staff position, likely saving you money in the long run while ensuring that the job is done right.

So can your business benefit from hiring a consultant? Absolutely. But you need to first determine what it is you want, whether or not it’s something that one of your permanent employees can manage, if it would be worthwhile to hire on someone that can handle the task (if, for example, the issue is recurring), and how much you can afford to spend. Before you hire a consulting money manager like Michael Parnes, for example, you must consider whether your particular problem is one that needs an immediate solution or if you’ll need a long-term position to manage it. The overall benefits of hiring a consultant will depend on your circumstances, but in many cases this type of worker can be preferable to adding to your company’s headcount.

| More

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.