Why is it that running your own business - whether it's full-time or part-time or just your 'bit-on-the-side' - ends up taking over your whole life and constantly invading your personal space?
If that's the case for you babe, it's a massive kudos because it means you're passionate, committed, ambitious and all of those other wonderful attributes. BUT I'll bet that one of the key reasons you decided to hit the 'self-employed' or 'business owner' status is because you had the intention of giving yourself more freedom (be it financially or otherwise).
Whilst being the owner of a business reaps HUGE rewards, every one of us (myself included!) hits a few snags along the way. It's not our fault babe, we are but mere mortals and and sometimes we need to look for outside help.
I'm going to lay out here what a business coach or business consultant can do for you and your business to give you back that sense of clarity and control that we all crave.
What's the difference between a business consultant and a business coach?
Business consultants and strategists and business coaches or mentors - do you know the difference?
There IS a difference and it's worth knowing so that you don't waste time seeking out the wrong kind of support.
Sometimes the lines are a little blurred and some may overlap, but in a nutshell...
A coach will work on training YOU on the soft skills required to be the business leader you hope to become, such as management, confidence-building, organisation etc.
A consultant will focus on the actual business itself with specialised knowledge in one or more areas, such as industry performance, marketing, business development, sales, strategy etc.
I say the lines can blur because I believe that you could have the tightest business model in the world but little confidence to execute it, and vise versa. I've found myself to be a happy mix of both; coach and consultant. I have 15+ years of experience in strategy and sales but also 4+ years of becoming a successful business owner in my own right, learning the behaviours it takes to be successful. For me to best serve my clients, I have to take in the whole picture and provide bespoke solutions to the challenges my clients present me with.
Why Might You Need The Services Of Business Consultant?
Forbes were right when they said "Not all consultants are created equal. A business generalist will not have the depth of a domain expert, as an example. "
There are many reasons why you might seek the expertise of a business consultant, but to give you an idea...
Audit on business performance
Revenue and sales streams
Operations e.g. systems, processes and protocol
Mergers and acquisitions
Strategy and planning
Specific niches - like a social media or SEO consultancy service
5 Reasons Why It's Great To Hire A Business Consultant
1. New perspective and focus
There are ebbs and flows in every business/project lifecycle and creativity can sometimes get a little stale, particularly if you work on your own.
A consultant can bring back that buoyancy of energy and enthusiasm by providing a fresh pair of eyes and be a sounding board to bounce ideas around with. With a consultant comes renewal of focus, direction, commitment and confidence.
2. Expertise and knowledge to bring about change
The core key reason you've likely hired a consultant is to fill a knowledge or skills-gap.
With training and experience in a particular field, we understand deeply the industry best practices, the possible risks and countermeasures and we've seen different tried and tested methods.
And all this knowledge and new skills are there to be shared with you!
3. Business connections
Oh you'd better believe we're super well-connected 😉 and have a vast network of business buddies and resources that we can tap into that you'd otherwise not have the access to. A good consultant will not hesitate to put you in touch with other professionals who will aid in progressing your business further.
Those who've been reading my blogs for a while will know that I value collaboration very highly and I'm always eager to get my clients together and working in synergy.
4. Unbiased business insights
Whilst we unquestionably have our clients' best interests at heart (note - if you DO question this you've hired the wrong consultant), we don't have the emotional attachment to the business that the owner does.
It's easier for us to make a fair assessment without the rose-tinted glasses and knuckle down to the route of problem (or 'challenge' as I prefer).
5. Increase turnover
Increasing turnover is never normally a straight line. You have to take and action our advice and assuming there are no obscurities (Covid-19, I'm looking at you), the result should positively impact your bottom line.
Simple put, we identify the issue, put in place a solution which in turn will hopefully increase your productivity, be cost-effective in the long run and get things running efficiently - all of which lend themselves to a successful business.
How to choose the right business consultant for you
Ask for recommendations
A great place to start looking is within your own network, among those who you know and trust.
I'd say about 70% of my work is referred to me via word of mouth or through the various networking, memberships and communities I'm part of.
Find someone who aligns with your business values
Whoever you choose to work with, you'll be working with them very closely so you MUST be on the same page. They must understand the 'why' of your business and what success looks like to you. Take a look at their own messaging and other clients they've worked with.
Get specific about the specifics
Be specific about the expertise you need and what you are looking to achieve. Be honest about where your business is currently and, in turn, expect full transparency from your consultant.
Consider the cost and time
Good help won't always come cheap so it's up to you to weigh up the pro's and con's.
With a consultant, you'll pay for the work we've done and/or on a time-basis. Compare this with the cost of hiring more staff. We don't come with overheads such as annual leave or sick pay. Plus, we focus our time solely on the project you've brought us in to work on and don't get distracted with the other inferences that might affect an employee.
Have an idea in your head how long you expect to work with us for. This may change as the project gets underway but it's a good base to start from.
Chelsea Cox Ltd - MY story
After many, many years, I had started feeling as though my corporate job was sucking the life from me. I realised I had the potential to go it alone and knew this was the best place from which I could serve the clients I wanted to work with AND lead the life I wanted for myself and my daughter.
Driven by my passion for female empowerment, I have worked with so many wonderful brands, entrepreneurs, women in business and freelancers.
Here are some quick links to what I do: