We live in a day and age where the internet and business go hand in hand more than ever. Business practices are now so intertwined with online tools, software, and platforms that it’s hard to imagine running a business without them. In this article, you will discover a better way to implement online business practices using technology and with the help of experts.
Technology and Business
Up to 74% of all small and medium-sized enterprises agree that technology is vital to business growth and development. Many of our business operations are now moving online— accounting, human resource and recruiting, sales, marketing, lead generation, and so on. But what if you’re the kind of business owner or executive that has little to zero knowledge of virtual strategies?
Despite understanding how technology helps business growth, let’s admit that we don’t always know how to implement these tools and tactics. The better route is to trust in someone who is experienced and can help us implement the same processes in our business. That’s where consultants come in.
Let’s look at the example of businesses planning to switch to a hybrid or fully-virtual work setup. It’s better to have a consultant to guide you through the process when implementing a virtual HR system, instead of you having to figure out how to use payroll software, time tracking services, onboarding software, and so on.
There’s a deep misconception about consultants that makes people think they’re just people who “tell you what to do and bill you excessively for it.” But, consultants bring a level of experience and know-how that eliminates the cost of trial and error.
Tips for Working Online with Business Experts
So how can a business best implement online systems and strategies for their businesses? Here are a few tips when getting consultants to help with your business.
1. Determine pain points in your business
All business owners have goals, whether it’s boosting a team’s performance, improving sales, or decreasing costs. What holds us back from these goals are pain points that we need to address, but don’t have the solutions to. In times like this, the help of an outsider should become a necessity.
One of the benefits of technology in business is being able to improve our efficiency, but we must first determine what issues hinder or prevent this progress. Take the time to deliberate amongst your leadership team or stakeholders on pain points you need to address. You don’t have to find solutions just yet. That can come later when you find the right consultant for your business.
2. Outsource expertise to consultants
After you have determined your pain points, the next step is to determine what kind of consultants to hire. Consultants are highly-experienced professionals who act as a knowledge resource and strategist to help you determine the best course of action. They think and guide you to what you need to do to implement online business tactics well. There are many kinds of consultants for businesses, but here are the most common ones you might need access to:
- Digital marketing consultant — A digital marketing expert will help you determine what key digital marketing tactics to deploy to reach your marketing goals.
- Operations or Business systems consultant — These consultants can provide technology tips for small businesses to operate their businesses more efficiently online. Some of the tools they can help you set up include enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, project management systems, and CRM tools. They can also help you with your business SOPs so that your business runs like clockwork online.
- Virtual HR consultant — Virtual teams are becoming more the norm in this highly-digitized society. 74% of professionals expect remote work to become the standard. There’s also a rise in the importance of technology in business communication for remote teams. Virtual human resource consultants help teams run virtual teams online and set up the tools and processes to lead and manage a team remotely.
- Finance consultant — This kind of consultant will help you set up finance systems online, such as invoicing, accounts receivables, accounting document management, and so on.
- And many others including creative, branding, logistics, cybersecurity, and legal consultants.
3. Set up tools and systems to solve the pain points
After you’ve found the right consultant, the next step is to ask your consultant what types of business tools and systems you need to solve your business pain points. Ask for recommendations on what processes you should set up on the human and resource side of business operations.
For example, you want to create a project management system for your business. Your consultant will know the best system that will fit your context best despite the many options available. Moreover, you’ll also need to know what training to give your teams so they can use this system best. It also helps to have frequent check-ins to evaluate and adjust systems as needed.
Technology and Expertise
The global consulting industry was valued at around $132 billion at the end of 2020. As the market grows, more companies will start trusting these experts more to help them traverse through the various practices and business technology tools that will help grow their businesses this 2022 and beyond.