Small businesses are the foundation of modern India. It’s the hard work and relentless push towards perfection by small businesses and SMEs, driving India’s growth and progress today.
As of now, 35% of all exports from India come via small enterprises, and 30% of India’s gross industrial value is via MSMEs. Globally, 50% of all jobs being generated comes from small businesses, and in India, Govt has predicted that SMEs will generate 15 crore new jobs in the next few years. Since small businesses are so crucial for the growth of India’s economy, it becomes beneficial for small businesses and enterprises to hire business consultants and advisors, who have the specialty of managing and optimizing small businesses.
But the problem here is how to identify and hire the best small Business Development Consultant who can provide consultancy for handholding in identification of new geographies, new segments, new sectors and new product opportunities. Someone who has done business development in the past and can guide you step by step as a process to achieve success faster. ?
Providing business consultancy to large organizations flushed with funding and resources is way different from helping small businesses struggling with resources and revenues. Small Business Consultants come with a frugal mindset and understand your constraints of limited funds and scarce resources.
Here are the Seven Qualities which you should check in a Business Consultant for Small Business:
#1 Visionary Outlook & Long Term Goals
Most small businesses in India and globally miss a long-term vision of their business and clients/customers.
And this process proves costly in the longer run.
Small Business Consultants for Startups should have a visionary outlook, long-term goals related to your business, and their role in making your business great. Some business consultants will suggest unethical and quick-fire strategies for generating quick sales, but such short-term vision and planning are harmful to small businesses.
Find out if that business consultant you are going to hire wants only to increase your sales next week or develop a customer base, a community for long term benefits, whose results will yield for years to come?
#2 The Art Of Asking Questions
Asking questions is an art, and the small business consultant you will hire should be an expert in the art of asking questions: the right question at the right time. Often ‘experienced’ business consultants will assume things about small businesses, and share a common template for growth, which may not be applicable for your business.
By asking the right questions, your consultant can scoop out maximum details about your business and find out the secret recipe which your business needs.
You can find out the skills of asking questions in the first few rounds of interaction itself – Find out if that consultant is really keen to know about your business, your origin, the inherent idea behind the business, and how to maximize growth in the long term?
#3 Outstanding Communication Skills
Without any doubt, communication is one of the greatest, most critical qualities in a small business consultant. Unless your business advisor can communicate their ideas and plans in an easy, understandable way, there is no point in hiring them. Often, some of the tough-looking and self-acclaimed business consultants use jargon and heavy words to impress their clients, leaving them confused more than ever.
This ‘protocol’ can work in large organizations, where there is a hierarchy of managers and VPs, Presidents, CEOs, but certainly doesn’t work in the arena of small businesses, where time is crucial, and every penny counts.
Overall, you as the small business owner should be comfortable communicating with your Small Business Planning Consultant, and if you cannot, then move ahead.
#4 Coaching Mindset
Rather than a Startup Consultant, small businesses need a professional with a coaching mindset. The term ‘coach’ actually comes from the coach, which is attached to trains, wagons, and other transportation mediums. The usage is the same: A coach will take forward you, and help you embrace the uncertainties of life and business.
Why a coaching mindset?
Because a coach has a high level of emotional intelligence, they can better understand their clients, pushing them towards excellence and perfection and eliminating their fears and apprehensions. With coaching comes the qualities of patience, observation, empathy, and understanding, and these are exact qualities that a consultant for small businesses should have.
#5 Small Business Background
It always helps if the history and experience of your consultant are linked with small businesses. In such a case, they can better understand and appreciate the struggles and challenges you are facing and provide an appropriate, feasible solution for your business.
However, this factor is not mandatory, per se. In some cases, as we observed, a consultant with experience in working with MNCs and large corporations can also be an able small business consultant, provided they can get the vibes and energy of a small business.
#6 Shared Thinking & Common Ethos
Every small business is founded based on a dream, a vision that must be shared with the consultant trying to make it large and more efficient. Ethos or culture of the business should match with the consultancy’s work ethics and culture, and if they don’t match, then there will be clashes.
This whole angle of shared thinking, shared values and common ethos can be understood and discovered only when you start working the consultant. As you start the process, please keep an open mind, which brings us to the last factor.
#7 Empathy, Open Mind & Logical
Empathy is a very important factor while deciding the best small business consultant for your startup and business. While consulting, there can be some tough talks between you as the founder and the consultant, as new ideas are being shared and implemented, old rules are changed, and new protocols are adopted.
The consultant must have an open mind, and logical enough to understand that making new roads and new ideas for a small business takes time and effort. There should be a lot of understanding between the small business owners and the consultants to make it work.
And when it does work, then possibilities become endless.
Are you trying to select the Best Small Business Consultant? MSMEx provides a platform of Business Consultants and advisors who can help your business to reach the next stage.
Book an appointment right away at MSMEx