⋆ Free Consulting Services for Small Businesses ⋆ American Business

As everyone who works in large business knows, it is customary to involve external consultants to advise on business processes and operations. Doing business entails many factors on which expert advice can help a business thrive. These include asset management, formulating business strategies, labor requirements, technology adoption, working capital, and business loan negotiation.

However, for small businesses looking to improve their operations, the cost of such consultants can be prohibitive. Fortunately, there are many service providers who provide free advice to small business owners as part of their marketing and business acquisition activities.

For example, finance companies such as Beyond Merchant Capital can help small businesses redefine their working capital requirements and help them find the best type of small business loan that suits their goals and needs.

Of course, these companies will recommend their own products in exchange for providing such advice, but that doesn’t stop businesses from shopping around to make sure they get the best deal.

Most service providers who provide free advisory services – whether they are financial companies, insurance brokers, equipment suppliers, or ancillary product providers such as accounting and payment processing services – do so knowing that not every customer contact will lead to ongoing business, but it is still a very cost effective means of marketing their services to small business owners.

The key to getting good advice when consulting services are offered free of charge is firstly to make sure there is no obligation to agree to get consulting services and, secondly, to make sure that the company offering these services has consultants who are experienced and skills in those business processes for which you seek advice.

Business audit and fine-tuning

Some service providers may even offer a full audit of small business processes if the owner believes it is underperforming. This will require a lot more work than is usually offered with free consulting services, but often service providers will be willing to move on to the next step if the business owner is willing to make a minimum commitment to the products or services of the service provider. consulting service.

These service providers find it worthwhile to do extra work when they “step in the door,” because if they can help a small business improve their business processes, that business could become a more profitable customer over time. for the service provider.

For a business owner, such consulting services can be very valuable, because business performance can often be improved in ways that the business owner may not see, but may be obvious to the outside. a consultant who has faced many similar situations in other companies.

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In the case of unsatisfactory businesses, a proper resource audit is usually the best way to start. Then, identifying bottlenecks in business processes and determining if there are redundant tasks or resources that can be weeded out is the next step. Once identified, many business owners may be surprised at the results they are more likely to overlook as they seem to be part of the routine in their day to day business operations.

Adaptation of new technologies

In this day and age, it would be foolish to refuse the help that new technologies can bring.

Cloud computing, cloud accounting and virtual meetings have changed the traditional business environment, and there are many advances in technology that can help organizations streamline their operations.

Many business processes can be managed using telephony applications – something that most business managers did not consider possible five years ago. Even applying for business loans can be made online online, with processing time taking as little as one or two days, rather than weeks or months, as was the case when business owners only used their local bank as a source of funding.

From telephony applications to cloud-based technology solutions, there are many processes that can be improved using new technologies to increase business efficiency and therefore profitability. Keeping track of what’s new and what’s working for a particular business can help third-party consultants.

In any business process assessment, there are problems that the staff of an unrelated company can more easily detect, and for some, the correct implementation of these processes can be the difference between making losses or making a profit.

So when the opportunity arises to use the free consultant or consultant services offered by service providers, use them when you can, because they can potentially offer good advice for little or no cost.

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