Hiring a software consultant could help your small business grow, while reducing your daily costs at the same time. In other words, you would be making a good investment by hiring someone competent to help determine your company’s needs and help create programs to meet those needs.
The keyword is “help”. Good consultants help by making suggestions. You can expect to answer a lot of questions about your company. He or she will listen to your answers and make suggestions. You might find the questions annoying, but without understanding the day-to-day workings of your company, a software consultant cannot suggest the best solutions.
You might have ideas about what you need or you could be completely in the dark, just hoping there is a solution. You may know of a program used by a similar small business or have no clue as to what’s available.
Good consultants stay up-to-date on the latest innovations. They are aware of the systems that have been used by other companies for years, as well as the newer ones that are only being utilized by a few businesses. They know what’s working well and what’s not.
After good consultants ask questions, they listen to the answers. They listen to your ideas and come up with ideas of their own. The two of you will be working closely together. You should have a good rapport. You should not feel you are being bombarded by one question after another. It should seem like a friendly conversation.
You can expect the conversation to eventually turn to your budget. How much are you willing to invest in this aspect of running and growing your small business?
You might think that a software consultant should tell you how much to invest. While there is always a minimum investment, there is truly no maximum. He or she will want to be sure to work within your budget in order to ensure that the project can be completed.
There have been many instances (usually mega-million dollar projects, but not always) when failure to determine an accurate cost of completion caused delays. In a few cases, the projects were never completed as they were originally planned, because the costs were just too high.
In order to stay within your budget, it is sometimes necessary to break large projects down into smaller ones. That’s one of the many things a small business software consultant can help you figure out.