You could say this post is a little one-sided…it’s written by a marketing consultant after all. But, I’m OK with that. I believe the rationale presented will be compelling enough for the right people.
Breaking it down there are two alternatives to hiring a marketing consultant:
Doing nothing and hiring an employee.
Organizations sometimes conclude that hiring a consultant is more expensive than hiring an employee. The problem with this rationale is that it doesn’t include a value comparison, and it often doesn’t consider the true cost of an employee (often 1.5 times the base salary, or more).
Although you may save money by working with a consultant, I believe that the most substantial value you’ll realize is the expertise and time savings that he or she brings to your organization.
So let’s dive in…
10 Benefits of Working With a Marketing Consultant
1. Specialized Expertise
This is a major reason why consultants are sought out and valued by their clients – an organization needs the special expertise that is scarce, or non-existent in their own company. Consultants often have 10+ years of experience in their industry and stay up to date on the latest trends.
To find someone with expertise comparable to a consultant, most companies would need to hire a senior level employee, at a senior level salary. Finding that person can be like trying to find a needle in a hay stack.
If we’re comparing hiring a consultant to hiring a junior level employee, there is no comparison. When you hire a reputable consultant you can be confident that he or she knows what to do and will get it done.
When you try to save money, by hiring an employee with little experience, it’s like paying someone to learn as they go, with your brand as the guinea pig.
3. Hire for Only the Hours You Need
Your organization may not need a full-time marketing manager.
If you go the traditional route you may become hard-pressed to find a qualified new hire willing to work less hours. Which means you may wind up hiring, and paying for, a full time, management level employee to do what is really only a part-time job.
A better option may be to hire a marketing consultant for 8 hours a week…or more, or less.
4. Consultants are Objective…and Smart
Let’s face it, with anything in life it sometimes takes someone from the outside looking in to see what’s wrong. Your employees may have a vested interest in “what you’re doing now”….because they do it. But, if it’s not working well, a consultant can be that valuable third party to look at things without attachment and tell you what needs to happen, and why.
Bringing in a consultant is a great way to breath new life into your marketing efforts and make sure you have a strategy that works, not just a process that happens because “that’s what we’ve always done”.
5. Save Money by Spending Your Budget Wisely
A marketing consultant’s expertise can also save you money. As a business owner or manager you are probably approached by sales people all the time. Whether it’s advertising, or a new software tool created to “make marketing easier”, your consultant is a trusted go-to person.
Based on understanding your business, a marketing consultant can tell you what to turn away and what to consider.
6. Consultants are 100% Productive From the Get-Go
According to this report, it takes a new employee about 6.2 months to reach 100% productivity.
Consultants are pretty much 100% productive from the get-go. We don’t need to ‘learn the job’, you’re hiring us because we already know the job, and can hit the ground running.
Consultants are self-starters and experts at jumping in and getting a job done without hand-holding. Yes, we need to learn about your company, but that’s the cost of entry to anyone being able to recommend the most strategic plan of action.
7. Avoid HR Headaches
A consultant is not an employee, and therefore you are completely free of all the HR headaches, and costs, that come into play when you hire someone.
This includes recruiting, turn-over, training and orientation, vacation coverage, payroll, sick time, stress leave, paper work, personal days, mat leave and continued education, just to name a few.
8. No Additional Overhead
Typically a consultant already has an office and all the equipment they need to get the job done (laptop, printer, stationary, computer programs, etc.). When hiring a new employee all of this, and more, must be provided by your company.
Ongoing training and staff development is another time and cost consideration of hiring an employee. In 2005 employees spent 32 hours per year on training; that’s almost a week of lost productivity in addition to the hard cost of that training. A consultant arranges their own training, on their own time and dollar.
9. Tax Deductions
Like the salaries you pay your employees, the investment you make in a consultant is a tax deductable expense for your business. The HST you pay on this expense is an Input Tax Credit that you get back in the form of savings when your accountant files your HST.
10. Efficiency for Short Term and Urgent Projects
Consultants are ideal when an organization has a one-off marketing project, on a tight timeline. It needs to be executed quickly and efficiently. There is no time for a lengthy hiring and orientation process.
The consultant knows when the contract will be over and your organization avoids the obligations that can come with hiring an employee.
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