The technical consultant can help the small business owner in many ways. The first thing he or she will do is help you identify your goals, assuming you are the owner.
Your goal might be to expand your current computer database by integrating new management, marketing or sales applications. Your current database might be non-existent or outdated.
Your goal could be to become more competitive by investing in the latest technology. You might need to reduce your costs or have other problem areas that are preventing you from growing your small business into something larger. You might need help with loss prevention or supply chain management.
By talking with you about how things are currently handled at your company, consultants identify areas for improvement. In that way, they help you identify your goals. When you have a specific goal in mind, it is much easier to make it a reality.
A non-specific goal is to increase sales or grow the business. Owners often come to consultants with a broad non-specific goal like that. The questions are ‘how’ you can make increased sales a reality or ‘where’ to find additional funding.
In the US, the federal government is a big spender. Landing a federal contract could guarantee your company\’s success.
A technical consultant could help you find the appropriate subcontractors or determine if they would be needed. They can help you find the contacts and the technical knowledge necessary to successfully bid on government contracts. By winning the contract, you achieve your goal of increased sales and profits for your small business.
The federal government is also a source for funding in the form of grants. The Small Business Administration\’s Office of Technology awards a number of grants every year for research and development through programs like the SBIR (small business innovation research) and STTR (small business technology transfer).
The grants are designed to help smaller, primarily high-tech companies come up with new innovations. A technical consultant could help you determine if your company has the necessary technology to qualify for the grants.
If your company currently lacks the necessary computer technology, he or she could help you improve in that area. Everything starts with having a conversation. That\’s what consulting is really all about. You have a certain amount of expertise, but you cannot possibly do everything on your own.
You might think of the technical consultant as your technology assistant. Investing in the latest technology could give your company the competitive edge you need.
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