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Choosing Between an External Consultant and a New Employee
Making the right decision for your company’s needs

As an entrepreneur, you want the best for your company — but you only have so much time and attention to give. If you need advice on areas outside of your expertise, you may need to seek out consultation. However, it’s important to weigh the benefits of hiring a new internal consultant versus an external consultant. Here’s a look at a few factors to consider before you make a commitment.

Benefits of an external consultant

Sometimes, your company will run into the odd case of needing the service or advice of an expert in a specific field. Instead of seeking out and hiring a new employee, consider hiring an external consultant. Christiano Puglia, a consulting services expert, explains that external consultants are ideal for filling in knowledge gaps, saving you time and money versus trying to train your existing team to fulfill the task. On top of that, he suggests that bringing in someone fresh help can add fresh perspectives that your pre-existing team may not have considered. Furthermore, external consultants will help you maintain greater flexibility in your company’s capabilities and budget, Puglia explains.

Reasons to choose a new hire

If you have an ongoing need for a consultant’s expertise, a new hire may be what your company needs to stay competitive. Brennan Bennett, a contributor to BizFluent, suggests that some ventures such as manufacturing corporations, companies that work with confidential information, and businesses that have international clientele would all benefit from keeping an internal consultant on staff. That’s because an internal consultant can become familiar with your operations, while also finding ways to boost efficiency and help you stay on the cutting edge, Bennett explains. Additionally, if your new hire becomes a valuable contributor to your company, you may eventually promote the employee to a managerial position.

Considering the costs

Whether you choose to hire a new team member or an external consultant, cost is an important factor to keep in mind. A new employee will be on your payroll, and you’ll have to go through your normal internal hiring process — with all the associated time, costs, and paperwork. This can be worthwhile if you’ll need the new hire’s expertise on a regular basis. If you need to stay up-to-date on laws, regulations, or industry best practices, it may be worth the cost of hiring a dedicated team member. On the other hand, if you have a short-term need for the knowledge of a specialist, an external consultant can provide that help without becoming an ongoing expense or complicating your tax situation, explains Puglia.

A new hire can become a valued member of your crew, and an external consultant can provide flexibility while giving your next project the boost you need to stay at the forefront of your industry. Every small business has unique needs, so discuss your ideas and concerns with your business partners, managerial staff, or a financial advisor.


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