There are many considerations regarding your health that you should have checked at the first sign of trouble. But there are a few things that do not give warning signs. They just happen. By the time you know it’s happening, it is already too late. The same is true for business.
There are warning signs all around you. Lately, you’ve noticed that employees are starting to trickle in a few minutes late every morning. You also notice that while sales are up, profit margins are down. One is a problem you can fix by hiring a decent coffee service. Employees can come straight to work instead of stopping by that really busy Starbucks. The other is going to require a lot more work.
It is not just a sign of problems to come. It is a sign that you already have a serious problem. At that point, you need a fresh set of eyes to look at the problem, because all the eyes in your company missed it. Here are three signs that you need to hire a consultant:
When You Have a Zero-Day Problem
When the space between a vulnerability and an actual exploit is zero, that is considered a zero-day attack. You have no time to plan for it. Your first sign of trouble is trouble itself. That is when you will need to call in a consultant from a firm like Extreme Technologies Inc. They have subject matter experts in many fields, including business IT.
When there is a security breach, you don’t have time to go through your usual procedures. Every moment that goes by after a breach puts the personal information of more of your users into the hands of criminals. Job one is to stop the bleeding. Next, you have to assess the damage. Then reverse as much of it as you can. Once your clients are protected, you still have a long way to go before everything is back to some kind of new normal. That’s going to take more than one consultant.
When You Don’t Know Where the Money Is Going
Sales are up. But your company isn’t exactly on top of the world. The numbers don’t align. Things just don’t quite add up. You have to admit to yourself that you just don’t know where the money is going. There could be any number of explanations. One of them you have to seriously consider is embezzlement by someone well-placed within the company. Better hope it’s not the accountant. To get to the bottom of it, you are going to need an outside consultant.
If the problem is something as innocent as low sales, you need to know why sales are low. Is the product not liked or needed in the market? Or is there a problem with your sales process? Is it worth it to discount to compete with other brands? Or would you be better off making fewer sales upmarket. Even simple financial quandaries might be well-served by a fresh perspective.
When You Are Ready to Transition
No one is an expert on a thing they haven’t been doing for the last several years. The very nature of a transition is that you are about to move into a new phase. You are opening a new market where you have never done business. You are taking your business digital when all you know is brick and mortar. You are about to go public. Whatever the situation, it’s new to you. And you need help. You might need to consult with a market analyst, whose primary job is to:
…study information to help your employer or client make informed decisions about their market. This could range from what markets to launch a product in, to the price you might charge for something.
If a transition isn’t going well, if money is disappearing, or if you have a zero-day security problem, you need a consultant.