Small companies often have difficulties to choose the best providers of IT, marketing and design services. External consultants could help them in this task.
Given the need to reduce costs and the emergence of increasingly user-friendly solutions, many companies have dispensed with IT experts, designers, community managers, etc. As a consequence, job applicants with skills in these areas are best rated. Companies seek multiskilled workers: accountants who can install software, sales agents who can design a newsletter, administrative staff who can post a video on YouTube …
Thanks to this, today small businesses are no longer the ugly duckling of business and, with wit, they are able to compete with more powerful companies. But this also has limitations.
Sometimes companies have to make decisions that involve large investments, such as implementing a CRM, choosing an operative system, deciding between buying a new server or going to the cloud, finding a service of email marketing … Although multiskilled workers can manage these systems, they lack the technical expertise to decide which are most suitable.
Obviously, they can learn about the different suppliers, but they don’t know who are trustworthy or which solution is best. Such decisions cannot be based on partial knowledge.
Companies need external experts acting as a consultant and representative before the suppliers. To perform this task they should meet four requirements:
- They must be familiar with the characteristics of the company as if they were a member: who are the employees, what knowledge and skills they have, their resources, the corporate culture, how they are organized, what technical systems they use, the activities they perform…
- They must be skilled in new technologies, marketing and design: they know the market and all the providers, they have worked with the leading solutions and, therefore, they perfectly know their characteristics and performance.
- They are independent: they don’t work for any supplier and, therefore, their advice is based on objective facts.
- Their services have to be affordable for small companies.
Their tasks could go even further, helping companies to apply the chosen solution and being an intermediary for companies in their dealings with the suppliers, given that in many cases they ignore their rights (this would add legal advice).
Possibly these external consultants specialized on IT, marketing and design already exist, but the importance of their task will increase in the future.