One in Four Small Businesses Plan to Hire a Financial Consultant in 2021, According to New Survey Data
Tuesday, January 19th, 2021
With the lasting financial impacts of COVID-19, some small businesses will seek insight from financial experts to improve their bottom line. A new survey from Clutch, leading B2B ratings and reviews platform, found 24% of small businesses in the U.S. plan to hire a financial consultant or advisor in 2021.
Financial consultants and advisors provide outside guidance for small businesses making financial decisions regarding accounting, payroll, investment strategy, and more.
The survey of 500 small businesses also found that while 44% of small businesses have hired a consultant in the past, only 29% plan to hire one in 2021. This decline comes amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which forced small business closures and layoffs around the world.
Small businesses should include consulting services in their 2021 budgets to secure valuable external perspective and expertise across a range of business functions.
IT Consultants Are the Top Choice for Small Businesses in 2021
The shift to remote work environments means small businesses need secure networks and digital-first operations.
Almost one-third of small businesses (29%) plan to hire an IT consultant to meet the demands of a digital environment.
IT consultants can help small businesses by providing cybersecurity solutions, implementing new technologies, or helping migrate to new digital technologies or platforms.
Dan Bailey, president of WikiLawn, hired an IT consultant after a security breach left his business vulnerable.
"The consultants were able to address our backdoor security issues, recover data lost in the breach, and give us resources to help make sure we don't make the same mistakes twice," Bailey said. "For that, I'd say they were invaluable"
WikiLawn is among the 39% of small businesses that have previously hired an IT consultant.
Some Small Businesses Plan to Hire Marketing, Legal, and Strategy Consultants
Consultants are often a financially strategic alternative to hiring full-time staff.
One-quarter of small businesses (25%) plan to hire a marketing consultant; 23% plan to hire a legal consultant; and 17% plan to hire a strategy consultant in 2021.
Legal consultants in particular can help small businesses navigate the legality of in-person work, as Stephen Light, co-owner of Nolah Mattress, found.
"The company only wanted to ensure that our actions are not jeopardizing our people's rights while keeping the company operational," Light said. "Our consultant suggested using a hybrid type of operation. Employees that can do their jobs remotely can continue to do so, but employees whose physical presence is necessary need to return."
The legal consultant helped Light minimize the risk of viral transmission while keeping the business running.
Read the full report here: https://clutch.co/accounting/resources/hiring-a-consultant
For questions about the survey, comments on the findings, or an introduction to the sources featured in the report, contact Kelsey McKeon at firstname.lastname@example.org.