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A Guide to Hiring a Business Consultant for Your SME

In the rapidly evolving business landscape, SMEs must remain agile and innovative to achieve success. Engaging a business consultant can provide invaluable expertise and guidance to navigate the complex landscape.

In this article, we explore the reasons why and how SMEs should hire a business consultant.


Why hire a business consultant?


1. Specialised expertise

Business consultants bring a wealth of specialised knowledge in areas such as strategy, operations, finance, marketing, and technology, offering new perspectives and insights that can unveil hidden opportunities and solutions.


2. Objective assessment

External consultants can objectively assess a company's strengths and weaknesses, conducting thorough analyses to pinpoint improvement areas and develop customised strategies.


3. Strategic guidance

Business consultants do not offer a one-size-fits-all solution; they help organisations develop and execute strategic initiatives aligned with their specific goals and vision. Whether formulating a growth strategy, entering new markets, or optimising business processes, consultants provide tailored strategies and actionable insights to drive long-term success.


4. Facilitation of change

Implementing organisational changes can be challenging as it requires effective change management strategies and stakeholder buy-in. Business consultants support organisations through change initiatives, helping to communicate the rationale for change, overcome reluctance and resistance, and ensure successful implementation.


5. Access to networks and resources

With extensive connections and access to vital resources, consultants can introduce SMEs to potential partners, suppliers, or investors, or providing access to industry benchmarks and best practices.


6. Cost efficiency

It is often more cost-effective to hire business consultants instead of full-time employees, especially for project-based or specialised needs. In Singapore’s competitive business environment, the strategic use of business consultant can provide SMEs with sustained growth and adaptation to market changes.

This is especially critical considering that rising costs is a key challenge for SMEs in Singapore today.


How to hire a business consultant?


1. Define objectives

SMEs should start by clearly defining their organisation's objectives, challenges, and expectations for hiring a business consultant. SMEs must determine the specific areas where assistance is needed and outline the desired outcomes of a consulting engagement.


2. Research and qualify candidates

Thorough research is necessary to identify potential business consultants with relevant experience and expertise. Recommendations should be sought, credentials reviewed, and references checked to ensure the consultant has successfully navigated similar challenges.


3. Set clear expectations and scope

Businesses must communicate their expectations, goals, desired outcomes, and the consulting project’s scope clearly. Defining the scope of work, deliverables, timeline, and budget upfront aligns expectations and avoid misunderstandings later.


4. Establish key performance indicators (KPIs)

Businesses should establish measurable KPIs and success criteria to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of the consulting engagement. These metrics should be directly related to the business goals.


5. Collaborate and communicate effectively

Foster open communication and collaboration between internal stakeholders and the consulting team. Involving internal stakeholders in the process encourages buy-in and helps ensure the consultant's recommendations are practical and actionable.


6. Evaluate and iterate

The consultant’ performance should be regularly assessed against the established KPIs. Feedbacks from the team and internal stakeholders is important to enable strategy adjustments for consultants to deliver the optimal value.



Engaging a business consultant can provide an organisation with the expertise, insights, and strategic guidance tailored to overcome challenges, and achieve business objectives. By carefully selecting a consultant, setting clear project parameters, an SME can maximise the consultancy benefits. This approach enables meaningful change, performance optimization, and sustainable growth in a competitive business environment.

If you’re seeking strategy consulting services, check us out at LiT Strategy. We are a business consultancy firm in Singapore offering consultancy services such as EDG grant consultant and PSG Job Redesign advisory services.