When the time comes to hire a consultant, it’s easy to believe you’ll need more than one. After all, a marketing consultant, a financial advisor, and a wellness consultant all bring different perspectives, right?

This approach can cost you more money than necessary.

The truth is great consultants offer a broad range of expertise from their experiences—even if they “specialise” in one area.

They draw from what they’ve done, not simply from what they’ve learned from others. This makes them multifaceted consultants and key players in your business’s success.

Defining a consultant

To keep it simple, a consultant is someone who gives advice based on experience to people working in a specific field.

A coach is someone who gives advice and action items to a single person, based on their individual needs and goals.

Lastly, a mentor is a combination of the two above, but the agreement is relationship-based and, for many, lifelong.

You may find that your consultant relationship transforms over time—even into a mentorship—but when first looking, I recommend seeking out a consultant for your business.

Independent consultants vs firms

The first thing to know about hiring a consultant is that the industry is dominated by large firms like McKinsey, Bain, and Boston Consulting Group.

This allows you some flexibility in knowing what you’ll get from them, as they follow a structure for each of their consultants.

(This also means if you don’t get along with your first consultant, you can replace them at no extra charge.)

However, the rigidity is not always freeing, as the process can begin to feel impersonal. And because you’re not paying the consultant directly, you inevitably end up paying more in operational fees.

Hiring independently will allow you and your consultant to create a structure that works for both of you, and the experience will inherently feel more personal.

If someone has the tenacity to build their own consulting business, they’re much more likely to be a seasoned expert in their field—the only downside to this is it puts the responsibility of finding the perfect fit on your shoulders.

In either situation, you must evaluate the relationship and personality types you work best with. Not only will this make the decision easier for you, but it’ll allow you to share more in the relationship.

The more open and honest you are, the more you’ll get back.

Types of Consulting

No matter how you decide to hire your consultant, the next decision—and the biggest one you’ll make—is what type(s) of consulting you’ll need.

Below are 8 types of consulting that the majority of business owners seek out.

Remember: most consultants have hybrid specialties, so if you think you need an IT consultant and a business growth consultant, it’s likely there are people out there who can do both.

Business Growth

A business growth consultant—also known as a business consultant—is what most people think of when they hear “consulting”.

This type of consulting is the most flexible and varied, yet can be the most impactful if you carefully choose your consultant.

More than 50% of consultants fall under this branch, because they combine many of the services including strategy, operations, and HR consulting types.

Projects a business growth consultant might help with include:

  • Building your business plan
  • Hiring your team
  • Strategic planning


A strategy consultant is often regarded as the highest level of consultancy.

They see the bigger picture of your business without looking too deeply into the smaller moving pieces to help you make decisions for the long-term.

Projects a strategy consultant might help you with include:

  • Product-market fit
  • Branding & PR
  • Understanding economic/governmental policy


An operations consultant is the perfect pair for a strategy consultant.

They look at all the pieces of your business to help you identify where there may be inefficiencies and blockages.

Typically, operations consultants have a long career as project managers, administrative directors, or are certified in Lean Six Sigma.

Projects an operations consultant might help you with include:

  • Process maps
  • Project management
  • Environmental/sustainability practices

Financial Consultant

While financial advisory is still a type of consulting, it’s a much more heavily regulated field.

Therefore, financial advisors tend to work within accounting or consulting firms.

Projects a financial consultant might help you with include:

  • Financial forecasting
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Fundraising

Human Resources

A human resources consultant can cover a wide range of needs at any stage in your business80even if you don’t yet have employees.

For those who don’t own businesses, they’re called career consultants.

For you, it might mean the difference between seeing yourself as a sole proprietorship and seeing yourself as a business owner.

Projects a human resources consultant might help you with include:

  • Talent management
  • Terms of employment
  • Business culture


Of all the types of consulting, IT consulting is the most project-based.

Unless you’re running a broadscale internet company that relies heavily on cybersecurity and server space, chances are you’ll need an IT consultant for a specific project.

Projects IT consultants might help you with include:

  • eCommerce
  • Data analytics
  • Software updates & implementation


A marketing consultant is one of the more specialised consultants—they can be either project or channel-specific in their role.

This type of consulting really comes down to understanding what you want out of the relationship, so that they can help you build a strategy that will last.

For example, you might think you need social media, when really your customers are mostly using email or vice versa.

Projects a marketing consultant might help you with include:

  • Marketing analysis & strategy
  • Social media management
  • Advertising


It may not sound fitting for your business, but a wellness consultant goes beyond being a personal trainer or nutritionist.

As your business grows, so does the importance of work health and safety.

Mental health is just as important as physical wellbeing, which is where a wellness consultant can bring your business a cut above the rest.

Projects a wellness consultant might help you with include:

  • Outlining mental health policies
  • Positive company culture
  • Holistic workplace wellness

How to choose when it’s time to hire

The best time to hire a consultant <Insert a link to your Contact Page here> is before you know you need one.

Consultants will be able to identify any potential red flags they see in your business and help you put up preventative measures to keep your business resilient. <Insert a link to your Ultimate Guide to Business Resilience here>

Ultimately, you don’t know what you don’t know, and there’s no substitute for experience when it comes to any type of consulting.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you determine if now’s the time to hire a consultant:

    • Am I very good at what I do, but my business is not growing?
    • What levers can I pull to make my business more profitable?
    • Am I spending too much time in my business rather than on my business?
    • Does my business have a strong foundation and structure?
    • Do I have trusted advisors invested in the success of my business?
    • Is this project something that I really should be doing?
    • Do I feel like I’m falling behind on my ideal customer’s radar?

Remember that many consultants can overlap—it’s up to you to know why you’re hiring a consultant and what you’ll need them for.

Once you know that, the rest comes easy.

If you’re ready to hire a consultant today that’s dedicated to the growth of your business, give me a call.

Together, we can identify where your business truly needs help, and if we’re not the right fit, I’d be happy to refer you to my trusted list of consultants and advisors.