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As we consider restructuring our business to jumpstart a stagnant revenue stream, should we hire an outside consultant for a fresh opinion?

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Topic Expert
Sunil Thukral
Title: Controller/Technical Accounting Advisory..
Company: Consultant
(Controller/Technical Accounting Advisory/ SEC Reporting, Consultant) |

It will depend on the specific circumstances of your business to hire or not to hire an external consultant outright. In addition, you will need to ascertain if you have sufficient talent in-house to do an analysis of your business. You can also do something similar to Porter analysis to flush out issues. You might already be familiar with this analysis, three of Porter's five forces refer to competition from external sources, the remainder are internal threats.

Once you complete your analysis, you can ascertain why the business line you plan to restructure is stagnant - is it due to the economic downturn or due to other factors such as redundant technology. However, to do a detailed analysis you might need to take some specific help from your consultants. In my opinion, asking for only specific help from the consultants will help keep your costs low and get a better ultimate answer for you.

Another approach will be to hire consultants to provide a full opinion on the future of your business. In my past business experience, I haven't seen this approach not working very well - as there is very little involvement of the company personnel. I have seen companies hire external consultants - pay them big money to do a detailed review of their business operations and then not even steer the company in the direction as suggested by these consultants. The bottom line is substantial loss of resources, both monetary and non-monetary, that can actually be better utilized elsewhere.

It is always a good idea to get a second opinion from someone external to the business as it can certainly add value, but I will exercise some caution against hiring consultants outright.

All the best....and please free to contact me if I can help you in any way.

Topic Expert
Brenda Morris
Title: Board of Directors, Audit Committee Chai..
Company: Boot Barn
(Board of Directors, Audit Committee Chair, Boot Barn) |

I agree with Sunil! It depends on if you HAVE the resources and skills in house to evaluate your business. If you have this expertise - capitalize on it! Have you done any brainstorming sessions with the existing team? Maybe ideas are percolating that have not been explored or evaluated. It is worth the time to have strategic session with the right team members at the table to vet ideas and direction. If this falls flat, or even if it generates some great ideas, it may be worth a very specific project for a consultant to come and review the outcomes of the session as an objective point of view to develop the foundation to move forward on. Good luck!

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