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  • Writer's pictureJulie Edge

Power Up Your Business: Finding and Selecting the Right Fractional Consultant



Business Owner Insight to Action Ideas for Value

Have you noticed the word "fractional" attached to more and more consultants' titles these days?

Ever wondered how that's different from just hiring a consultant for a project?


Well, in the dynamic world of small business, the concept of fractional consulting is revolutionizing how small businesses access top-tier expertise without the full-time price tag. Unlike traditional consulting projects, think of fractional consultants as a way to add to your leadership team without the expense of adding another full-time executive. You may need the power of a CFO or COO to guide the strategy for your finances or operations, but not need one full-time for your size of business.


With fractional consulting you gain a seasoned professional on a part-time or limited basis to fill a strategic role within your company. The roles aren't limited to finance and operations, but extend to marketing, sales, human resources and strategy as well. It's a way to get their wealth of knowledge and experience to drive your business forward.


However, finding and selecting the right fractional consultant can be tough, so read on for some ideas on how to focus your search.


Why Go Fractional?


Small business owners often face the challenge of needing executive-level guidance, but lack the resources to hire full-time executives to build out their leadership team. This is where fractional consultants shine. They offer the same high-caliber strategic thinking and leadership as a full-time executive but are engaged for just a fraction of the time—and cost.


The Fractional Advantage


Here's some examples of the various roles that can be filled by a fractional executive:


  • Fractional CFO: A part-time Chief Financial Officer can transform your financial strategy, offering insights into cash flow management, cost reduction, and investment opportunities.

  • Fractional CMO: A Chief Marketing Officer on a fractional basis can spearhead your marketing efforts, refine your brand strategy, and open new channels for customer acquisition.

  • Fractional CRO: Getting executive level from a part-time Chief Revenue Officer can support your sales efforts when you need to take on a new market or ramp up your sales efforts.

  • Fractional COO: Hiring a part-time Chief Operating Officer can streamline your operations, enhance productivity, and improve supply chain management.

  • Fractional CPO: Hiring a fractional Chief People Officer to oversee your human resources efforts can help to hire, manage, and let go your people.

  • Fractional CSO: A Chief Strategy Officer can help you navigate market changes, identify growth opportunities, develop a long-term vision for adding value to your business, and prepare you to exit when you are ready. And if they are like me, they offer expertise in operations, marketing, and people-management as well. 


Benefits for Small Businesses


  • Cost-Effective: Fractional consultants provide executive-level expertise without the executive-level salary.

  • Flexibility: Engage with consultants as your business needs evolve, without long-term commitments.

  • Expertise: Access specialized skills and industry experience that might be otherwise unaffordable.

  • Objective Insight: Fractional consultants bring a third-party perspective, helping to identify blind spots, particularly in managing people and internal processes.


Finding and Selecting the Right Fractional Consultant


  1. Identify Your Needs: Clearly define the areas where you need strategic guidance.

  2. Look for Experience: Choose consultants with a proven track record in your industry. LinkedIn is a great place to look for ones that fit your needs. With Zoom, you aren't limited to just consultants in your local areas.

  3. Check References: Speak with past clients to gauge the consultant's effectiveness.

  4. Assess Compatibility: Ensure their working style aligns with your company culture.

  5. Evaluate Tools: Opt for consultants who offer access to frameworks like the Value Builder System, Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), and the 6 Types of Working Genius, which can provide structured approaches to building and scaling your business.


Hiring a fractional consultant can be a game-changer for small business owners seeking to leverage executive expertise without the full-time expense. By focusing on strategic areas, these consultants can drive significant improvements in your company's performance and trajectory. Plus, you'll have more peer support around you with the bonus of ideas that have worked for other clients. 


How to Get Started with Confidence


If you aren't still sure who to hire to reduce your hassles, take the Value Builder Assessment. It will give you a CAT-scan like examination of your business. Once you get your score, you'll know the type of fractional executive that could help solve your nagging problems and grow the value of your business. 


Take the FREE Value Builder Assessment. It's only 15 minutes of your time and the report will give you a wealth of insight.




 

Julie Edge Ph.D., is chief strategist and founder of Inside Edge Solutions LLC, a boutique strategy coaching and consulting firm serving business owners seeking less chaos and complication in their business and more thriving in their life—both personally and professionally. Connect with Julie on LinkedIn at @drjulieedge 

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