What benefits does a consultant provide

When deciding to hire someone as a consultant or a freelancer its beneficial to understand the differences between the two. One isn’t necessarily better than the other but they do provide different benefits. 

The main difference is in the product they provide. A freelancer will take the specs you give them and turn them into a product whether its an app, website, software, etc.They’ll do excellent work and probably be very affordable. You can find plenty of freelancers working in the $60-$80 range. But what happens when your product hasn’t been defined yet? Or if you want a second opinion on your plans? A consultant can not only guide you through the technical aspects of product creation but assist you in organization, planning, identifying growth opportunities, and pitfalls. In essence they’re a partner in your vision.

If you’re thinking of selling your product online a consultant can not only build you a shopping cart and product pages but analyze the options to see if solutions already exist for your exact needs. It could be that a Squarespace cart is perfect for you or that Magento can be developed to fit your exact needs. Rarely is creating your own ecommerce solution from scratch the most optimal answer but there are situations where that may be the case. Allow a consultant to guide you through the analysis. In the end you’re very likely to have a platform that better fits your product. 

Besides directly contributing to a project you can also utilize a consultant to do things you may not need a full-time employee for. Project management for instance. A small or medium size company may have only a project or two going on at a time. Hiring someone for 40 hours may not fit your need. Most consultants serve multiple clients at the same time. You can utilize their services for as little as five hours per week if that’s what fits your business needs.