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Second Opinion Can a consultant boost your business? Yes, if you follow these tips.

By Carla Goodman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Need an expert's advice to identify your target market? Trimyour operating budget? Or figure out how your small business stacksup against the competition?

Hire a consultant. The right outside specialist can give you anunbiased view of your business, identify problem areas andrecommend strategies to keep your business on track. You can hire aconsultant for almost any business need, from accounting,management and marketing to better business writing and even phoneetiquette.

Consultants can be cost-effective. You call a consultantonly when you need one and get expert advice without adding to yourpayroll. Here's a seven-point strategy to ensure you get themost from a consultant.

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