Audiologists have a very particular circumstance in that many hearing aids manufacturers, having a vested interest in their success, offer assistance in practice management issues, such as marketing, sales, promotion, advertising, etc.
This indeed is a very favorable circumstance in many respects, not the least of which is getting advice in many areas that normally a consultant would charge for. And the manufacturers’ assistance comes for free in most cases.
There are, however considerations that may cause you to seek additional advice from a consulting firm. To have a consulting firm advise you solely instead of accepting the assistance from the manufacturer is not something I necessarily recommend either, except in very specific cases.
The advantages of having a consulting firm assist you in addition to any assistance you get from the manufacturers are summed up in two main things: independence of viewpoint and variety of tools.
As you must be aware of, if you have been in private practice for any length of time, there are many decisions you encounter for which you need to follow your own counsel and in the final analysis, this is the only way you will be able to make a decision which leads to success. When you have a somewhat vested interest tainting your ability to make an independent decision like that, it may hamper your ability in this regard. This is where Audiology consultants would be able to help you more effectively.
On another note, while marketing, sales, promotion and advertising are very key elements in the management of private practice, they are by far not the only subjects you need to master or have someone on your side who masters them. Just to mention a few; organization, billing, collections, personnel management and relations, public relations, Audiology personnel management, planning, executive strata management have to be considered just as much as the former ones. And this is where Audiology consultants can help you more broadly.
So, my advice, consider getting the help of both, so that you can profit from all.