Guest post by Chloë Donian.
The right business consultancy can help you take your company to new levels of performance. Working together, you will define your business goals, identify and solve problems, and map a plan for success.
There are a profusion of business consulting services out there. You’ll want to do due diligence to ensure you find the right fit for your company.
Do You Need a Consultant?
Before you hire a consultancy, consider your goals. What are you trying to achieve?
- Do you need a strategic business plan?
- Are you looking for ways to generate more business?
- Do you need to increase revenue or profitability?
- Do you have internal operations, marketing, or human resource issues?
- Do you need an exit plan?
There are different business consulting services, so start by determining which type you need. Will you engage with an individual or a firm?
If you want a long-term relationship with your consulting resource, you may want to consider an advisory arrangement. For short-term, one-off, or periodic needs, a consultant may be perfect.
What to Look for in a Consultant
To hire the best business consultancy, look for professionals with impeccable character and excellent interpersonal skills. Also, consider these factors when hiring your consultants:
- Experience: Do online research. Ask for references. On the other hand, if you gel with someone new to consulting, you may want to take a chance on the person. We all have to start somewhere. Look at what they’ve done in the past that may give them the background to be a knowledgeable consultant.
- Reputation: Does the person have a good social media profile and public image? Do they take part in social media discussions on LinkedIn and Twitter? Have they been interviewed on business podcasts or blogs?
- Problem-solving ability: Good consultants are creative problem solvers. They come into an organization, identify problems, and propose solutions. Does your prospective consultant have a track record of dealing successfully with challenging issues?
Importantly, is this someone you like? You, and possibly your staff, will be spending a lot of time with this person. Is this someone who can build trust quickly? Is it someone you and your team will feel comfortable opening up to?
What Will Your Engagement Look Like?
Before you begin contacting potential consultants, think about how long the engagement will last, which will depend on your business need(s):
- Will the engagement be in-person or remote?
- Do you want a few hours of the person’s time, several hours per month, a few weeks, or a two-month on-site deep dive?
- Are you seeking help with one area of your business – or multiple areas?
How Long Will the Engagement Last?
Prospective consultants will help you determine the length of the engagement. Tell them what you envision. Consultants use various pricing models, and you may decide to contract with them for more hours than you originally thought.
If you’re firm on the number of hours and the amount you can afford, the consultant should tell you what they can realistically achieve in that amount of time. A reliable and reputable consultant is honest, and won’t over-promise and under-deliver.
How to Find a Consultant
To find a consultant:
- Ask your professional network for recommendations – Working with a consultant who has already helped someone you know can provide peace of mind.
- Seek a professional via online marketplaces – Sites like Upwork vet candidates and include recommendations and reviews. Some trade and professional organizations also offer marketplaces on their websites.
- Look to social media – LinkedIn is a great place to find consultants. Look for candidates with strong profiles who are active in group discussions and publish articles on their topical areas of expertise.
Hiring a consultant is an important business decision. Consider your needs carefully, look for quality candidates, ask for recommendations, and fully vet each prospect.
Most importantly, make sure the consultant is someone you can trust and feel comfortable with. It’s your business, after all, and you want to find someone who will care about it as much as you do.
Chloë Donian is a digital marketing strategist, consultant and team member at Luden Marketing. She loves living the laptop lifestyle, and enjoys all things digital. She enjoys living life to the fullest and always spreads sunshine and positivity wherever she goes.