So you are mulling over the possibility of bringing on board a business consultant to help overcome some pain points or perhaps gear for growth in the coming years. You head to Google and begin your pursuit of the perfect consultant to guide your business to success. Immediately you are overwhelmed by the multitude of consultants, all with different expertise and industry experience. All claim they will provide exemplary results. So how do you pick one?
Well firstly, let’s take a step back. Google is great, but with this type of service I highly recommend reaching out to your network to get a word of mouth recommendation. When I say word of mouth, get on your social media platforms (the best are twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook) and ask your friends, family and business associates if they have had any experience with a particular type of consultant and could recommend anyone. Those who do recommend someone – open up a dialogue with them and ask them a few questions about the consultants approach or how they know them.
Keep in mind here, I believe that the best consultant is someone who gets you, as they will ultimately get your business. This is a person who has to get elbows deep and understand exactly what motivates you to do what you do and why your business is important to you. If you won’t get along well with an overly relaxed 20 year old, don’t hire one. If you don’t get along with a 60 year old set in the dark ages, don’t engage them!
If that approach doesn’t work, and your social network doesn’t seem to offer any meaningful recommendations, THEN get on Google. Make sure your keywords are relevant to what you really want, if you really need policies and procedures developed then type that, or if you require a business plan then type that, overly generic searches like ‘business consultant’ will just give you a lot of results and many may not even be suitable for your requirements.
Once you have selected a shortlist, give them a call. I highly recommend phoning over emailing as you can get a sense for their approach and attitude within the first 2 minutes of the call. From there on in organise a meeting to discuss your business pain points and see whether the consultant understands where you are coming from.
One of the key things a lot of consultants don’t do these days is try to find out about you and your goals. This is crucial as in the end the business is your channel for personal and financial freedom so finding out what makes you tick will be imperative to improving your business and its systems to better suit your needs and be profitable.
Once you feel comfortable make sure you get a fee proposal and terms and conditions and take some time to think it over and be comfortable in your choice. Don’t be afraid to vary the terms and conditions or negotiate terms that protect your best interests. The consultant should give you at least a week to make your decision and if they call you before then be wary about being pressured into a sale.
Spending the time to make sure the consultant is right for you will be the difference between appointing someone who will simply go through the motions and appointing someone who will help deliver results that really boost your business to where you want it to be. So now that you have a consultant on board, someone get the champagne out, a celebration is in order! You are one step closer to achieving your dreams!