Business Consulting: How to Find the Right Consultant
Does your business need business consulting? While you may need a consultant, trusting one can be risky. Here’s your guide to choosing the right consultant.
A business consultant can help take your business from zero to hero in a matter of months.
However, you can only achieve such results if you’re working with the right kind of consultant for your business. Thankfully, finding the right consultant for your business isn’t as hard as it seems.
In fact, if you keep reading, you’ll learn how you can navigate the world of business consulting so that you end up working with someone worthwhile.
Find Someone Specifically For Your Industry
When it comes to business consulting, you need to find someone who specializes in helping businesses that belong to your industry.
For the most part, there are only so many problems that can go wrong with a business in a certain industry. Whatever problem your business is struggling with, there’s likely been another business that has struggled with (and overcome) the same problem.
As a result, there’s likely a consultant that specializes in your industry, who is experienced with types of problems facing your business. They may have worked closely with a company in the past to overcome such problems.
Because of their experience, they’ll be able to solve your problems and improve business operations, using a tried and tested strategy.
The additional benefit here is that they’ll be able to solve the problems in a shorter period of time. This is beneficial when you consider that many consultants in the world of business consulting charge by the day or the hour.
Check Their Background
If you want to work with the right consultant for your business, you need to do your due diligence so that you aren’t being misled.
One way you can conduct due diligence is by asking a consultant for some testimonials. If the consultant has been doing business for over 6 months, they should be able to provide some testimonials.
When reviewing these testimonials, make sure they’re coming from people who are like you. Meaning the testimonials should come from people who had businesses like yours. If you want to be thorough, reach out to the people who have left the testimonials to assess validity.
You should also look for case studies. Case studies based on past clients will detail exactly what the problem was, how the consultant helped and what results were achieved. If a consultant does not publicly promote any case studies, consider asking them if they can send some your way.
Keep in mind, your ability to access case studies is going to depend on the industry you are in. This is a natural fact of business consulting. Due to the nature of some industries, it can be very hard to get people to share case studies of the work they did with a consultant.
Don’t Look for the Cheapest Option
If your business is struggling, you might not be able to pay top dollar for an expensive consultant. Whilst this is reasonable, it is important to remember that you often get what you pay for with a consultant.
When it comes to business consulting, someone who is drastically cheaper than all the other consultants you’ve encountered is likely cheaper for a reason. On the other hand, the consultants that charge a premium can do so because they’re able to provide results.
Of course, there will be some consultants who artificially inflate their prices. You can tell how reliable a price is by doing your due diligence. You can do this by using the tactics we covered earlier. If they have case studies to back up their price and the references you call upon seem valid, it may just be worth investing in the premium price.
Observe How They Conduct Themselves
You can often tell how good a consultant is by observing how they conduct themselves during the initial consultation.
For instance, you can get a read on how professional they are by observing how long it takes them to respond to emails or respond to missed calls. If they take longer than 24 hours to respond, without explanation or prior warning of delay–it can be a sign that they lack professionalism.
If they are like this before you have paid them, it could probably get worse once the project has started.
You should also pay attention to the kinds of questions they are asking you when communicating with you during the initial consultation. Ideally, they should be asking you insightful, tough questions.
These questions should help shift your perspective on the problems facing your business. They should make you feel inspired and good about the future.
Consultants should provide you with clarity by being willing to ask you hard questions that you might not want to answer. A consultant or consulting company that does this, such as AM 18 Consultancy, is often worth working with.
However, a consultant that asks vague questions is probably someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing. If they’re unwilling to make you uncomfortable, it’s also a sign that they’re not willing to drill down to what the real problems are in the business.
And if they’re unwilling to do that, it will take longer to solve the problems facing your business. You’ll likely face higher costs because of this–both in lost productivity and the amount the consultant is billing you.
Obtain a Written Business Consulting Plan
It’s worth mentioning briefly that you should obtain a written plan when working with a consultant.
A written plan will detail exactly what the consultant aims to achieve and how they’re going to make these goals happen. You should also have in writing what the consultant is planning to charge. When both sides have clear expectations, it helps avoid conflicts when things are underway.
Ready to Find a Consultant?
Finding the right consultant for your business is challenging–but not impossible.
In this post, we’ve taken a look at some of the things you can do to improve your chances of finding the right consultant for your business. When you find a consultant that looks promising, make sure you do the due diligence necessary to ensure you’re working with someone credible.
Though this initial process can be a bit rough, all the effort can be worth it when you experience an uptick in results within your business.
Want to read more business content? Check out our business section to see our latest posts.