10 Tips for Hiring a Business Consultant
In order to find good consultants and establish a trusting relationship, there are 10 steps that will help you hire the best consultants that you can afford:
First, break down each element of the consultant’s services that you must accomplish. Consider them carefully to determine whether you can take care of any of them without the consultant’s help. You do not need a consultant to handle items that you are capable of accomplishing on your own.
Secondly, ask the consultant to give you the names of referrals from other businesses that have used his or her services. Contact the referrals and ask them some meaningful questions about the consultant’s services. For example, was the consultant’s advice useful? Was the consultant easy to reach and did the consultant respond quickly?
Did the consultant treat the business like a top priority? Was the consultant knowledgeable in the areas that were important to you?
Third, interview two or more consultants before you choose one. Even if the consultant has very good referrals, you still must feel that you can comfortably work with the person you hire. Ask each consultant about experience in the business areas that are important to you. Be sure that the consultant can give you full and prompt service which includes giving you full attention during your meeting. Ask each consultant to discuss the problems they foresee for your business and the ways they would address each problem.
Fourth, be sure the consultant can explain things to your satisfaction. The consultant should be able to offer a continual source of new ideas for controlling costs, improving profits and helping you build a stronger more effective management team. A good consultant should help you meet your goals and objectives. The consultant must be able to clearly communicate all of these ideas to you and your employees.
Fifth, discuss the consultant’s fees. Does the consultant bill a flat fee or bill by the hour?
Check the going rate for the same type of consultant in the industry. Do some research to be sure you are paying the right amount for the services you require. Also, find out which expenses you will be expected to pay. Discuss the payment of expenses in advance and reach an agreement about which expenses will be your responsibility.
Sixth, be certain that the consultant has errors and omissions insurance. If the consultant makes a mistake that costs your business money, you need to be sure that the consultant’s insurance will cover your loss.
Seven, be sure you have a written agreement specifying the terms of the relationship, the agreed services to be performed, and the time within which the work will be completed. The agreement must be signed by both parties.
Eighth, be sure that the consultant is available to perform your job within the time you require. You do not want to hire a consultand who is already too busy with other jobs.
Ninth, contractors are free agents, and they may work for your competition after completing your project. Therefore, you must have a signed letter of confidentiality from the consultant.
Tenth, introduce the consultant to your staff before they start asking who this person is and why they are asking for information or files or about your company’s projects. The consultant should be introduced to your regular employees, especially those with whom he or she will be working.
Jo Ann Joy, Esq., MBA, CEO
The future of your business starts here!
You may contact Jo Ann by phone at (602) 663-7007, by fax at (602) 324-7582, by email at [email protected] Business Solutions.net, and by mail at 2313 East Ocotillo Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85016. Copies of any articles will be provided free of charge.
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