Consultants Your Way

No matter which industry you’re in, no matter where you work and how long you’ve been doing it for, working for yourself has its challenges. Being a solopreneur is probably still one of the best decisions you’ve made but day-to-day there are hurdles that need to be overcome, problems to be solved and profit to be made.

That’s why, from time-to-time, it’s perfectly acceptable to call in some expert advice. It might be that everything else in your business is going well but you can’t quite nail that perfect marketing strategy or perhaps your network just keeps letting you down. Whatever it is and whether you’re in retail, accountancy or polystyrene packaging you need a consultant.

But if you’re new to hiring in outside help, we bring you a guide to making sure you find your best fit and help take your business that one step further forward towards success.

Interview widely

If you don’t have a set idea on the size of the agency you want to deal with, take a selection. You may find you prefer the individual attention you get from a small firm of just one or two people or the resources you can access from a much larger company. Either way the only way you’ll find out is by talking to a range of candidates

Be upfront

Before you interview anyone, work out exactly what it is that you need your consultant to achieve for you, how much you can afford to pay and how long you expect the project to last. The most important thing here is the budget. Make it very clear that this is your limit and you won’t be exceeding it. You’ll need to have it agreed that your consultant can deliver everything you need in the budget you’ve specified, if they can’t you’ll be left with three options: to find another consulting firm, to alter your budget or re-think your expectations.

Find a balance between a realistic budget and a realistic set of goals and outcomes.

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Go with your gut

When interviewing, take notice about what you’re feeling. Do you feel that the candidate is offering the world but doesn’t seem to have much to back it up with or that the candidate is aloof and doesn’t seem able to connect to you or listen properly to what you’re asking of them? If you’re going to work closely with them over the next few months, then you’re going to need to have someone on board who you can create a good, open dialogue with and communicate with effectively. Make sure you have access to your prefered candidate directly and make it clear you only want to deal with one person.

Be prepared to ask some tough questions and make sure you’re fully happy with every aspect of your choice before you sign on the dotted line. Make the right choice and the right consultancy will help you overcome this bump in the road and set your business back on the path towards success.

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