As your business is starting to develop, you might be considering hiring a business consultant to help guide you through the maze of logistics, planning, HR requirements and other core business needs you’ve not even thought of. So, what do you need and what should you look for when considering taking on a consultant to help with your business?
A coach can help your business productivity. Such consultants focus on areas such as:
- Time management strategies
- Decision making
- Personal development
- Interpersonal communication skills
A business coach works with you and your team to develop better working strategies. This can be useful if you are expanding a small team who have worked together for a long time and you want to introduce new people and routines.
This type of training aims to help individuals identify the things that they need to improve or change or adapt to improve or maintain productivity and accept changes.
A consultant, in a more rigid use of the word, is a professional who will analyse your core business needs and make recommendations about how to improve the functionality of your business. They focus on areas such as:
- Skills and knowledge development
A business consultant works with you to create and implement strategies, learn new information and adapt to changes, as well as advise you on a course of action. These professionals tend to work in specialised areas, such as marketing or business development, and it pays to ensure that you understand what it is you need and want from the person you hire so that they can deliver.
Business consultants also perform different levels of service. Some will simply advise and provide reports and updates based on your implementation of their suggestions, while others are more hands-on and will perform certain tasks, such as website creation, copywriting or HR management. Again, you must define your expectations before hiring a consultant so you understand what you want and need from your hire.
A business consultant who is invested in their role will negotiate a contract with you that specifies an ROI expectation or deadline for achievement. Hiring a business consultant means letting someone come into your business and often access confidential information. You need to be sure that you have spoken with your legal team or HR advisor before inviting a consultant to devise a marketing strategy based on your sales data. While most people in the industry rely on their good reputation to seek ongoing work, not all consultants are as professional as you’d expect.
Be sure that you:
- Know what area you need services in
- Understand what you want from the consultant
- Research the consultant you are wanting to hire
- Set your expectations on paper with your hire
- Agree to the terms and conditions of a consulting contract