Did you know the US management consulting industry is worth over $329 billion?
With such a large industry, you know they’re all doing something right, but it can be difficult to find business consultant services you actually trust and want to work with. There are ways to make the process easier on yourself and your business, though, and we’re here to guide you through it.
Read on for six tips you can use to find a consultant and begin working with them.
Finding Business Consultant Services
To find the best, you have to know where to look. To know where to look, you have to know what you want. Here’s how you can get started.
1. Be Clear on What You Want
Not all business consultants are the same. If you’re looking for a domain expert and end up hiring a business generalist, you’re probably not going to end up with the results you desired. On the other end of the spectrum, your needs might be so general that hiring someone in a niche doesn’t make sense from the beginning.
Sometimes, it takes a few tries to truly understand your business’s needs, but that’s why digging a little deeper can help. Take note of your specific pain point and also company size and allow that to be your focus during your consultant interviews.
2. How Would You Like to Engage With Them?
Next, you’ll need to decide how long you think you’ll need this consultant. Some are better equipped to handle larger long-term assignments, while others tend to prefer smaller part-time assignments. So, your answer to this question is going to help dictate what type of consultant you’ll need along with where to look for them.
You’ll also need to take note of whether you’d like to work with them remotely or in-office.
Remote consultants are going to give you a lot more options, but some things really just work better in-person with your entire team present. Be sure to weigh the pros and cons of both in order to make the best decision for everyone.
3. Leverage Your Resources
To start the search for the perfect business consultant, it’s smart to turn to those you trust — either for the work or for recommendations.
This could be as simple as sending an email to colleagues asking for recommendations if they’ve faced similar problems in the past. If they have, it’s likely that they turned to experts to help solve the issue, and that’s where you can begin building your list. It’s easier to trust recommendations from people you trust, so this is a great place to start.
If you come up empty for recommendations, then you can turn to the internet. There are plenty of resources on either consulting marketplaces or social media itself. The great thing about marketplaces is that you can post your exact needs and desires to have the results filtered.
If you couldn’t find recommendations from colleagues, then you can definitely find recommendations on your social networks. Researching hashtags on Twitter or headlines on LinkedIn is a great place to start, as these places are usually filled with experts. It’s also easy to find people not telling the truth about their expertise, though, so take care when conducting your research.
Working With a Consultant
Once you’ve gotten some recommendations, it’s time to get to business. Here are a few things you can expect once you begin the process.
You’re likely to find a few different consultants that you could potentially work with, but it’s important to make sure you’d be a fit for one another. It’s also important to ask detailed questions about their processes and (most importantly) their results with different clients. Take a look at their resume, educational background, and any certifications that might be relevant to your industry.
If they’re not that experienced with your industry but have a genuine interest in learning, it might be worth giving them a chance. This is often a good sign, and they’re a lot more likely to work hard in order to prove their capabilities. You do want to ask about the hands-on experience they have in the industry, though, as this is going to help you understand whether or not they’ll be able to conduct a thorough assessment of your business and its needs.
5. The Business Assessment
Once you’ve found a consultant, you’re likely to sit down and become better acquainted. This means telling them about your goals and desires, and them assessing just how much work it’s going to take to get there.
They’ll come up with a plan for your business based on your audience, your needs, and what you might have to offer to the market as a whole. It’s important to gauge their interest during this step. If you find that they’re inattentive, distracted, and bad with communication, it might be best to begin working with a different consultant.
6. What Comes Next?
Once you have an idea of how this consultant can help you develop your business plans, you’ll have to create a plan together. This plan should encompass everything they can provide you with and what you might have to provide them.
Whether it’s equipment, information, or data, you’ll need to have a thorough idea of what your consultant needs so they can build an effective plan from the beginning. Depending on your arrangement, you might even be able to speak with them after your plans have been implemented to track your progress.
Working With the Right Consulting Services Is Crucial
When you have the right business consulting services by your side, it’s easy to accomplish everything you want. Whether it’s growth on social media or planning your next product launch, sometimes you just need help getting through the process. Luckily, we can help you through.
At Bradford Jacobs, we have more than 20 years of industry experience meant to help you and your business. Contact us today to get started.