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How to Hire the Right Small Business Consultant for Your Business

Hiring the right small business consultant can be tricky. If you have an organized recruitment procedure, your

 

business can gain the expertise of an experienced and skilled small business consultant.

According to Harvard Business Review, 80% of recruitment decisions in small businesses are based on bad decision-making that can lead to skyrocketing costs in the long run. While there is no specific formula on how to recruit the right small business consultant, here are some general guidelines that you can follow.

The consultant that you hire should have expertise in an area that you lack. Once you’ve found a few candidates, you’ll want to assess their goals, aptitude, analytical, management and decision-making skills. Make sure that you have a written job description and a thorough hiring process before you get started.

Create a Detailed Job Description

No matter how small your organization is or how much exposure your company has in your industry, you’ll need to create a perfect job description. This job description should include the roles and responsibilities that you’re looking for. State the skill level, experience, coaching and practical decision-making skills that are the primary requirements for applicants.

The job description for a consultant is different than the job description of an employee. Consultants should know more about the clients needs and be prepared to address them with their expertise.

Thoroughly Interview Each Consultant

Once you have a few recommendations, it’s time to interview potential candidates. Introduce your business to them and ask for systematic suggestions to improve it in both the short and long run. Judge on their answers based on logical reasoning and practical business knowledge. Then consider asking the following questions to assess fit:

  • Experience: What’s the consultant’s experience level? Have they worked for larger agencies in the past? What successes can they share?
  • Specialty: Do the consultants specialize in your industry? Do they understand your target market? Question them about a larger company in the market relevant to your industry to see if they are aware of the competition.
  • Values: Does the consultant share some of the same values that you hold dear to your organization? Are they passionate about your purpose?
  • Support: Will you need to guide them every step after you’ve signed the contract or are they capable enough to work independently in an efficient way?

You may also want to test their analytical, critical and decision-making skills with practical examples. Provide an example of a situation that they’re likely to encounter and ask how they’ll approach the problem.

As you begin to interview consultants, look to see if they have additional recommendations or value added services that you didn’t consider. An expert knows more than you and should be able to identify requirements that you overlooked. Don’t let your ego or personal likes and dislikes impact your decision. You’re seeking someone to help your business, not your personal life.

It’s hard to find one person that matches everything you’re looking for, but you should be able to find someone who matches most of the requirements. Often small business owners overlook the obvious and eventually end up filling the position with an inexperienced business consultant. Use these tips to make sure you don’t or call me to help you get started.

Three Reasons to Hire a Consultant Today

Many companies often think that hiring an outside consultant to complete their projects or to provide insight into their business is expensive. However, they don’t realize the opportunity cost of not hiring one.

Often, consultants can help the business attain results quicker and with less cost because they have specific expertise and can provide proven solutions to challenges and situations. Here are three reasons why you should hire a consultant today.

Consultants Aren’t Permanent

Hiring experts on a temporary basis ensures that a fresh pair of eyes and an uncluttered mind tackles the project in a way that may not have been thought of before. Given the intense competition and the imperative need to get a head start in business, hiring an outside consultant to do a job can prove to be the differentiator.

Consultants not only lend credibility to the organization but also bring a sense of objectivity. They not only validate ideas but are well positioned to analyze and diagnose the situation more critically than the internal staff because they’re often not influenced or tied to work that’s been done in the past.

Consultants Free Up Resources

Sometimes organizations may have the resources to do a good job but the staff may have a tough time handling extra responsibilities alongside their normal job responsibilities.

Staff can and should contribute to the building of the plan because they’re likely to be responsible for executing the plan. However, when they’re responsible for strategy, planning and execution, it’s likely that their daily work will suffer. Hiring a consultant frees up internal resources and allows staff to concentrate on what they were hired to do.

Consultants Improve Efficiency

Consultants contribute immensely by enhancing efficiency within the organization. They can see areas where the business is wasting time, money or other resources. They’re often familiar with systems and new technology that can scale and automate processes, which may eliminate a need to hire another employee.

In an age when in-house skills are becoming scarce and projects need to be completed quickly, organizations need specialized skill personnel who can provide perspective, strategy and execution.

An outside consultant always has the advantage of being able to see things in a different perspective and can identify opportunities that organizations may have overlooked. The consultant supplies the much need skill and expertise that organizations sometimes need and help maximize the potential of the business.

Hiring the right consultant at the right time can save both time and money. When you’re ready to do that, give me a call.