Knowing When to Bring in the Experts: Hiring a Business Consultant

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Nurture staff

Companies need skilled people to get the job done. Usually, you would hire them full-time. But there are times when you only need these people for a short period. For example, you might need only them for a quick project.

For situations like that, hiring a consultant is a better move rather than getting a new employee. You still need to be sure that you get the most of the consultant, though. Here are some tips to help with that:

Determine What You Have

Before anything else, you need to be clear about what exactly your company is capable of. Hiring a consultant is good, but you don’t want to double up. If you already have someone who can handle the job, then it is better to turn to that person.

Only decide on getting a consultant if they bring something unique to the table. For example, a fractional CMO for your digital marketing can be a good idea if you have no one on your team that has expert skills on creating an online marketing campaign.

Sit Down and Be Clear

Don’t hire the first consultant that you find on your search. Treat this like looking for a new employee. The difference is that you know these people have the skills. Now, you have to find out if they can do the job you want them to do. To find out, you need to sit down with your potential clients and hear what they have to say and tell them your expectations. If you are hiring them for a specific project, tell them about what you want them to do, the budget they will have, and the time frame.

Some consultants will have their idea on how to approach the project. Hear them out and decide on whether you agree with their vision. As a good rule-of-thumb, hire someone who will work within 25 percent of your proposed budget.

Always Have Clear Lines of Communication

business meeting

Some business owners hire a consultant then let them do their job. This is because they feel they should get out of the way and let experts do their job. That is a bad idea and you need to communicate regularly with your consultant. This person is not a visitor but should be a member of your team. You need to add them to group discussions and the like. Whatever they are working on will affect various parts of your company and they need to inform you of what is happening.

If it is possible, have meetings with them every other day or so and ask for regular updates. This ensures everyone is on the same page and everything is on schedule.

Hiring a consultant might not sound reassuring, but it can be the right decision for smaller and medium-sized businesses. Bringing in an outsider for a short time to give you another perspective will allow you to see opportunities where you normally won’t. Additionally, it is easier to pay for them if you don’t have to bring them on long-term. Seriously consider hiring a consultant when you need a change in your company at a reasonable cost.

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