An effective business consultant is someone who has actually run successful small businesses. You cant be expected to entrust your business to a small business consultant who has never owned a business before, or to a consultant who doesn’t have
a high level of expertise in a specific topic area that your business requires.
An expert is defined as having 10,000 hours of experience. If you use a traditional 40-hour workweek as a guideline, that means you need someone with at least 5 years’ full time relevant experience
Look at how your potential consultant attracts new clients. If they cant market themselves effectively, what can they do for you?
Decide in advance what a “successful outcome” looks like. Be honest about your own areas of personal development and expertise. No one is perfect. Sometimes as a small business owner we procrastinate or don’t have the time to plan ahead effectively. Sometimes we get distracted. Sometimes we let anger or fear get the better of us. Discover your weaknesses and look for a consultant who is strong in those areas.
Study carefully what any proposed business consultant is offering you, their marketing methods, the way they run their own businesses and the way they work with clients. Determine if those methods would suit you and your business.
Personal interaction is vital to any business consultant relationship or partnership. You and I will know pretty quickly if we can establish a strong working relationship. It is important to ensure that you know you will be getting the right advice and good value for money.
The right advice and good advice may not mean advice that you like. You may not even agree with the advice, at least to start with, but it will make you think. If it makes you think or helps you to think then so much the better.
Goes without saying.
To quote the infamous phrase…”You don’t know what you don’t know” but I might. You are the expert on your business. However, as will all business owners you are very close to the day-to-day interaction and may not see what an outsider could see. At the very least, I may be able to help you by dealing with some of the nitty-gritty.
Waffle is a luxury none of us can afford. Do you have the time to spend talking to a stranger about your business. The real question you need to ask yourself is “can you afford not too”. I cannot guarantee anything but a meeting will cost you nothing except an hour of your and might deliver a great deal more.
• You contact me by telephone or e-mail.
• I arrange to meet at your offices at a mutually convenient time, for a maximum of one hour.
• The key focus will be YOUR business.
• There is no charge for the initial meeting.
• The meeting is followed up with an outline proposal and cost.
• Once initial Scope of Work is agreed – you sign a letter of agreement.