Thursday, August 29, 2013

Hiring a Business Consultant

Business consultants are great resources that can provide advice and guidance for your business ventures. It’s crucial to hire a consultant with specific experience who knows the industry forward and backwards. 

Use these tips as a guide when hiring a business consultant:

Do Your Research.  Before you start searching for a business consultant, be sure to determine your specific needs so you know exactly what to look for in a candidate. Ask friends, family members, and co-workers to suggest a business consultant. Check out consultants at to read reviews or complaints.

Look at Credentials.  Ask consultants what type of business degree they have earned. Be sure to ask where they earned their degree and make sure it’s from an accredited institution. Although degrees are important, employment experience is even more crucial. Since you are hiring the consultant for business advice, you’ll want to hire someone that has first-hand experience running a business. Look for a consultant that has experience with your specific industry and dealing with your areas of concern.

Interview Candidates.  Once you have compiled a narrow list, meet with at least two candidates for an interview. Look for a consultant that shows organizational skills and professionalism. Ask if the consultant has prepared an outline that targets your specific business needs. If the consultant is associated with a business, ask if that may hinder their ability to cater to your needs in the future. Make sure the consultant clearly answers all of your questions and concerns. Think about if the consultant has relevant experience for the position but can also provide outside objectivity. Since it’s their job to help you, make sure the consultant is a good listener.

Request References.  A reputable business consultant will easily be able to provide testimonials from previous customers and a list of references you may contact. Ask the references about their relationship and experience with the consultant. Ask about the services the consultant provided and if the references were completely satisfied with the job that was done.

Review the Contract.  Be sure there is a written agreement with the business consultant. Make sure the agreement includes: the services the consultant will provide, when the services will be provided, and how much and when you will pay the consultant for their services.

What other tips can you offer?

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