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Consulting Best Practices

Hiring the right Business Consultant at the right time can add critical expertise when you need it most, helping you tackle tough challenges with greater success.

Here are some best practices to keep in mind when working with consultants.

Getting a good Return On Consulting Investment 

Consulting services are a considerable investment for a business. Whether it is marketing, strategy, operations, or risk management, your consultant must prove their worth and provide a solid value for the money expended. However, sometimes proving a return on investment is difficult because there is not always a tangible product - sometimes the most valuable benefits are changes in behavior, strategic thinking, alignment, and idea generation. It is for this reason that many companies find it hard to measure the ROI of a consultant, but here are some key things to consider.

Five Ways to Get Good ROI on Consultants

Hiring a consultant for your company could be the key to expanding your company and earning higher profits. However, there is a risk. Will you receive the return on investment in terms of time and money from hiring a consultant? Below are five ways that you can improve your ROI for consultants.

1.  Choose the Best Structure for the Consulting Fee

Different consultants have different structures for their consulting fees. About a quarter of consultants charge hourly fees for their services. Almost one-half of consultants base their fees by the project. A small percentage of consultants charge daily rates for their services.

Most clients prefer paying a consultant by the project because they are focused on a clear ROI for consulting services. However, before you agree to a fee based on the project, make sure that the project's parameters and your expectation for the results are clearly defined, and be ready to adjust the scope if unexpected circumstances arise that need to be addressed to create the best outcome.

2.  Be Prepared to Share Information

Consultants must have information about your company to perform their services. Open communication between you and the consultant can increase the ROI of hiring a consultant.

 

Use detailed and specific confidentiality agreements to ensure that the consultant cannot use any information you disclose or is gathered during their work.

3.  Hire the Right Consultant for the Job

Knowing what type of consultant you need to accomplish your goals can be confusing.

For example, if you want to work on a strategic plan for your company, do you need a risk consultant in addition to a strategic planning consultant? Does a strategic planning consultant also cover strategic risk planning? You hire the right consultant for the job by asking lots of questions before hiring.

In addition to asking questions about the services the consultant provides, you should also ask questions about:

  • The full breadth of their experience

  • Communication style

  • Collaboration techniques

  • How they deal with unexpected challenges

  • Where have they failed and what did they learn

 

Be sure to review testimonials and ask for references that you can talk to directly. By asking questions, you can find the right consultant for you and increase your return on investment for consultant services.

4.  Be Clear About What You Want to Accomplish

A consultant may assist you in identifying and defining your goals or objectives. However, you need to have an idea of what you want to accomplish if you expect a high ROI from hiring a consultant. Asking how the consultant measures ROI for a job can help you define what you expect to accomplish by hiring them.

In addition to tangible achievements, it also helps to understand the intangible value of working with a consultant. Intangible value can include learning from new perspectives, breaking through roadblocks, and improving team alignment and relationships that will enhance performance down the road.

5.  Trust in your Consultant's Expertise 

This step could be the most challenging step in the process. Once you hire a consultant, you need to trust that they have the experience and knowledge necessary to perform the job. You hire a consultant to add to the expertise of your team, so be open to recommendations and observations they make. Do not be surprised if you need to clarify and possibly even redirect based on changing circumstances or to support the unexpected needs of your team during the process.

Hiring a consultant for your company can be a risky prospect. However, if you take the time to choose the best consultant for the job and set detailed parameters and clearly defined goals, you can increase both the success and the ROI of your project.

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Work with Erin

I love what I do and the challenge that every new engagement brings!

My approach is likely much different than what you have experienced with other consultants.  Combining a deep understanding of strategy design and enterprise risk with solid coaching and facilitation skills, I will help you reveal the trends and drivers within your organization, industry, and market so we can design strategies and execution blueprints to get you where you want to go.  I can simplify the planning process, quieting the noise to help you create greater alignment up, down, and across the organization. 

If you are a CEO or ED stepping into the role, or simply into a new organization, give me a call.

 

Whether you are looking to gain a rapid understanding of your organization through a Performance 360 or Strategic Gap Analysis, planning your next Strategic Planning Event, or in search of an Executive Coach to support the growth and development of yourself and your team, I have the experience and knowledge to support your success.  Learn more

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I can help you get where you want to go.

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