Using the professional wisdom, insights and experience of an outside individual or firm in a specific area to plan and then execute future activities, actions and strategies. Hiring a consultant will help you eliminate the problem of not knowing what you don’t know.
Since today’s operational and business climate is quite complex, effective use of consulting can bring a company the ability to use greater resources and wisdom without having them as part of the administrative or operational structure of the company.
EXAMPLE: You have great skills and abilities in your core competency of manufacturing widgets. You worked your way up from an apprentice at the widget company, did both a tour of business in both operations as well as sales. You have the opportunity to purchase the company. Look at the areas where you may not have experiences or strengths and look to take the wisdom and discipline from others.
A widget maker across the country has retired, and you can gain from his expertise.
An industrial marketing consultant can bring you ideas on how to build awareness and market share.
A process engineering consultant could show you how to run the operations side of your business more efficiently.
A trade consultant could show you how to work with foreign markets.
You will meet many self proclaimed gurus and coaches when out and about.
Don’t just use someone you meet at a cocktail party, networking event or seminar.
Ask for references and talk to them.
Do Internet searches.
Ask others in your industry if they know this person and their reputation.
Not everyone who will gladly take your money is an expert.
QUESTIONS TO ASK:
- What are the areas of my business in which I have the greatest expertise? Which are the areas in which an outside set of knowledgeable eyes would offer me greater insights?
- Who has opinions that have no basis or bearing on my sector, and I should protect myself against their counsel?
The whole key is top plan on hiring a consultant who is smarter than you and listening to his/her advice. I've seen too many clients hire professionsal and disregard what they have to say.
Budget: $500 - $1,000 Quarterly