How to Choose a Consulting
Service in 2020
How to Choose a Consulting Service in 2020
Consultants can be an invaluable tool for a business. They can help you solve difficult business problems that you cannot work out on your own. They can provide insight to help your business grow and be more successful. But, they can also be expensive. Because of the cost, many businesses are hesitant to hire a consulting service, especially if their business is already in crisis.
With the right consulting service, a business can get back on its feet. With the wrong consulting service, a business can dig itself into a deeper financial hole. That’s a pretty big risk.
To help you avoid the latter situation, here are 6 tips for choosing a consulting service in 2020. These tips will help you to weed out unqualified candidates so that you can find someone who will truly help your business thrive.
1. Thought Leadership
Thought leadership is what sets apart one consulting service from the others. When a consulting service is awarded for its work, sought after, and generally seen as an authority in the industry, it is considered a thought leader.
Why do you want to hire a service that prioritizes thought leadership? You know they aren’t just doing the bare minimum to achieve success. They are treading new territory, finding new solutions, and working hard to make themselves (and, by association, your business) stand apart from the competition.
Consulting services that show thought leadership are likely going to be expensive, but it will likely be worth the cost. Ask about whether the consulting service has recently received any awards or recognition for their work.
2. Years of Experience
While it is possible that a new consultant or a new service may bring valuable insights to the table, a consultant with years of experience can be a better choice. When someone has a lot of experience in their practice, not only have they seen a wide variety of issues, but they’ve become very good at identifying common issues.
According to our experts here at Honey Lake Clinic Therapist Network, a seasoned consultant can spot the core cause of an issue after asking just a few questions. While you may feel that your issue is unique, confusing, and baffling, they have probably seen this issue dozens of times. On top of that, they know several proven, effective approaches to solving that problem.
3. Specialist Firms
For a consulting experience that’s truly tailored to your business and your industry, consider working with a specialist firm. Some industries must follow certain protocols and procedures. In those cases, someone with exact knowledge of the industry is required.
One example is medical practice management consultants. In medical practices, there are two components: the actual medical care side and the business side. Independent physicians, for instance, are also business owners though they may not have an education that prepared them to be business owners.
In that situation, a medical practice management consultant can provide them with the insights they need to make their business more successful while also having a thorough understanding of the demands of that industry.
4. Easy Communication
While you are still deciding on which consulting service to hire, take special notice of the communication you have with each candidate. Are they prompt? Do they follow through? Do you struggle to understand their meaning or feel that they are frustrated by your questions?
Good communication is a priority. But beyond answering questions promptly and thoroughly, a good consultant should also be able to communicate with you in a way that you enjoy. No one wants to work with a commanding and inflexible person, even if their advice is valuable.
Don’t be afraid to take a consulting service out of the running just because you don’t enjoy talking to them. Once hired, you’ll be hearing from that consultant often. Make sure it’s someone that you like.
5. Low Turnover Rates
Ideally, you’re going to hire a firm, get a consultant, and work with that consultant until your problem is solved. You want that consultant to be familiar with your issue, with the solutions that have been attempted thus far, and with the results of said solutions. That’s why it’s important to hire a firm that has low turnover rates.
Imagine that you’ve been working with a specific consultant for months only to find that they’ve left the consulting service. Now you receive a new consultant. Sure, they may know the basics, the summarized version of what the previous consultant has done, but you almost have to start from the beginning. You have to build a new relationship.
To avoid that situation, ask the consulting service about their turnover rates. Ask the consultant about clients that they’ve worked with previously and how long they were partnered with them.
6. Ask about Previous Clients
This was briefly mentioned in the last tip, but it deserves its own discussion. Asking a consultant about their previous clients can reveal a lot about the way that they work and the satisfaction of their clients.
Specifically, ask the consultant about the length of their relationships with previous clients. There’s a delicate balance here. You want to hear that the consultant was able to retain clients, but you also want to hear that the consultant was able to provide good enough advice to the client that they were eventually independent.
Client reviews can also provide insight into what it’s like to work with this consultant. Ask if there are ways that you can see client reviews or contact previous clients to discuss their experience. From these reviews, you can learn about the consultant’s character, skills, and communication style.
Deciding to hire a consulting service is a big decision. Finding the right consultant for you can take time. As much as you can, take the process slowly so that you can make an informed decision. Use these tips to learn about the consulting service, the specific consultant, and their previous clients. With research and due diligence, you will be able to find the right consulting service to take your business to the next level.