Compiled by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz (a Consultant of > 20 years who’s had > 40 Clients)
When you’re looking for a Consultant that has a special skill or knowledge you need, you want to be sure you get the “best one” you can afford.
1. Clearly Specify the Need – including the Budget & desired completion Date.
2. Don’t get a Pre-Packaged Solution, unless your Problem is generic. Pick one who can fully understand your Problem rapidly and can do a custom Solution – tailored to your needs.
3. Check their References – to see what their previous Clients have thought of them. If you can come up with specific question, that’s even better. (ie, Does the Consultant have a reputation for following up to see how the Client is doing after completion of the project?)
4. Don’t pick the Cheapest. Pick the one who best understands your Problem and will give you the best solution. It’ll be worth the extra $$ in the long run.
5. During the Interview, determine your chemistry, feel, trust, comfort-level with the Candidate. If other factors are close, let this be the determining factor. Pick someone you’ll enjoy working with.
6. Will the Consultant “empower” you? Help you to understand the problem better and help you come up with the “best” Solution. Will they be available to handle minor issues or if it’s relatively simple, train you on how to handle it yourself, if it comes up again.
7. Ask for a Proposal/Quote – with Scope, Tasks, Costs, Timing, Payments, Benefits, Deliverables, etc.
8. If a Complex Project, ask for a “best & worse case” analysis to anticipate the problems of the Project. What are the un-knows you are facing? How can you prevent or minimize these?
9. Have a Contract – that clearly defines all the above – in as much detail as needed – with an escape clause.
10. Negotiate the Terms. Have in mind what you want to give – based on the Contribution to your organization. It could be a combination of $$ now (which you’re probably short of) and Equity in your Company – which could be of significant value later.
11. Try to minimize Disruptions/ Complications – to your planned Schedule to reduce or eliminate wasted time and/or additional costs.
12. Have the Consultant keep you Informed (per what you negotiated in the Contract), of the progress of the project – as needed. Does it match what you planned? Are there some un-fore-seen complications? Can you resolve them with minor corrections? Do you have to revise the Budget or Timing?
Now enjoy the fresh (& objective) approach that the Consultant brings (from their wide & deep experience), to provide the help you need. Ask their advice in other areas – as needed.
Comments: Is there any other factors to consider when hiring a Consultant?