How do you Find the Right Consultants?
When you’re running a business, you can get a lot of help from the right consultants. They can fill in the knowledge and experience you lack – as an expert in running your business, whether you’re making shoes, cutting hair or offering digital marketing solutions, you’re the master of how that works but not necessarily an economic soothsayer, market research analyst or legal mastermind. Rather than trying to spread yourself too thin trying to cover all this ground, or make permanent hires you can’t afford, consultants can supply some of this very necessary expertise.
It can be a significant spend, though, and you need to find the right consultants to make sure you’re spending that money well and getting useful results for your business. Today we’re taking a look at what you can do to find the right consultants.
Identifying Your Needs
The first thing you need to do is think about what your business needs. There’s no point devoting your time to looking for a London strategy consulting firm if you don’t actually have a working strategy document. Look for where you really need that injection of expertise – and look at your strengths too. If you’re coming to entrepreneurship from a financial background or an analytical one, then you have advantages that a less rounded owner may not.
Some of the areas to look at are
- Research – be it market research, product research or competitor research, as a single business owner you likely don’t have the reach to do this yourself effectively
- Analysis – as a companion to research it’s essential. Data is no use without understanding, and getting some analytical talent on your findings is what turns it into insight that you can action to drive your business to greater heights
- Backbone services – things like HR, Accounting and Legal services are whole departments in big established businesses. Just because your business is smaller, it doesn’t mean those needs are any less. Consultants in these areas can help you set up the systems and make the big decisions until you’re ready to make your own hires.
Finding Your Consultants
When you’ve decided what you need, the step is filling those needs with reliable consultants. The best thing you can have is a personal recommendation. If you have friends who also run businesses, talk to them about the consultants they’ve used. Network at conferences, use your Linkedin contacts, and find the consultants who’ve worked before and will work again!