Establishing a successful small business consulting relationship, and achieving the results that you want for your small business, can be very difficult.
This is because besides the money you will invest for the help – this person will enter your confidential world, guide you in making important decisions and will be with you for the long haul.
Here are some of the best suggestions on how to pick the right small business consultant for you – that will result in a win for both of you:
1. Are you compatible?- Compatibility is essential if you are going to build a long term relationship with someone…The same applies to a long term relationship with your consultant.
The question is can you see yourself working with this person over the long haul? Do they motivate you, inspire you, or most importantly meet the specific needs that you have?
The relationship should fit like a hand in a glove. If it doesn’t – keep looking.
2. Are they competent? You need a consultant that will help you create results – both short term (under 30 days) midterm (90 – 180 days) and long term (180 days – 5 years).
This is one of the reason that I try to get free advice from the consultant before I hire them. If I put it to practice and it works, then I can be more confident that this person can help me further.
If the consultant has a problem giving you advice upfront – look elsewhere.
3. Have they or anyone on their team actually built a business? This is where you find the consultants with true experience – and not just theory.
Granted, a good consultant does not need to have built and sold a million dollar business – but a great consultant will have.
Find out if they have built or sold a business – if not, they have to at least have someone on their team that has. If not, your business will look like theirs when they are finished with you.
4. Are they invested in you and your business’ welfare? The best consultants take ownership of your business and make it their own. They are the ones that are thinking about your business almost as much as you do.
Great consultants have a passion to see their clients succeed. They don’t see themselves as successful unless their clients are.
If your consultant is happy getting a paycheck for mediocre results – my advice is to fire them today.
5. Can they bring you results? Every consultant should be able to bring results equal to 3-5X what you invested into your consulting relationship. If you invest $500 a month – you should be bringing in at least $1500 a month through the consultants efforts.
This means that the you and your consultant should track your progress to make sure that everyone is winning.
After the first month – there should not be any excuses why you are not seeing results in your business.
Remember there are hundreds of things that a business can do to make more money in 30 days. If you do not see more money in 30 days – get your money back, or have your consultant give you a free extra month of services.
These are just a few specific requirements that consultants need to fulfill if you want to have a successful consulting relationship – and a successful business to boot.
Though the standards are high, remember that the vision that you have for your business depends on it.