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8 important tips on finding a consultant for your startup

Hiring a consultant

The business world is changing with the speed of light. While consultants are a viable option in large companies, there is a growing amount of startups that simply need more than that. There is also a huge amount of tips and advice online which can all help companies just like an average consultant would.

This is why you need to find a consultant that’s ready for more than just offering tips and walking away. You need someone who will be invested and driven to make you a success. Someone who’s willing to work with you.

Here are some tips on how to do just that:

Find a professional or specialist

Businesses in general have stopped hiring people in the traditional sense – as a lifetime commitment. Now, they hire people on a per-project basis or as freelancers and this is especially true for startups. This way, you can remain flexible in the face of economic change and stay constantly open to fine-tuning your team in order to get the best results.

Work with someone on a per-project or per-result basis. Create a contract where there will be a fixed payment but one which can increase widely if the results improve because of the consultant. This will help you avoid people who will just give you pie charts and presentations and find someone willing to really work.

In fact, don’t even look at people with a ‘consultant’ brand. Look for professionals and specialists. These are usually the people who will provide you with the right kind of service.

Find someone who will work at all levels

Consultants usually work with founders of startups the most. However, this is not effective at all.

While it’s common that executives and top level teams use the consultant’s expertise to analyze the market and adjust their strategies, leadership by example works at all levels. Find a specialist who will pay attention to the lowest ones as well. Their expertise and calculations could help and change that area of the business as well and help the company as a whole advance and move forward.

Find someone adaptable & responsive

Consultants are often stiff oddballs in the company that they are trying to help. However, this is ineffective because this alienates them from the team members. You should strive to find someone who matches your culture and who shares the same goals.

Finding someone responsive is a great idea as well. Consultants are usually unavailable because of the formal process of contacting them. However, you need someone available who can be there when you need them. Of course, this doesn’t have to mean phone calls in the middle of the night but it does mean being close with your consultant and seeing them at least once a week, preferably more, depending on your needs.

Find someone who will deliver results & unbiased feedback

“Instead of just getting advice, try to find someone who will work with you towards achieving your results. This is, in essence, the future of consulting. You can get advice anywhere nowadays. But what is rare is expert help,” says Millicent Hopkins, a project manager at 1day2write.

Your consultant should be able to train, lead and coach in all aspects of business.

They should also provide unbiased feedback. Most of the startup team members are not objective when looking at their organization. They need to be the one informing you when you are doing something wrong or when something is not right within your company

They should provide management advice

Of course, their  job still remains similar to the traditional consultancy – just with a more hands-on approach. They should provide the teams with management advice since most startup owners are not skilled in that area. They need to provide guidance and help in organizing the company and managing daily operations, quality and so on. They should give you the tools that will help you continue just as well without them.

They should be able to do market research

Fancy presentations are still within their job description. A continuous analysis of the market and all of the elements on it is necessary in order to create proper and accurate plans for the future.

They should help with strategizing

“Naturally, their job is to provide help with strategizing as well. Their expertise can help the company create viable strategies and plans,” says Ella Gregson, a business consultant at Writemyx.

Hiring a consultant is an incredibly good idea for all startups. Someone with expertise, professional training and a hands-on approach can help your company rise to the top with all the right strategies and tips. However, make sure that you are hiring the right person – not a consultant in the traditional sense but someone who will give you proper tools to move forward.

Need help with technology solutions in your startup? Get in touch

Margaret Riehle is a recruiting analyst at Academic Brits and Origin Writings. She likes to write about latest trends in business, marketing and communications for online publications like Australia2write.

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