When you think about hiring a consultant to help you with your business, you’re usually not making money hand over fist. Or maybe you are, but expenses seem to be eating it up as fast as you can make it. How do you get someone to help you with your business without losing control of the cost (or your business)?
Here’s some things to talk about with your consultant before making a deal or paying anything
- Define what the engagement is going to be about. Your business may have dozens of problems, but what are the most serious ones? Let your consultant tackle those before turning them loose on the next ones.
- Define how long you want to work on the problem. It’s reasonable to agree on a timeframe to settle the issue. If the project expands, you can always extend the agreement if you’re satisfied with the progress being made.
- Define what you’re going to pay, and how. We have hourly rates, but just quoting them doesn’t answer the question “how much is this going to cost?” unless we define how many hours it will take. We sometimes quote flat rates on projects (if we can define what they’re going to be about, and how long we’ll work on them – see above).
- Have an exit strategy. A consulting relationship can be short-term or long-term. One of the beauties of hiring a consultant instead of hiring an employee is that once the problem is solved, it’s up to you as whether to keep going. Have a honest, open discussion about what defines success and what the end of the contract looks like. You can always extend the agreement or hire them again.
Contact us if you’re interested in a no-obligation discussion about areas of your business that need improving, be it accounting, marketing, or other areas.