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10, October 2017

7 Tips to choosing the right business consulting firm

There is no shortage of consultants. You’ll find the guy who used to work for a famous company, the gal who bought a well-known franchise and a bunch you’ve never heard of. So how does a business owner choose the right consultants for their needs?

Here are 7 suggestions to help you make the best decision.

Define your goals

Do you need strategic planning to set your course for the future? Executive coaching to increase effectiveness and leadership capacity? Assessments to reduce turnover and improve performance? Leadership training to turn B players into As? Work with one person or the entire leadership team?

Start the process by defining exactly what type of assistance you need. You’re looking for results, so be clear on what your expectations are.

Look at experience

The best consultants have been around the block a few times. You want to leverage their broad experience with other people, companies and industries to maximize the impact on your situation. Great consultants have the ability to see patterns and bring both proven approaches and outside-the-box thinking to your challenge.

Make sure you connect

The consulting relationship should be a very close one. That only happens when there is an open and positive rapport. Spend the time to get to know your potential consultant.  Look at it this way: the two of you are going to embark on a long road trip together. Make sure you are compatible so you enjoy the ride. You’ll get where you’re going faster.

Ask for references

Good consultants have a long list of happy customers. Talk with current and past accounts to learn more about what the experience was like and how effective it really was.

Read the fine print

Some consultants charge by the hour. Others require a lengthy commitment. Make sure you understand what you’re getting into so there are no surprises at the end of the month.

Understand their approach

There are consultants who use a scripted methodology as dictated by their franchise affiliation. Others assess each unique situation and draw from a wide variety of tools to create a customized solution. Make sure your consultant uses an approach that rings true to you.

Commit to the time

Some consultants meet face-to-face for an hour, twice a month. Others meet for a few hours at a time, once a month. Some use video calls to eliminate travel and simplify meeting times. Regardless of the format, make sure you commit to not only the meeting time but also the time needed to work on new skills.

At Barr Corporate Success, we take the time to make sure all your questions have been answered. Whether you need strategic planning, executive coaching, assessments or training, we will work with you to create the ideal consulting relationship. And if we aren’t the right fit, we’ll tell you that and help you find the consultant best suited for your situation.

For more information, please call Krissi Barr at 513-470-8980. Or email her at krissi@krissibarr.com.

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