Consultants provide us with invaluable expertise and assist us in making decisions in our life and business. While using consultants often results in saving money, do still you wonder about the real value a consultant can give you? Following the guidelines below will give you a better understanding of when a consultant can be an invaluable tool.
The first step is to ask yourself if you are ready to work with a consultant. Your achievements thus far have been through your own efforts. Are you at the point where you can listen to someone who can help? If you have realized you cannot do everything, you may be ready to accept guidance from a consultant. Be sure you are ready to listen and act upon the advice given before you retain a consultant. If time will be an issue, you might not be ready to listen to someone else.
The next step is to identify your goals. The more specific you are with your goals, the more likely the consultant will be able to help you achieve your objectives. The key is to focus on the “what” rather than the “how.”
Once you have identified your goals, you will need to determine if a consultant can help you achieve them. In business, you need to consider the possibility of whether an employee or contractor would better fit your needs than a consultant. To make this determination, consider the following:
- A consultant helps you identify your problem, devise a solution, and then implements it or trains you to do so. Typically, this is a short-term project. The consultant will be the leader and guide you through the entire process.
- Consultants lead, whereas contractors and employees follow. The contractor or employee carries out assignments, and implements plans laid out by someone else (you or your consultant).
- Contractors and employees usually require supervision, while consultants generally do not.
A contractor will be useful for a short-term solution. If your problem has an indefinite time span, your better choice would be an employee.
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