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The Ultimate Guide You Need for Working with Consultants

June 30, 2021
Reading Time:
4 minutes
Experienced copywriter who spends a lot of money at restaurants and regrets it later.

Hiring a consultant is very common in today’s world. With so many qualified freelance consultants available in the market, finding a top consultant who has worked for big companies has become so easy.

However, working with consultants is a little bit different from working with permanent employees. Why? We’ll discuss that in this article.

We will also discuss some tips to help you prepare for your next consulting engagement. We will analyze what makes a good consultant, how to find the right consultants, and much more.

Let’s begin.

1. Attributes to Look For in a Consultant

Hiring a consultant can be a daunting task if you don’t know the characteristics of a competent consultant. So, what makes a good consultant? Well, to learn that, let’s discuss some key attributes that top consultants usually have.

Calmness under pressure: Usually, companies try to find a consultant when there is a problem that they can’t solve themselves. It’s likely that they are under pressure, and need strong, expert guidance. That’s why a consultant must know how to keep a cool head.

Problem-solving skills: Good consultants don’t see problems as “problems”. They see them as puzzles that need to be solved and they are excited about it. In fact, before hiring a consultant, you should ask them about their problem solving experience.

Intelligence and confidence: This is a no-brainer. People who choose to be consultants usually have a higher IQ along with the willpower to face problems with optimism.

Some other qualities to look for before hiring a consultant are good communication skills, impeccable work ethic, honesty, and professionalism.

“Losing your head in a crisis is a good way to become the crisis.” ― C.J. Redwine

2. The Process of Working With a Consultant

Onboarding a freelance consultant is slightly different from hiring a full-time or part-time employee. You see, consultants are not fully a part of the organizational hierarchy, so you can’t “manage” them as you’d do to permanent employees. Usually, companies have to give directions to the employees, however, in the case of consultants, the company has to take advice from them. It’s necessary to understand this social dynamic to have a fruitful relationship with consultants.

Let’s understand the process of working with consultants point wise:

  • Statement of work: This is a document that contains what the consultant is going to offer, the project scope, various deliverables, timeline of completion, costs, etc.
  • Data collection and analysis: When the statement of work is signed, the consultant will begin to show their magic. They will collect data through various methods (research, interview) and analyze it to create recommendations.
  • Recommendations: After going through rigorous analysis and brainstorming, the consultant will offer you recommendations on how to solve your problems. For example: “Shut down underperforming stores in London and create an eCommerce website.”

3. Measuring Success

It can be difficult to measure a consultant’s value. That’s why some people wonder what makes a good consultant. Is it an impressive CV? Or a testimonial from a famous company? Well, there are some quality metrics that you can use to judge a consultant’s worth.

  • Timely completion of the project: More time means more costs and more ways to make things go wrong. A skillful consultant is one who efficiently delivers the project on time.
  • Project profit: Hiring a consultant comes with a price. But if you choose the right consultant, the consulting engagement will pay for itself in the long run. For instance, if you hire a consultant for $10,000 to create a cost-reduction strategy and it helps you save $100,000 a year, then it’s a win-win for the both of you.
  • Project success: Not all consulting projects can be measured with monetary gains/losses. For instance, if you hire a culture change consultant to create new business processes, it can be really difficult to measure how much extra revenue the consultant helps you generate, at least for the first few months. In this case, project success will be determined by how well the employees' transition into the new work environment is.

4. Different Types of Consultants

Back in the day, hiring consultants was a luxury that only a few businesses could afford. Not only this, but most consultants only specialized in a limited number of areas, such as management consulting or accounting. Fast forward to the present day, even small to medium-sized businesses can hire consultants for almost any business problem.

Need to take your business online? You can hire digital transformation consultants. Need an expert to solve your company’s critical sales challenges? Get in touch with a sales consultant. Need to incorporate the Agile methodology into your daily operations? Find an Agile project manager. This list can go on and on. The bottom line is: whatever issues you’re having in your business right now, there’s likely an expert out there who has helped other businesses tackle the same problems and they can help you too.

Now the question is: How to find a consultant who can actually help you reach your goals? The thing is, top consultants who have worked for big companies don’t look for freelance projects on job search sites. You’re more likely to find them on an online consulting platform. If you don’t know, an online consulting platform helps connect businesses with top consultants.

Here at Consultport, we have more than 3500 consultants in our talent pool. We only choose the best—ones who have worked for big consulting firms like BCG, McKinsey, etc.

Our process is really simple. Just reach out to us and state your requirements. Then, we’ll handpick the best consultants from our talent pool and send you their profiles. You’re free to interview and choose the one you like. Once that’s done, you can start the project and we’ll handle all the paperwork.

If that sounds interesting to you, we’d love to hear from you.

Your dream consultant could just be a few clicks away. Get in touch now.