A good consultant brings “fresh eyes” and will often tell you exactly what you know should be done but just didn’t have the confidence to implement the changes. Before hiring a consultant you must have a clear goal of your needs. And make sure there are no misunderstandings about the relationship. A consultant can’t perform miracles – especially in just a few days. Large corporations will hire consultants for months on end while small to medium size company generally can’t afford more than a few days. Here are things to consider and discuss with any consultant you hire:
1. Who will pay for airfare, housing, meals, etc. How will this be paid?
2. Who will pick the hotel/motel? What is acceptable. How will this be paid?
3. How with the consultant get around? Will you provide transportation?
4. How many hours per day do you expect? Most consultants know you will want to suck them dry and work them late into the night.
5. Who pays for travel days? If the consultant is in Phoenix and the job is in Los Angeles then travel is just over an hour. If the consultant has to fly coast-to-coast someone needs to pay (at a reduced rate) for travel. If the job is international, time needs to be allowed for adjustment and extra time.
6. How will the consultant be paid? Consultants often ask for 50% with the contract and the balance before they arrive. Do not expect credit. Do not expect a consultant to put money out of their own pocket.
7. Will the consultant give you a report after the job is done? They should and there should be a time frame for this to happen.
8. Do you get after-the-visit consulting? Spell out how much you can contact the consultant after the job. 9. Should you have a simple contract outling all of the above with a details “goals” list? YES.
9. Think of a consultant like you might your attorney. They are going to charge you a lot of money for their life’s experiences and they bring a LOT to the table – having been in dozens if not hundreds of other shops.