When your business needs the complementary skills of a consultant, you want the reassurance that the adviser is competent, trustworthy and has the demonstrable expertise to deliver.
All our advertised consultants are professional members of the Institute of Business Consulting – a fact that should give you confidence in selecting your shortlist from this directory.
While the engagement of consultants is essential to the success of organisational wide projects, most organisations tend to commit a number of common mistakes when engaging external consultants. These notes may help you avoid the pitfalls.
Bearing in mind that as many of our members either ran their own business or held senior positions in blue chip organisations, you’ll find many individuals with a broad range of business skills in the various disciplines.
Think about your project and search for those with the most relevant specialism. If you’re unsure, search for a generalist.
An ideal shortlist is three or four. Considerations should be:
The brief is probably the single most important factor in shaping a successful project – by agreeing mutual objectives, you avoid possible misunderstandings later. It is essential that the scope, objectives, parameters and outcomes of the project be defined. Keep it short but clear and be honest if there are elements you are unsure about.
Send the brief to your shortlisted candidates and invite them to a face-to-face pitch. This meeting will establish there is the right chemistry for you to work together.
After the pitch, be clear about when the candidates will hear back from you, and remember – you may need some of the rejected ones in the future.
To get the relationship with your selected consultant off to the right start, it’s important to set out everything in black and white in the form of terms and conditions. Be very clear about your budget upfront. Negotiate hard, check that basic expenses are included in the price and put a clause in the terms and conditions that holds the consultant to the original cost.
If confidentiality is an issue, ask the consultant to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
Check that your consultant has Professional Indemnity insurance.