Monday, December 6, 2010

Before Engaging a Consultant or Adviser, ask Yourself

...the following key questions:
  • Do you understand what it is you are asking the consultant to do? Or are you simply employing a consultant because you do not understand what it is you need to do?

  • Are you employing a advisor because you do not have the time to do the work yourself? If you do not have the time or resources to do this work, how are you going to run a business?

  • Are you sure you’re asking the right person for advice? Ask around so that you can identify a business adviser that can add value?

  • A good adviser will take time to get to know your organisation.However, there is no point in the adviser feeding back information that you already have in-house. Be clear about where they will add value.

  • Are you prepared to hear the hard truth? A adviser will be objective and honest with you and may not tell you what you want to hear.

  • If you put work out to tender, focus on the experience, education the advisor has in this area not on how they will approach the work. If your adviser can not admit to not knowing how to solve a particular problem, then be careful because most adviser don't know everything.

  • You should be clear about what you are asking them to do (and not do).Whether it is a specific piece of research or some specialist advice, be clear at the outset what you will expect to get out of the process.

  • Write down your brief summary so that both parties can be clear about what the work entails.You will also find that you get a more accurate estimate of costs if everything is built into the original brief.

  • You and your adviser should approach your relationship as a partnership and both parties should be treated with respect.
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