Monday, October 26, 2015

Ask These Question Before Working With Consultants - For Service Business

 

BJ MANNYST Shares: Questions Every Service Business & Professional Needs To Ask Before They Work With a Consultants


***This article was original discovered and compiled by a different organization with initial Y.U. BJ Mannyst and it’s team has simplified this and made this available. Remember these questions are meant to guide and are not meant for bombarding a person you’re just meeting. Note, there are some questions some might not disclose to strangers.


We recommend interviewing at least two consultants (once you’ve gone through your list) and asking the same questions in the same order. This allows you to better compare their experience and qualifications to your needs in a fair manner.

We recommend these steps for conducting the initial meeting:
1. Your potential and yourself must agree what will happen during the initial meeting.
2. Describe your situation.
3. Make sure interview meetings is conducted both ways.
4. Discuss financial arrangements and other agreement.
5. Ask for a proposal and some of their work.
6. Outline next steps and time frames.


1. You & the consultant should agree on what will happen during the initial meeting
Most consultant are partners and want to collaborate with you and your organization so just trying to have all the control is counter productive.  Let the consultant know overview of the problems you face and feel free to ask some specific questions about their experience.

2. Give ideas what kind of assistance that you would like from the consultant. 
Allow for questions from the consultant, but remember that you also need to interview that person to assess their ability to meet your department’s needs.

3. Even professional sports teams pick the wrong coach. 
Pay attention not only to the content of answers, but also to the consultant's personal manner and professional style.

Here are some questions that we suggest you cover.

  • How would you describe the challenges we face from the limited amount you now know about us?
  • Have you worked on similar projects or consulted with other groups facing problems similar to ours?
  • What did you learn from the experience?
  • What would you do differently if you could repeat the experience?
  • Based on past experience what problems do you anticipate as we begin to work together? How can we best address these problems early on?
  • What experience do you have working in organizations that are similar to mine?
  • Describe your work process. How would you propose working with me and our staff?
  • What strengths do you possess that will prove particularly helpful in connection with this project?
  • Are there other members of your consulting team who would be working with you? Who are they? How would you propose to divide up the tasks among your team members?
  • How do we agree on evaluating success in solving our problem?
  • What’s your availability and schedule like so we can figure out next moves.
  • Approximately how much will this cost?
  • What else should we be asking you or should we know about
  • you, your experience, or what it would be like to work together?
  • What ways can they minimize your risks if that's a concern. So if they have guarantees, a trial period, or other ways to work on something that allows us to date first.

4. Before going any further, you will want to determine how the consultant charges.
Discussing finances early on paves the way to open discussions in the future.

Consultants typically charge a daily or hourly rate; sometimes a fixed rate is agreed upon for completion of an entire project.

Make sure you discuss potentially hidden expenses from the beginning,such as who is responsible for expenses such as travel and/or mileage,lodging, printing costs, etc. All items are negotiable but they are more
easily resolved when discussed in advance. However remember that there’s a difference between cheap and value.

For large projects or a project that will be conducted in phases, make sure to work with the consultant on payment. Phased payments, tied to milestones, are one way to compensate outside consultant.(Please note, milestones should be agree upon by both parties and realize some might not continue working for you if not paid on time)

5. You don’t usually need to request proposals.
Most consultant will or should provide it.Take a look at their websites, social media, their insights, and contact them. Find out what abilities they have, what they’ve accomplished or what your needs are.
We suggest that you ask for the name of the person who
supervised the consultant's work directly if available.

6.Next Steps and Time Frames
Both parties should agree when and what next steps in the process are and when you will next contact each other. After you've completed your interviews, please follow-up and let each individual know whether or not they have received the assignment.
7.Feel free to add your own questions.



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