If you’re at a standstill in your business and have reached a point where you aren’t quite sure how to move the needle forward, having a business consultant in your corner can be the solution that lights a fire under your butt and helps you get back on track.
However, if you’ve never worked with a consultant before, you may not be sure what to expect — or even what a business consultant does! (You can check out our blog post, “3 Ways a Business & Marketing Consultant Can Help Your Business”, if you want more insight on this.)
Today, I’m going to break down some Do’s and Don’ts that will help you navigate your relationship with your consultant and make sure you’re getting the most out of their services. In my 10+ years of digital marketing and consulting experience, I’ve found that the best way to ensure your consultant sets you up for success is to go into the process with an open mind and realistic expectations.
With all of that being said, let’s dive in!
THE “DO’S” OF WORKING WITH A CONSULTANT
- DO be clear on your vision and goals for the business.
A consultant’s job is to help you create and execute a strategy that will help you achieve your goals, but if you can’t vocalize what exactly your goals ARE, it can be tricky to make the proper recommendations or implement the changes that will lead to the results you want to see. It’s really important that you take time to reflect on what you truly want, and be able to communicate those desires to your consultant.
- DO have reasonable expectations.
A good consultant is there to help, and will work alongside you as your integrator to provide structure to your many ideas and assist you in executing them in the very best way possible. However, a consultant isn’t a fairy godmother, and you have to be reasonable in your expectations. Remember, this individual isn’t your employee — they’re a third party contractor and expert who YOU hired to help improve your business. You don’t need to agree with everything they say, but know their recommendations are coming from a place of expertise and a desire to see you succeed. Trying to exert too much control over your consultant will not only affect your relationship with him/her, but also the results of your partnership.
- DO give your consultant regular feedback.
Consultants need feedback on their performance so they know what’s working and what isn’t. Not every strategy is right for every CEO (which is why I always take a whole-of-business approach to consulting) but unless you voice your concerns to your consultant, they won’t know how they can improve and best help your business. Be polite, but honest — let your consultant know what’s working, what isn’t, and what you think would improve the working relationship.
THE “DON’TS” OF WORKING WITH A CONSULTANT
- DON’T think there are silly questions.
I always tell my clients that there is NO SUCH THING as a silly or stupid question. You are not supposed to know everything about business, and the reason you brought a consultant onto your team is to help you improve your knowledge and learn new skills. If anything, your consultant should expect you to have questions and ENCOURAGE you to voice them. This is how you get your money’s worth and use your consultant’s expertise to your advantage!
- DON’T be afraid to communicate.
Like I said above, your relationship with your consultant will be so much stronger if you aren’t afraid to reach out to them with feedback or questions. They are there to help you, so don’t think you’re being annoying or overbearing if you want to communicate regularly. This is normal and even better for your business!
- DON’T get stuck in the past.
While there’s a time and place for reviewing old data, most of your efforts with your consultant should be focused on growth-oriented tasks. Remember, you can’t change the past, you can only improve the future — and that’s what your consultant will hopefully help you do!
I know that it can be intimidating to invite an expert into your business to offer their opinions and suggestions, but if you approach it from the right angle and take the steps to be prepared, it can lead to a transformation that will skyrocket your business to new heights!
If you’re interested in potentially bringing a consultant onto your team, I’d love to hop on a free 15 minute discovery call to walk you through the process of working with me. You can also learn more on my website.
Have you worked with a consultant before? Was the experience positive? I’d love to know in the comments!