If you are running or launching a business, and you have decided to go the route of hiring a consultant, it is important that you ask pertinent questions. These questions should pertain to their strategy and experience as well as specific questions to the type of business you run.
Testing the general and specific knowledge of a potential consultant can be useful in making your decision. It is crucial as a consultant that they know what is going on in the business world as well as in your specific industry.
What do you think of the current environment for small business?
A general question about the overall marketplace can be a good lead in to see the foundation of knowledge that a consultant is operating on. It is important as a business owner to understand the overall marketplace, let alone the specific industry in which you are operating. It is a good sign if the potential consultant ties their answer into your enterprise.
How do you feel about the past, present, and future of my industry?
Questions specific to the business that you are running are essential to feel out the overall knowledge and attention that the consultant is willing to give to your business. They should have at least done their homework enough to have some general knowledge about the particular industry in which you are operating
What type of competitive strategies do you recommend?
A consultant must have economically helpful suggestions for your business. If they do not have any ideas on how to get a leg up on your competition or at least maintain pace with them then they may not be a very good consultant.
It is important that you are able to remain competitive as a business to remain viable in the marketplace advice offered by a consultant must, therefore, be based on a more in-depth knowledge of the industry in which you operate.
Why are you/your firm the best choice?
Credentials are also important to consider, although not always depending on your personal style of running a business. A good consultant will generally have the backing of good ratings and reviews.
This does not mean that you should take the ratings and reviews more seriously than your response to interviewing the consultant. You may be more successful with someone with less experience for many reasons, including cost or that they are just a better match for your style.
Terms of agreement?
It is important to know upfront what type of consulting structure that you agree to. The style of the consultant and how you want to run your business should definitely be consistent with each other.
Cost is also an important thing to consider. Do not be afraid to ask the consultant about their payment structure and the conditions of the particular contract. Overall, you want to choose a consultant that both meets your financial parameters and works to make your firm more successful.