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“To Hire or Not to Hire” a Consultant


During the hustle of managing day-to-day operations you can easily lose sight of the BIG picture. In order to attain the growth and long-term goals envisioned for your company a strategic plan is required. Are the right steps being implemented at your company? If not, hiring a consultant may be the productivity boost needed to get you back on course. Consultants provide advantages by optimizing the overall functionality of your organization to ensure each task performed is profitable and directly impacts a desired outcome.

Why Hire a Consultant

Whether you are looking to allocate a one-time project to free your current work load, could benefit from customized training to develop your work force or need innovative planning to reach that next benchmark, hiring a consultant has benefits.

· Consultants can provide specialized expertise and outsider perspective from working with a diversity of companies. Chances are your consultant possesses knowledge relative to your current situation and can implement ideas and strategies that yield high performance results. They understand the ins-and-outs of market trends and know what your competitors are doing.

· They can save you money! Consultants can be pricey but in the long run it’s cheaper than hiring a full-time employee. Unlike employees, you do not pay for benefits or payroll taxes. Consultants are contracted for a specific time frame and therefore save on overhead and management costs. Additionally, by hiring an expert you avoid lengthy training time and ensure optimal productivity.

· Planning a project and executing strategies requires extra time that may seem daunting on top of the multitude of regular duties and priorities of managing a business. Hiring a consultant alleviates the in-house team of the burden and stress of a looming deadline and avoids disrupting core job responsibilities. Consultants can devote more time and effort toward completing the project fully.

Drawbacks to Hiring a Consultant

· Consultants can derive expertise from working with a variety of companies, business leaders and industry markets but are often lacking knowledge of your specific in-house procedures. It is important to hire a consultant that will collaborate with key players BEFORE work begins to gain as much direction and background information about your company and project as possible. Provide the consultant with the company’s mission and vision statement and any other important documents that will provide insight into the inner workings of your company. Additionally, a consultant who demonstrates open communication and actively looks for feedback will maximize the likelihood of producing desired results that align with your goals and ethics.

· It can be difficult to hear feedback about the organization that you have worked so hard to build. Sometimes advice feels like criticism or you may not agree with the direction the consultant is headed. Just like any relationship it requires effort from both participants, open communication and an understand that you both are working towards the same goal. Good news is, if you find that you can no longer work with a certain consultant, it’s only temporary and before hiring the next one, review social media accounts, blog posts and ask for references in order to get a better understand of their personality and if the relationship will be a good fit for your company.

· The consultant that you want to work with may not be available when you need them. Because consultants work with many different companies, they may already have contracted projects they are working on and are unable to take on additional work. If you can wait, this isn’t an issue. If not, maybe your consultant is part of a team or can provide recommendations for another consultant that you can work with.

When to Hire a Consultant

· You have a vision or plan but need help implementing it.

· A specialized skill is required that may not exist within your current office.

· When there are short-term projects that require minimal supervision.

· To implement a change, solve a problem or handle unpleasant tasks.

· When you need an outside perspective to provide insight to grow your business.

Conclusion

The decision to hire or not to hire a consultant can be tricky and only you can decide if it is right for your company but if you’ve made it this far hopefully you have a better understanding of some of the advantages a consultant can provide as well as some drawbacks to be mindful of. Finding the right consultant that spends the time to understand your company, encourages communication and feedback, and is capable of providing expert objectives, strategies and plans for growth is possible with Alidade Strategy and Communications. Our relationship starts with a conversation to get to know each other. Contact us today at 312-857-5220 or send an email to hello@alidadestrategy.com.


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