Six mistakes clients make when choosing a consulting company
Finding a good business consultant can be a challenge: there are thousands of consulting companies worldwide with private experts eager to offer their services as well. Business companies sometimes take a long time to separate the wheat from the chaff. But even with the most meticulous approach, companies are making mistakes nevertheless. Let us take a look at the most common of them.
1. Counsel and Consultation
Many clients see no difference between these two, but there is one. A counsel is a general recommendation on what can be done in a given situation. A consultation involves the development of a specific plan, a strategy that can be implemented step-by-step, solve the problem and give benefits from its solution. If you have a true professional before you, who really understands your business, he will give you a consultation. Should a consultant have a poor understanding of the subject, he will only give you a general counsel.
2. Brand Orientation
There are brands in the consulting world too. Such companies have not simply earned their reputation, they provide effective quality service. However, their job would cost 2-3 times more than other less reputed companies. These costs are not always justified. Before making a choice, think of the result you need and study the portfolios of multiple companies – both branded and not. Once you do this, it will be easy to understand whose consultation benefits you more.
3. The habit of working with one consultant only
Let’s say you want to build yourself a house. It is quite reasonable to take advantage of the services of a large construction company. But would you ask them to repair your power socket? Hardly. You would obviously call for an electrician, a person specialized in solving exactly such narrow problems. This way, you can solve your problem faster and better. The situation is identical to consulting companies. Those who specialize in the provision of niche services are performing often better than the “orchestra” companies.
4. Wrong approach to measuring the outsourcing
Clients should pay attention to how the consultants they hired assess the performance quality of outsourcing offices. Practice shows that managing the outsourcing requires additional efforts from the head office managers.
Thus, a team of eight offshore resources requires an extra 1.5 or more days of management time for those located at the head office. This reduction in the head office output is rarely taken into account in evaluating the performance of an outsourcing team. And that means it is reflected in the overall examination results.
5. Inability to fully utilize the consultants’ expertise
Many clients have a stereotype that engaging consultants is only necessary when there is a problem in their business. In practice, working with them can be beneficial simply from gaining access to their knowledge and experience. For example, some experts are not only well aware of how some business should be developed, but they are developing new, entirely unique development tools and methods themselves. Cooperating with them will allow clients to take a fresh look at their work, enhance it, find new ways to make profits, buyers, etc. It is a great opportunity not to be overlooked.
6. Lack of clear purpose for addressing a consultant
It is much easier to work when you know what exactly you are required to deliver. And that concerns not only the consultant but the client as well. If he/she sets specific objectives, then the result will be quite tangible. Otherwise, the consultant will be unable to give you any serious assistance except for some sensible counsel. But as we remember, counsel is hardly a consultation.
This post is also available in: Russian