Hiring a professional consultant is a big decision. Adding capacity, expertise and value are all great benefits when taking the next step forward. However, many business owners only focus on one thing when it comes to hiring a professional: the price tag.
The price of hiring a professional is very important as you want to be sure that it is beneficial for your business. I once spoke to a client who mentioned that hiring our firm was a “leap of faith.” We have worked together for years now and this client has enjoyed greater success. Imagine if that “leap of faith” wasn’t taken. Where would that client be now? The first thing to consider when making this decision is the cost of not moving forward.
How much have bad decisions cost you in the past? Not knowing what systems to put in place will reduce efficiency and effectiveness, which costs money. Not investing in equipment at the right time will reduce capacity and/or efficiency, which costs money. Fixing errors that could have been avoided by making the hiring decision earlier costs more money. There are base costs associated with each of these scenarios, which can already be expensive, but then add in the amount of time a business owner must spend to fix these problems instead of being productive somewhere else. The time wasted could have been more sales calls, more services provided, or more products produced. This of course costs even more money. Doing things the wrong way or simply not doing things at all can easily outweigh the cost of hiring a professional to do the work correctly from the start. Don’t let cost of the professional keep you from making a big mistake.
Once you’re on board with hiring a professional, the next step is to make sure you hire the right one for your business. I have worked with clients who have went through multiple advisors that just were not a fit for what they needed. You do not want to spend the time and money that they did trying to find that good fit. To avoid this, you need to ask the right questions when hiring a professional. Both sides need to leave the conversation with clear expectations. Below are some sample questions to ask:
- What tools will you provide me throughout the process?
- What are the types of results I can expect and at what time in the process do we start to see those results?
- What systems will we have in place to hold each other accountable?
- How often will we be meeting?
- What are your expectations of us throughout this process?
- What is the goal that we are trying to achieve working together?
Once this conversation occurs, you should have a good feeling about whether this person is a good fit to work with your business. Setting expectations leads to a plan which then leads to results.
We have worked with many clients who are all more profitable than they were before. Do not focus so much on the cost of hiring the professional, focus on making sure that this person wants the same end results that you want. When you work together, hold each other accountable, have clear expectations, and set goals — then the results will come.