5 Tips for Choosing a Business Consultant
Workflow has slowed to a crawl. Projects are backing up. Clients are complaining. You want outside help, but who do you turn to? Should you call a business consultant or a business coach?
The line between business consultant and business coach has become blurred. People often use the terms interchangeably, unsure of the differences of the two. To be fair, when there are consultants in the marketplace calling themselves coaches and coaches, consultants, this confusion is inevitable. So, what are the differences between business consultants and business coaches?
- Focus their expertise on business
- Answer questions
- Versed in business strategy
- Analyze goals
- Provide opinions
- Teach skills
- Tailor solutions
- Integrate new systems
- Turn a business into a company
- Focus their expertise on people
- Ask questions
- Develop organizational purpose
- Expand the preexisting skills of people
- Address mindset issues
- Create action plans
- Provide support and accountability
- Turn an entrepreneur into a leader
Just as consultants and coaches have different roles, consultants, too have different roles.
Helps clients improve performance of office systems, providing a spectrum of services from advising to hands-on implementation
Focuses on strategy items such as corporate strategies and organizational strategies, typically working with CEOs and senior management
Helps clients develop, apply, and integrate information technology, including cyber security and IT forensics
Human Resource Consultant
Focuses on human capital, addressing issues such as management changes, transforming culture, or reorganizing an existing HR department
Financial Advisory Consultant
Focuses on organizational financial capabilities, ranging anywhere from mergers and acquisitions to tax and corporate finance advising
Choosing the Right Business Consultant
Here are 5 tips to use when choosing a consultant for your business.
- Establish your goals with your consultant.
- Consultants bring their vast experience (at least they should) to their clients. Most are experienced in one or two of the consultant categories. Beyond that and they are likely spreading themselves too thin.
- As the consulting process requires lots of personal interactions, your consultant should have great people skills.
- As effective consulting is an exercise in listening, make sure you are feeling heard throughout the process.
- Though consultants have their own approach, solutions should not be mandated by the consulting. Creating effective solutions is team exercise, involving consultant and client.
Chances are, if you’re bringing a consultant into your company, you’re looking to transform one or more aspects of your business. Picking the right consultant at the outset could move your business years ahead.