If you're trusting a consultant/advisor with a major project, then you want to make sure that they're of an upstanding moral character and a good fit personality-wise. Your consultant/advisor will act as a trusted ear for your problems and should be in tune with your needs and concerns. Remember that personality is an important component even in professional relationships - business is all about people, and strong partnerships yield the best results.
Don’t choose just anyone! You want to make sure that your chosen consultant/advisor has experience within your specific industry. If you’re a real estate professional, for example, a consultant/advisor who deals primarily with tech start-ups wouldn’t be the best fit for your needs. You need somebody who understands what it is that makes your business unique and can help drive value from those strengths, as well as insider knowledge of the pitfalls and challenges of your particular industry.
Communication is central to a consultant/advisor’s job so this is an important aspect to consider. Anyone can cut and paste a deck of slides, but it takes someone special to be able convey ideas in a way that makes sense for your business. If you’re going to invest in advice and guidance, make sure it comes with good communication.
There are many professionals out there who will call themselves an expert or a consultant, but lack the proper credentials and/or education to back it up. Make sure that your advisor always has current industry certifications and specialized training in their field of expertise. Look for social proof such as testimonials - how many businesses have they helped? What results have they delivered?
You want to choose someone who is willing and able to look at your business with a new set of eyes. It’s not about reinventing the wheel, but rather looking for some fresh insight that you may have never considered before. The best advisors/consultants are the ones who think outside of the box.
Enthusiasm is a difficult thing to measure, but it’s incredibly important. Consider how much passion your potential advisor/consultant has for their work. Do they have a fire behind their eyes or does it feel like just another job? Make sure that the advisor/consultant you hire is passionate about what they do and can bring that same level of enthusiasm into your business relationship as well.
Choosing the right consultant/advisor for your business is an important step towards relieving your pain and achieving your goals. It’s important to choose someone who really understands your industry and can empathise with your problems and goals. There are many factors to consider, but if you keep these five points in mind while searching, you’ll have a much better chance of finding someone who will really move the needle with their expertise and guidance.
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