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Consultant Evaluation Checklist

With the terms “Coach” and “Consultant” being used by such a range of people it is important to really understand what it is that is meant by the term “Consultant”.

According to Wikipedia Management consulting is the practice of helping organizations to improve their performance, primarily through the analysis of existing organizational problems and development of plans for improvement.

As members of the Canadian Association of Certified Management Consultants we ascribe to the detailed definition of Management Consulting on their website, as well as the Professional Code of Conduct and the CMC-Canada Code of Ethics.

Checklist for Hiring a Consultant:

1. Is there a specific need, expectation, project or deliverable that is well defined? The definition of the reason for why you are hiring a consultant is a key success factor to choosing the right consultant to guide your business.

  • It is often the case that a consultant is hired to help define the project. When the definition is complete, a good consultant will be able to advise you whether they are the right person for the next step, or whether a different specialist is required.

2. Is there a specific set of competancies that is required to fulfil this project? Here is a overall set of competancies:

  • Finance and Accounting
  • Human Resources
  • Litigation and Law
  • Marketing for new and existing products and services
  • Operations including business processes
  • Organizational Change Management
  • Quality Management
  • Strategy and Planning
  • Technology

3. Is there a defined budget that you are working within? Generally consultants are paid upfront and as an investment there is an expectation of ROI return on investment. Sometimes consultants can be paid based on a value proposition or results.

  • Calculate expected return on investment by taking the total expected increased income from the consulting activity and dividing it by the total cost of the consulting work.

For example, if you expect to achieve $10,000 additional incremental income from existing customers as a result of $2,500 in consulting work the return on investment would be 400%. Excellent investment!

4. Do you like and trust the person? Can you see yourself collaborating and getting the results you are looking for with this advisor?

  • The fact of the matter is we are all people and it is important to know like and trust the person that you will be working on everyday until the goals are achieved.

Liking the person is important but it is not enough for your business. Make sure you create an expectation for the business in clear terms like increased revenue, along with the expectation of return on investment.

We have seen many examples of conferences and events where people feel great about what is happening, and then year after year their business has not changed.

Check in with your management team to ensure that you have clear expectations about what you want and what you will get from the consulting engagement.

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