Hiring a consultant can be a risky venture, but it also can have huge benefits. The trick is knowing when is the right time, how to utilize their services and who you should hire in the first place.
Most of what I sell is my knowledge, insights and expertise. With the exception of a few years where I was employed in IT management, the bulk of my whole career could technically be described as consulting (even the speaking and teaching aspects). So it might seem obvious why I would be pro-consultant. But I don’t always believe that hiring a consultant is a good idea. Instead, I have an understanding of when hiring a consultant is a good investment and when it is not.
I have spent nearly 15 years of my life as a full-time consultant. Over that time I have run the gamut from being self-employed to working for one of the largest firms in the country. I have provided consulting services to mom-and-pop businesses, Fortune 100 businesses and everything in between. When I wasn’t working as a consultant, I was responsible for hiring consultants for projects, both big and small. All this to say – I know of what I speak.
Below are three of the most often suspected, rarely spoken-of truths about consultants. My guess is that I will be drummed out of the super-secret-society of consultants, but I am willing to take the risk. Because, if you are going to hire a consultant, knowing these will help in making the best decision possible.