The decision to bring in a business consultant is a big one. And a brave one. It typically means that, despite your blood, sweat, and tears, things aren’t going as hoped or expected, which is not abnormal. After all, the statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Business Employment Dynamics show that only about 30% of small businesses will make it through their tenth year (data as of March, 2016).
Choosing the Best Cleveland Business Consultants
Whether yours is a fledgling business or an established one, a qualified business consultant can be just what you need to tighten up your processes, improve company culture, boost sales, train leadership or employees, and boost your bottom line.
But realistically, what should you expect when you enlist the help of a business consultant? Here are eight things a consultant should have/do:
1. Experience in Your Industry.
Different Cleveland business consulting firms have different strengths. When you are shopping for a consultant, be sure to choose one that has in-depth knowledge of what you do and the specific challenges you are facing in your niche.
2. Knowledge of Your Business.
Beyond a working knowledge of your industry, the business consultant you hire should know your business inside and out. This is often done through informal discussion and oftentimes various assessments. A great consultant will analyze the results of assessments and be able to provide you with a list of strengths and areas of weakness to target for growth.
Make sure the consultant you select is as passionate about your business as you are. Don’t accept being considered just “another“ client or business. Expect your consultant to be as enthusiastic about your mission as you are.
4. Bring out Your Leadership Skills.
Your business consultant should bring out the best in your leadership skills. A talented consultant will not simply tell you what to do but will guide you to make the best decisions using your personal strengths combined with his or her expertise. A gifted consultant also senses when it is time to offer encouragement or lead you to a better result through a series of questions and statements.
5. A Strategic Plan.
Based on your input, assessment, and other observations, your Cleveland Business Consultants should be able to develop and present a plan of action to help improve your business. Measurable, concrete goals should be included to help monitor improvement.
6. Effective Training.
Regardless of the issues causing your business to underperform, your business consultant should provide effective training programs to meet your needs. This may include the following:
- leadership development
- sales training
- time management and productivity training
- management development
- staff development
- organizational leadership development
- communication skills training
- hiring / employment screening / employee retention
- and other types of targeted training.
7. Holds You Accountable.
Expect your consultant to hold you accountable for keeping your commitments and responsibilities. Everyone needs someone to hold them accountable. Any worthy consultant who sees you skipping promises, commitments or tasks should tactfully have a crucial conversation with you.
8. Measurable Results
An effective business consultant in Cleveland should be able to produce measurable, positive results based on their goals for the business. While no one should expect overnight success, it should be clear that you are headed in the right direction.
If your Cleveland business consultant doesn’t reflect the list above, it is time to cut ties and look for another consultant better suited to your needs.
Hiring the Best Business Consultant – Cleveland and Surrounding Areas
Leadership Excellence is dedicated to providing the best Business Consultants Cleveland has to offer. To learn more about our services, please feel free to contact us online or schedule a no-obligation 15 minute consultation to see if we are a good fit for your business.