It is a well known fact that companies and organisations could save as much as 40% of the money that they lose on issues such as waste and variability. There is a general consensus that the potential for jobs in many parts of the country is good with lots of business planning to recruit rather than lay off staff.
However, should companies turn their attention to hiring consultants to unlock this ‘hidden wealth’ to make the company stronger in the future instead. This is a smart option for businesses and we have seen many organisations recruiting external consultants or using internal experts (or a combination of internal and external) for this purpose.
However, how can a business ensure that it gets the best value from an external consultancy service? How can a business ensure that those they are trying to influence and train perceive the external consultancy service as beneficial? And how can a business ensure that the external consultancy service will deliver?
Below are the top five things that businesses should look for in an external consultancy service to ensure that they are getting the best return on investment, reduced costs, and improve performance and growth/sales.
- Define the value.
Develop a plan of what you want to be delivered by the external consultant. This will provide reference points for the delivery and the scope of the service, as well as the desired outcome and milestones. Defining the value will also allow the project to be agreed clearly by both parties.
- Identify the measures of success.
The business itself should measure the success of the consultancy service throughout at various stages. These points should be defined at the beginning so that regular checks are maintained.
- Check the external consultancy service’s track record with people.
You must check before hand what the track record of the consultant is and how qualified they are. It is a good idea to also check if they have tackled a similar project before and if so what the outcome was.
- Check the delivery of the external consultancy service.
Plan before hand how people are going to be kept informed and ensure that the procedure planned is followed. Verify how collaborative they are and how open they are about their work and their plans. Ideally any stakeholder should be able to understand the plans within three minutes without any verbal explanation.
- Review the service that was provided by the external consultancy service.
At the end of the service, check the outcomes with the plan and see what was achieved. A 360 degree evaluation will beneficial for all and can help in the future.
Sticking to these five simple steps should see your business being able to unlock its hidden wealth and have a sustainable growth in the future.