Insights from SiteSuite guest writers
This is the last blog in my series on the consultant's role in business and how to assess the need, find the right consultant and how to manage the process. This post covers a few follow up topics, and of course if you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment.
So far in this series of posts, we've looked at why you might need a consultant, how you select a consultant and now in this post we take a look at possibly the most important part of the process; How do you manage a consultant … to deliver the desired outcomes, and to meet your project objectives?
It’s really a straightforward three step process:
- Connect with the consultant
- Monitor work
- Evaluate results.
In my last blog we talked about why you might need to hire a consultant for your business. Today we go to the next step and discuss how to go about engaging a consultant.
Having made an ‘in principle’ decision to engage a consultant … move on and follow this seven step selection process:
- Develop initial brief
- Scan for expertise
- Seek more information
- Request proposals
- Make a decision
- Finalise contract.
I’ve had senior executives and business owners "shy away" from the work that needs to be done here … and … it makes me wonder why there are so many ‘bad consultant’ stories. You must put this effort in to get the best possible result.
While business people typically have a broad range of skills, with perhaps some specialties; changes within the business, in the broader economic climate, or other unforeseen circumstances, can create a need that can't be met with the existing skills within the business. When that occurs, employing a specialist consultant can provide the skills necessary to deal with the situation as well as an objective viewpoint that can help to effectively focus the team.
If we went to a business book shop we would find many books on business plans. And if you ‘google’ the phrase “business plan template” you will get 1M+ hits! So lots of advice … but very few tips and tricks, to avoid the traps.
However, a business plan must only exist for an actionable purpose – no actionable purpose = no plan.
Why do you need a business plan? There are many such purposes, for example; raise finance, convince backers & partners, put a ‘stake in the ground’, prepare to sell, apply for a grant, help run the business, ……. etc.
Passwords. We all use them to access our online banking, our email accounts, our utility account management, our stock investments, home and car loan accounts – and for many people, the list goes on and on. Here are some tips for creating complex passwords that are easy to remember yet difficult for someone to guess easily.
Discover the 10 steps that could take your business from a hobby to leading brand in just 3 years. This article is written by the owner of one of Australia's leading online brands, a business founded on the principles of 10 simple steps. Read on...
Anyone who’s studied has more than likely been exposed to Mind Maps to help build their ideas and concepts. Whenever we deal with clients embarking upon a new project we encourage them to spend a week or more drawing out a mind map to help get their ideas and concepts on paper. From creating brands or logos to choosing colours and web layouts, a mind map is a smart way to approach any important decision or project.
As I sit here writing this blog post, I find it really hard to believe that just four years ago I was a new Mum on maternity leave from a corporate marketing role and running a little hobby wedding styling business called Pink Frosting. This hobby business was going to be something to keep my mind occupied and creativity honed while I raised my young family. As I was working with my clients on creating lavish and gorgeous events, I spotted an opportunity to sell wedding decorations and accessories online because I found it so frustratingly difficult to find beautiful decorations in Australia and yet they were all available to overseas brides. So www.PinkFrosting.com.au was born and launched 3 years ago. As with most successful businesses, harnessing this key opportunity at the right time was the master stroke that made Pink Frosting the top-5 Australian ecommerce gift site that it is today, and this blog is about thow we went from hobby to leading Australian brand in three years.
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