Choosing the Right Kind of Consultants


Consultants are everywhere in the world of business. Once the preserve of high level firms, the field has hugely expanded alongside the rise in entrepreneurialism in the country and there are consultants for every kind of business specialism, operating at levels to fit every state of development and every pocket. There are strategy consultants, branding consultants, competitor intelligence analysis consultants and many more.

You could spend a lot of money on consultancy fees if you’re not careful, and not see any results to match. This isn’t a reason to cut yourself off from useful help – you just have to be discerning, and have a clear idea of what you want. Today we’re taking a look at what the right consultants are for you and your business.

Skill Gaps

The most important thing you can do is understand the skill gaps in your own company. There’s no point hiring consultants if they’re not supplying something extra that your own workforce doesn’t already have the capability for. If you’re looking at starting a new project, or revamping your marketing, take a look back through your hires – do they have experience you’re not using? It could be the ideal opportunity to develop your staff and maintain their loyalty and engagement rather than spend money on costly consultants.

Know Your Aims

Before you begin conversations with consultants and viewing pitches, you need to know what you want to achieve from a project, with a budget and with your relationship with the consultants you choose. Ideally you need to have measurable targets – not merely ‘more customers’ but the percentage increase in footfall, not merely ‘better marketing’ but the uplift in click rates you want to see, not just savings, but what percentage of your logistics budget you need to reduce.

It may be that these aims are modified in your conversations with consultants – the best ones won’t blindly promise to deliver what you want, but talk over your plans and resources and tell you what they can deliver.

Without a realistic target you’ve agreed on, it’s hard to assess if your consultants are succeeding or failing. It’s a great way to spend a lot of money and not know if it’s improved your situation, while dissolving your relationship with your consultants into frustration and resentment on both sides.


One of the most important metrics to bear in mind when finding the right consultants for your business is Return on Investment. Rather than a lump sum amount for how much they expect to save you or make you, ROI measures how much you get back for what you spend. Understanding ROI gives you a much tighter control of your budget and a firm that can credibly promise a better ROI is clearly better for your business!