What can I expect when hiring a Business Consultant?
The three things you should come prepared with to your first meeting!
So, you’ve made the wise decision to hire a business consultant. You’ve done the Google searches, sorted through names and faces, and contacted a professional to help you grow your business. The next step? Your first appointment.
As a busy entrepreneur, you want to make the most of your time with your consultant. That means you need to go into your meeting prepared. Three things you should always bring with you to your first meeting are a list of your pain points, your vision for your business, and a timeline.
If you’re confused about one (or all) of these terms, we explain them in more detail below.
1. Pain Points
Pain points might sound like a term more closely associated with massage than with e-commerce, but they play an important role in businesses.
A pain point is any barrier or issue customers, current or potential, encounter when interacting with a business. If you’ve arranged for professional help to grow your business, you likely already know some of your barriers. Maybe your website is generating traffic but no leads, or perhaps you’re overspending on marketing when you actually need to focus on website design and SEO.
Your business consultant will be able to focus better their time and energy if you’re ready with a list of the issues you’re facing. Any business consultant worth their salt will analyze your business to identify areas for improvement, but giving them a starting point is always helpful.
Then, they can tailor their suggestions to address these issues and push you towards achieving your goals, a.k.a. your vision, for your business.
2. Your Vision
A business vision defines future goals to determine present action. Think about what you’d like
your business to look like in six months, a year, two years, etc. You can be as detailed or as big- picture as you’d like when defining your vision for your company, but remember that a vision should be clear, concise, and aligned with your goals.
If you’re unsure how to explain or determine your vision for your company, consider writing a vision statement. The BDC does a great job breaking down the basics of creating a vision statement. While your business consultant will want more details from you than a vision statement can offer, it’s a great starting place to get your wheels turning.
3. Your Timeline
A timeline is a deceptively complex concept: at its most basic, you want to decide on deadlines for when you would like your business consultant to finish specific tasks. Simple at first, these deadlines can get complicated as your goals and strategies evolve. Additionally, addressing a pain point might take multiple steps, each of which will require time for evaluation after it is implemented.
Before your first meeting, sit down with a calendar and your vision for your business and decide
your ideal schedule for your business’ evolution. Try to be as realistic as possible about the changes you’d like to see and when you’d like to see them. Once you’ve done that, be prepared for this timeline to change based on your business consultant’s input and schedule.
Remember, great work takes time. Your consultant will need to analyze your business and come up with practical, personalized strategies so that your business can reach its full potential.
By having your pain points, vision, and timeline decided before your meeting, you’ll get the most out of your business consultant’s time. Heading in prepared means the consultant can spend their time figuring out how to help your business thrive and giving you the tools for future success. If you're unsure where to start, visit our business consulting services page or reach out to us, we're here to help.