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5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Business Consultant

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Do you ever find yourself thinking…

  • Does my competition have a greater share of the market?
  • Why aren’t we meeting our sales goals?
  • Have we stopped growing? Our business seems flat.
  • Shouldn’t more people know about our company and what we can do for them?
  • I’m not sure I know how we stack up to others in our industry.
  • I have a better product, so why does it seem like my competitors are ahead of me?
  • I’ve got a great group of really smart people. Why can’t we work as a team?
  • I need better data on my company to make decisions, and get my team aligned?
  • My company depends on me to be at my best every day; I can’t take a real vacation!
  • I seem to be working more hours and don’t have any real progress to show for it.
  • I’d like to be spending more time with my family!
  • How can I get back to the days when running my business was actually fun?

To achieve consistent results, top business consultants use proven methodologies to uncover the core problems or inefficiencies your business is facing–and can show you what fixing these core problems is worth.

Your company should be analyzed across all of its operational areas (operations, sales & marketing, brand, senior management, recurring revenue, etc.) that reveal the strength or holes within your current business.

Further, top business consultants use industry databases with real numbers from actual sold businesses within your industry to calculate and predict your company’s value (within 5-10% of the accuracy of a full valuation). You should be shown what your company “could” be worth, and how to get there. Look for a firm that can analyze the totality of your company’s operational areas and leverage best practices from assessment through execution to maximize results.


An accurate analysis ensures you will identify the right areas to work on first. This will help you get the most value in the least amount of time. As with medical care—you must get an accurate diagnosis, from which a comprehensive repair or growth plan can be developed and executed. A misdiagnosis could prove expensive, waste time, and won’t get the return you expect.

Quick and Affordable. Getting a lay-of-the-land assessment from your consultant should be quick and affordable. The up-front initial assessment should only take about 45 – 60 minutes (as little as 15 minutes if they use a business assessment tool), should be free or have a minimal cost (it is their investment to understand your business), and should include a valuable report with actionable
steps– just for participating. You should be able to determine from this initial interaction if your
consultant seems capable of understanding your business and whether you can trust their expertise.

Deep Dive Assessment. Once the consultant is selected, and as part of the formal engagement, there
is usually a 2nd deeper assessment– budget at least 60-90 minutes for a thorough analysis. This
further personalizes and solidifies the plan with dates, resources and expected ROI.


You should get a plan of action that includes detailed tasks that are ready to execute. Plus, the best consultants will show you how to get help to get it done right and grow your company to the next level.

Detailed Reports. In addition to calculating your potential business value and rating your operations, your report should benchmark you against your best-performing peers. This allows you to clearly see the risks to your company, how to fix them, and what your company could be worth after implementation.

Value Gap. A thorough analysis will tell you what your business would sell for today, and what it COULD be worth (the value gap)– based on market data showing what the best run businesses actually sell for. The analysis report will include the detailed steps to improve your business to get the highest value, so you can increase profits now and later.

Plan of Action. Best practice is to list specific tasks to increase company strength and value; including
a means to track increased value over time. A dynamic, actionable plan will guide you through implementing best practices, strengthening operations and building value.


It does no good for your consultant to identify an area that needs help (strategy) if you don’t have the proper resource to then fix the problem (tactics)—your consultant should help you solve problems, not just identify them. Once specific projects are identified, the consultant should help with the entire project–with personal or in-house expertise and/or with a proven network of pre-vetted specialists who are either managed by the lead consultant or referred to you (your consultant should vouch for their referrals and help insure quality work). Your consultant should be able to provide help with whatever you need to increase your value — Accounting, Tax, Valuation, Marketing (PR, Advertising, Social, Website), Design, Sales, Channel, etc.).


You should never consider hiring a consultant without knowing you will have a much greater return than the cost. Your consultant should be able to cite examples of increased value and growth. Preferably, every recommended improvement should include an associated ROI. You and your consultant would typically review the analysis and then jointly pick the area with the greatest potential ROI… and get started. On average, you should expect a 10x return for your dollars spent.

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