How to Find Top Consultants for an Affordable Price
So you have decided to hire a consultant to help solve your business problems. That’s amazing. Now the next step is to find top consultants and select the best one for your business. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Hiring a consultant is a great challenge in itself because there’s a lot of time, energy, and money involved from a business point of view.
It’s not smart to spend a lot of time simply ‘looking’ for a consultant. At some point, you’ll have to drop your anchor and bring a consultant on board. It’s understandable that you might be on the fence and anxious when hiring one. After all, it’s a big investment - both timewise and financially.
So in this article, you’ll learn how consultants charge their fee and where to find top consultants who will truly understand your business objectives and help you achieve your goals - all within a reasonable budget.
Understand Why Exactly You Need a Consultant
There are several reasons why businesses hire consultants. Some need an external perspective on major business decisions, while others need specialized skills that are not available in-house. Understanding the real need for a consultant in your business helps you find the right one. The best way to do this is to list down all the challenges and problems that your business is facing. Start with the major pain points and state the reasons why these issues cannot be solved using the company's internal resources.
Once you have a list of goals and objectives that you want your future consultant to help you with, you should start looking at the different categories of consultants. The term "consultant" is a very broad term. For this reason, your first step towards finding the best consultant should be to understand different types of consultants. If you're looking for a project manager to ensure that your new project gets completed efficiently and on time, then you can look for consultants who specialize in project management.
And sometimes, you might need to hire multiple consultants who are experts in their specific fields. For example, if your goal is to increase your company's sales by X% by the end of the year, then you might need to hire two consultants - a sales consultant who can create new processes and train your salespersons, and a CRM consultant who can prepare your employees to use the state-of-the-art CRM software that'll help them differentiate between a sales-qualified lead and a cold lead with a few clicks.
The key is to find top consultants for every different type of business goal. Of course, you can hire generalist consultants if you want, but remember that in this day and age, it's possible to find different consultants for various niches, thanks to online consulting marketplaces - which we'll discuss in detail further in this article.
How Consultants Structure Their Fee
When you're navigating around to find top consultants, you'll realize that different consultants might have different consulting fees. To make sure you get the best deal for your business, you need to understand how consultants charge for their work.
This pricing model is very common for short consulting gigs. It’s a pretty straightforward way of payment - you pay your consultant for the number of "billable" hours worked. It's likely that you might have paid hourly rates to some of your employees or contractors at some point. So this method shouldn't take you by surprise. If you want to check the latest hourly market rates for a consultant in a particular category, you can always contact some reputable online consulting marketplaces to get the most accurate and up-to-date information instantly.
Paying a consultant a fixed fee for a project can be very beneficial for a business. You would know exactly what the cost is going to be right from the get-go. So if the project requires a few extra hours to complete, you won’t have to pay any extra fees. Whether it’s a short-term or a long-term project, you can set up a fixed budget first and then find the best consultant you can without worrying about a sudden increase in costs due to unknown factors.
A retainer model
If the nature of the problem requires you to seek a consultant’s help frequently, you could consider a retainer model. It’s simple, you pay them a fixed monthly fee to access their services on an ongoing basis. Finding a consultant and negotiating the price every now and then could be a lot of hassle. That’s why a retainer model might be the best option to secure a consultant’s services for your business.
Some consultants might charge you based on the results they achieve for your business. For example, a consultant might propose a 2% commission of the campaign revenue or profit. This is a great way to get the best out of a consultant. After all, they’ll be motivated to produce exceptional results when you share a little bit of your revenue with them.
Now that you have understood different fee structures, you can choose the one that fits within your budget.
Where to Find Top Consultants Without a Hassle
When it comes to consulting firms, there are few famous names that stand out and they’re really good at what they do. But did you know that you can find top consultants without approaching the big firms? First of all, you can ask the professionals in your network to help you find one. You could also post a paid ad on social media and target consultants. But these methods can be very time-consuming, and sometimes, costly. You might end up without a consultant by the end of your search. So is there a better way? Yes, it’s called online consulting marketplaces (or freelance consultant platforms).
Let’s quickly reiterate the main points in this article. First of all, list down the reasons why your company needs a consultant. Then study various fee structures and brainstorm which one would cost you the least in the long run. And then, simply approach a freelance consulting platform to help you find the right consultant. A platform that is credible, has access to hundreds of consultants at any given time, and can help you navigate through each step of your hiring process.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you find a top consultant for a price you comfortably afford.