No matter how savvy you may be at understanding and using technology and the size and type of your business, it’s likely that you don’t have the time or expertise to stay up to date on everything to do with tech trends, updates, and tools.
As such, it pays to consider hiring a specialist consultant. People who work in this area day in and day out can assist you with every type of task you might need, such as developing IT systems and websites, integrating new tools, creating backup and security processes, and more.
However, if you’ve never had to hire a consultant before or if you’ve had trouble with hiring the wrong people in the past, it’s understandable that you could be a bit trigger shy and apprehensive about finding and signing up with one now. There are many people to choose from, and you have a lot on the line if they make big mistakes or turn out to be fraudulent. But if you consider a few essential tips, this process shouldn’t be as daunting, and you’re much more likely to find the perfect fit for your needs.
Work Out Your Specific Goals
Firstly, take the time to sit down and determine your specific goals for working with a consultant. What is it you need help with, and what’s the order of importance of these things? Are there set timelines you have in mind that you need projects completed by, and will a consultant require any specialized skills that may not be the norm?
The more you get clear about where you’re trying to get to and what a consultant will need to bring to the table to help you get there, the better. When you have clear goals in mind when searching for an IT whiz, you’ll find it quicker and easier to sort the appropriate potential experts from those who won’t be a good fit for your needs.
Learn About Consultant Experience
Don’t be afraid to ask each consultant on your shortlist for detailed information about their career background. After all, anyone can say they’re a tech guru, but this doesn’t mean that they are. You need to find out what type of experience they have to see if this aligns with the skillsets you’ll require to complete your projects.
For example, do consultants know programs that not many people would know how to use, or have they worked in certain industry niches that will help them to understand how your business works and your IT needs in turn? Learn about qualifications, licenses, and memberships that consultants have, too. See if they have clients that do similar things to your company and, if so, if there will be any conflict of interest there.
Read client testimonials and, where possible, consider contacting some people to ask them for one-to-one feedback on how they found working with the consultant in the past. Social media sites can also be a great place to get a feel for how good tech experts are to work with. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ can provide you with helpful information.
Since the fees consultants charge are a big part of whether or not you can afford them, you must analyze pricing carefully. Determine what kind of fee structure the people on your shortlist charge, such as per hour, per day, or per project costs. Look for potential hidden or extra charges, too, such as higher rates for weekends or after a specific time of night or additional fees for updates or changes over an included number per period.
Don’t forget to utilize comprehensive sourcing systems and processes to obtain quotes or arrange tenders. When it comes to strategic sourcing, 2022 is a year when you want to make smart decisions and help your business to rebound after the challenges of the global pandemic for the last 24 months or so.
Get an Idea of Consultant Communication Styles
A critical factor in how successful your relationship will be with a tech consultant is if they’re a good communicator or not. Techies can have a reputation for speaking in a lot of code-like language and struggling to explain things to laypeople, so determine how effective those on your preferred list are when it comes to communication.
Ask how the consultant will get in touch with you, such as by email, phone calls, or some other method, and if you’ll always deal with the person you’ve been learning about or if it’s possible they could delegate a junior tech person to assist you at times.
No matter who you choose to work with, complete a background check on them and look into their references. Plus, view samples of their work, and ensure you get all terms and conditions laid out in the contract so there shouldn’t be too many nasty surprises at any point. Finding the right tech consultant takes time and patience, but it makes the job much easier once you know what to look for.