10 tips for finding the right management consultant

management consulting

Important entrepreneurial changes such as the introduction of new products or the restructuring of a business unit represent a challenge for every company. Incorrect decisions or poor implementation can even lead to serious losses. For this reason, many decision-makers engage a management consultancy to ensure the smoothest possible conception and implementation of the changes. However, the consulting industry is large and the prices of individual providers vary widely, which leads to uncertainty among many entrepreneurs.

The amount and composition of the fee vary.

How much a management consultancy costs depends on its fee rates and the duration of the project. As a rule, daily rates are used, which can be up to 8,000 euros for partners at leading strategy consultancies. Younger consultants and smaller consulting firms are usually cheaper. For freelance consultants, the daily rates are usually between 800 and 2,500 euros, whereby the amount depends on the seniority of the consultant and his background. For freelancers, however, the scope of the assignment can also play a role in the price in long-term projects, the rates are often lower as well as individual price factors. Thus projects with little travel activity are popular with many and are often offered somewhat cheaper.

In any case, the client should be aware of the fact that the number of working hours per day can vary considerably between different providers.

How do you find the right consultant?

First of all, consulting is a matter of trust. In this respect, many clients rely on consultants who they already know from their cooperation and can therefore assess well. But there is not always a consultant available in their own environment who has the right qualifications for a particular project. In this case, it makes sense to take a close look at different providers and not to break the decision for a candidate over the knee.

1. Define consulting project precisely

How is the best consultant supposed to create added value if you don’t know exactly or if there is no agreement internally which goals are actually to be achieved with the assignment? In this respect, you should clearly document at the beginning what the initial situation is and which goals are to be pursued. Alternatively, an experienced consultant can help with the clarification of your needs.

2. Secure commitment

Every consulting project requires a certain amount of resources, but not every project is popular. It will therefore only be successful if all relevant decision-makers are fully behind it and also provide the necessary budgets and capacities.

3. Make internal resources available

As a rule, project success requires not only an external consultant, but also a team of internal experts, employees and decision-makers. Here it should be ensured that all necessary colleagues are informed and can also be involved in the project in time to make their contribution.

4 Obtaining several offers

In order to get an initial idea of the quality of a consulting offer, it is worth examining some comparative offers in order to be able to select the consultant who is most convincing in terms of his or her expertise, method and humanity.

5. Getting to know each other personally in advance

A first appointment, in which the content of the consulting assignment is worked out, clarifies the essential questions:

  • Does the consultant understand me?
  • Does he have the necessary expertise?
  • Does he have the necessary methodical skills?
  • Is the chemistry right?

6. check references

References from other clients can round off the picture before the selection decision.

7. optimize the cooperation with the consultant

Right at the beginning, it should be clearly regulated which of all parties is responsible for what and what the procedure looks like.

8. Agree test phase

Clarity can, for example, be created by a first short analysis phase: The task is to define the challenges and to develop proposals for solutions. After that, clients usually know whether the joint project task will work.

9. Incorporate regular interactions

Through regular jour fixes, intermediate presentations or joint workshops, clients can keep themselves informed about the progress of the project and steer the next steps. As a rule, it is then very easy to see whether the collaboration is working and whether it delivers added value. In addition, steering committee meetings with the relevant decision-makers are essential in order to make important directional decisions for the project.

10. Give mutual feedback

Especially for longer projects the possibility of mutual feedback should be used – this can help both sides enormously to make the cooperation even more productive and goal-oriented.

Published by Dave John

Decade of work experience in leadership consulting with strong focus on talent acquisition & assessment across different industries and geographies.

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