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When is it Time to Hire a Consultant?


I’m often asked why someone would hire an outside consultant to help an organization? No one answer applies to every situation. However, if there is a goal or vision you see for your organization and it’s vital for you to achieve it, now may be time to invest in a consultant.

All too often, I hear something like, “When we get our sales up, we will give you a call back” or “Once we build this or build that, we will look at something else.” Let’s face it, we are all busy which is the very point of being in a successful business. Also, many people will tell me they know how to fix their problems, yet they don’t seem to have the time to get it done.

If you know how to fix the problem, why aren’t you doing something about it? If you spent one year working on your focus and holding yourself and your team accountable to achieve your goals, what would it mean to your organization?

To me, these two questions are compelling enough to warrant an outside consultant. Many times, people self-diagnose themselves or their business without first taking a trip to the doctor to run tests and see what the real problem is. What leaders sometimes fail to realize is that a consultant may have very well worked through similar business challenges and may know how to approach the solution. As an organizational leader, you might figure the answers out but might not use the right assumptions and come up with a less optimal solution than someone who has seen a specific challenge before.

Yes, this is a blunt conversation. Ask yourself, if working with a coach could help you figure things out faster than you would have on your own, even if you think you already know what to do, is it time to take action?

One of the biggest reasons a business owner or executive wants help is that they need to change behaviors. If having an outside eye to help leaders gain perspective on how to solve the problems they are facing and make sure what they are thinking is correct makes good business sense, then turning to a consultant to provide the much-needed coaching and counsel could be a good option.

There are times when your organization can benefit from a third-party, unbiased opinion. Having someone with specialized knowledge and skills can help improve processes quickly or help implement them with a solid plan. Having an objective view or, in some cases, an honest opinion to deliver direct feedback could help take your organization to a new level.

Putting organizational development in the forefront should be a priority. If you keep doing what you have always been doing, you will keep getting the same results. If having a fresh set of eyes, or a tool, or a plan could help you take the next steps to building your business, would you consider it?

Hiring a trusted outside consultant can help you get clarity on your next strategic and intentional actions. Is it time to be working with a consultant? If you’re asking that question, now might be the time.