Not all consultants are the same. I hear time and time again about disappointing experiences that business owners have had when working with other business consultants. They have said things like, “business consulting doesn’t work” or, “business consultants are a dime a dozen.”

Business consultants have varying experiences, education, and expertise, not to mention capacity, affordability, and reliability. However, it’s hard to know the level of quality a business consultant will deliver prior to hiring. Here are 4 questions you need to ask before hiring a business consultant:


Before being a consultant what was your experience? What did you accomplish or achieve? Pay careful attention to how the consultant responds. This is a great chance to ask the consultant a direct question: What insight does your experience give you into my situation? You can avoid hiring the wrong consultant if the consultant you are considering has little to no direct experience solving your problem.


What types of clients and projects have you completed? What was the result to the business? Don’t be afraid to ask a tough question. An inability to demonstrate or qualify the results of their past projects can be a red flag. Also, ask about how the consultant plans to show you results.


Will you sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement or Letter of Confidentiality? Will anyone else be working on this project? The confidential nature of your business’s problem is paramount. Be very careful if your business consultant won’t sign an NDA or LOC.


How do you qualify your clients? How many do you take on at once? With technology, it is easier to manage multiple clients at once. However, a great consultant will know that there is a limit to their effectiveness. Asking about the qualification process of becoming a client is often overlooked.

© Individual Advantages, LLC. 2014

Mary Smith

Mary has been with IA Business Advisors for 6 years. She graduated with a bachelor's in English literature with a minor in psychology, and is currently working towards her master's in organizational leadership. She enjoys writing and produces blogs for IA and several of IA's clients. Her favorite aspect of writing is the research.

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