All You Need to Know to Hire Business Experts in 3 little Ps.

(Monday Morning Marketer)

Ever been burned on getting outside expert help? Ever tried to hire web developers, graphic designers, marketing experts, business coaches, sales help, accountants and more? Has it worked? When it has, do you know why? When it hasn’t, do you know why?

The sad stories I’ve heard from my clients really pain me too. I can’t stand to hear that any money or any momentum was lost due to hiring missteps with those all important additional experts. A significant part of my marketing career as a marketing and communications strategist has been pulling together teams of these types of experts who are cohesive and able to meet the same end goal on behalf of my clients.

I am just embarking on the creation of a collaboration of experts to provide these types of services in a painless, cost-effective way. And in doing so, I had an ‘aha’ moment that really clarifies for me three simple strategies that I use to ensure I align myself with and recommend the ‘right’ experts for business help. Remember these 3Ps and you will be in great shape for getting the help you need:

1. Process: Every business who offers consulting services must have clearly defined processes that outline the steps from start to finish of a project, and the specific cost of getting there. In order to have a clear process, the business expert must also have a clear understanding of your goals. Your job is to be absolutely clear outlining what you expect and their job is be absolutely clear in how they will deliver. This can be a collaborative part of the process, but in the end, price is based on time, and time is based on simple, clear processes. The better the processes, the increased chance the expert will exceed your expectations without exceeding your budget. And don’t forget to expect the unexpected and ask how much the ‘extras’ might be. A good expert will understand that your goals might shift, your budget might change, new ideas may influence the project. Ensure their process allows for this, that you understand there may be additional costs, and what those costs and process changes will be. Remember, changes cost time too… timeline is a factor in understanding process.

2. Personality: Ever get referrals on fantastic consultants who you “need to know” to help you grow your business, but when you meet, you just don’t feel comfortable? Don’t overlook your instincts and your feelings on if you ‘like’ the person. This is YOUR business and YOUR money and YOUR life invested so the people you hire better be people you like to work with. And they ought to like you too. Sure, there are experts out there who are industry leaders but don’t be tempted by their reputation unless you like them, not just their credibility! There are hundreds of highly qualified, lower-profile experts who really want to know you. Find someone who likes you and they will be really motivated to help you succeed!

3. Price: If you can’t afford a certain expert, don’t hire them. This does not mean if you have not set aside a budget for experts to not get expert help. It means if you have limited resources that need to be spread thin, do a bit more homework and find someone who is in your price range. Or someone who can show you a way to move forward in your success plan with their help in a stepped out, cost-recovery mode. While I’m first to acknowledge that price can denote a perception of expertise, it can just be a perception, on high and low prices ranges. So if you aren’t sure, look back at the first two Ps again. If you find someone with a tight process that you understand and feels right, odds are they are going to deliver a very cost-effective solution and value for money. If you have a mutual like and personality fit with the expert, odds are they are going to go the extra mile to see you succeed. Both of these things directly increase the value of whatever price you pay!

Watch this space for a soon-to-be announced collaboration of business experts for women entrepreneurs! Check out upcoming marketing training and success coaching events for women including Customer Loyalty (Nov. 11) with experts formerly from Air Miles, and Building Your Business From Your Network (Nov. 17) with owner of Calgary’s Golfaround Golf for Women league.

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