You are ready to take your business to the next level, but need a little help. This checklist will offer pointers to consider when going through the process of selecting a small business consultant, or business partner to work with.
1. Do you LIKE this person? It sounds crazy, but people in general want to be 'nice'. The partner, vendor, or consultant you end up choosing will be your go-to person to bounce ideas off, discuss future business plans with, celebrate success, understand your revenue model, and grow a team with. You want to make sure you trust, believe, and actually want to hang around this person. Gut feeling is always a good way to go when all else fails.
2. Are they smart? This is somewhat of a rhetorical question, but what we mean is-are they constantly learning, evolving, and staying up on new trends. We know when things don't change, that can often mean plateau's or decline's aren't far behind. Be sure to feel confident the person or people you align with are not just followers, but active doers that will offer solid value as your company evolves and grows.
3. Are they organized? You have a business to run, dealing with a dis-organized person that you have to keep tabs on constantly will get old fast. In the first few meetings you should be able to judge the level of preparation, care, and organization that individuals take in their work.
4. Are they nimble? Being able to change things up on the fly can be helpful if for some reason a program is not going as planned. Having someone who is easily accessible, and ready to make changes, can be helpful when you need fast turnarounds.
5. Do they produce results? Any effort or revenue put toward a certain initiative should have expectations tied to it. After a reasonable amount of time, if thing's aren't going as planned (and sometimes they don't) you shouldn't be afraid to part ways amicably.