Here, Richard Freeman, CEO of Always Possible provides you with the answers you need… 

Does my business need a consultant?

It’s true that consultancy is a word, and an industry, that can be pretty nebulous and not always easily understood. Every good example is unique and responsive, so it is sometimes hard to pin down why it worked so well.

In my mind there are two types of consultancy – good and bad. No one knows your organisation or its challenges like you do; but critically distanced voices will offer ideas that you daren’t think of, or maybe solutions that seem too obvious.

Think of it simply as professionals, not dependent on your organisation, using their knowledge to give subjective opinions on how you could better make or reach your goals. Dialogue and process of working through big sticking points with someone informed, intuitive and emotionally intelligent can unlock the door to major breakthroughs.

What marks out a good consultant?

– They are offering a service rather than a product. If you don’t feel more empowered and equipped to make behavioral or operational changes as a result of some consultancy then it has failed.

– It is for you and your business; it’s not something generic that works in the same way for everyone else.

– The most expensive doesn’t always equal the best. Ask around.

– The only measure of a consultant’s success is your success. Look for consultants who champion their clients and are proud of what their clients achieve (not just how many big brands they work with).

– Good consultants LOVE problems. And they work and work with you on the problem; interrogating it and taking it apart. Bad consultants will offer you solutions before they have really understood how your business works.