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Hiring business consultants

Pick someone who will put your business needs ahead of his ownImage Credit: Supplied

A business consultant can inject your venture with what it needs to grow in your industry. He can suggest means for it to get ahead of its competitors.

Placing your business in the hands of a stranger requires a certain amount of trust; thus, conduct due diligence before hiring one.

First, research on what business consultants do. Relate their functions to your needs so that you know exactly what to look for in a candidate. Ask friends, family and colleagues for recommendations and check if the candidates have the necessary credentials like a business degree from an accredited institution and first-hand industry experience.

Next, invite shortlisted candidates for an interview to check their characteristics and qualities such as professionalism and good organizational skills. He must be able to prepare an outline that targets your specific needs. He must show good listening skills, objectivity and the ability to attain your business objectives.

Finally, you may request for valid and reputable references to contact to obtain a thorough impression of the candidate. Ask the references what their relationship was to the consultant, services he provided and if they would consider hiring him again.

All in all, hire an experienced business consultant who has enough resources to put your business needs ahead of his own and avoid any conflict of interest.

Handy Hints:

* Hire an educated and experienced consultant

* Research and always ask for recommendations

* Interview only shortlisted candidates to save time

: Nicholas Baker, Special to Classifieds

The writer is a freelancer