Many small business owners and corporate managers are finding it imperative to rely on the expertise of a business IT consultant, but few know where to begin when it comes to finding a reliable partner who won’t let your business down. Outsourcing for help is nothing to be ashamed about, and indeed can generate stellar results for your business, but only if you know how to find the right consultant for the job.
Here’s what to look for when you’re searching for your next business IT consultant, and how you can spot an excellent partner from one who’s going to leave you hanging when you need them the most.
Know where to look
If you’re looking for the right business consultant, you need to be searching in the right places. While you’ve probably canvassed traditional job sites like LinkedIn to view the profiles of your would-be employees, you should be checking other social media platforms, too. That’s because the digital consultants you’ll be relying on for technical expertise need to maintain positive images for themselves online if they’re to be any good at their jobs. Thus, consider taking a deep dive into the social media backgrounds of potential prospects before bringing them in for an interview.
You don’t have to concern yourself too much about where you find your consultant; more than that, you should be concerned about their traits and skills. The resume and experience of your IT consultant is going to be what separates them from the masses, and if your company is relying on them for lots of work, you can’t afford a shoddy investment that you’ll have to bail on later. First and foremost, you should be considering how well your IT consultant can mesh with your other employees.
Given that businesses in the United States alone spend tens of billions on consulting services, it should go without saying that you really want a consultant who can work well with your team. Nonetheless, many business owners jump right into a hiring decision when it comes to an IT consultant, thinking that technical prowess is the only important thing to consider. As a matter of fact, however, if your IT consultant can’t work closely with your other team members, you’re essentially wasting your money.
Your IT consultants will essentially be acting like tech tutors for many of your employees, and need good interpersonal skills. They should be quick learners, and capable of familiarizing themselves with the corporate hierarchy quickly if they intend to integrate into your company. Of all the things to watch out for in a bad consultant, be on the lookout for those who are only interested in their own careers, and are wholly unconcerned about teaching and getting along with other workers.
They can’t do it alone
It’s also important for you to realize that a good business IT consultant can’t do it all alone; if you’re expecting a single consultant to save your business, ask yourself if you’re really being fair with your expectations. One of the questions you should be asking yourself is whether you only need one consultant, or whether you should be relying on a firm, for instance. IT consulting firms have proven track records of success in many cases, and a dedicated company may be better able to provide you managed IT services than a single individual.
Your consultant can’t pull your business from the jaws of death unless they can work with your team and feel comfortable, so make sure they have a proven track record of working well with others in the past. Don’t be afraid to ask about recommendations or previous work history when interviewing your potential IT consultant.
Above all else, know that a good IT consultant
won’t overpromise. Pick the consultant who will be upfront with you about
timelines and expectations over the one who will promise you the moon but
produce shoddy results. After all, there’s nothing worse for your business than
having a consultant commit to a lucrative deal only to fall through on their
end of the bargain. Of all the things to be looking for in a good business IT
consultant, an honest and transparent professional with a sound work ethic
should be your chief concern.