There are situations when it seems that you are doing everything right, and before it gave the right results, but now you are not getting what you hoped for.
There may be many reasons for this – the situation has changed, the scale of the business has grown, and new market features have emerged. A specialized expert could help you figure out the reasons for the results that do not suit you and set up the business processes.
What is consulting and what areas it can cover?
Consulting in the field of it – specialized assistance in building processes in your company. Most often they turn to specialist consultants in any field:
- business growth and development strategy
Often, one adviser covers more than one area: for example, specializing in HR and account marketing, marketing and sales, etc.
How to understand that your company needs an expert?
In most IT firms, especially small ones, the owner carries all the strategic tasks on himself – communicating with clients, planning growth, and selling. Often on it is development and business analysis. Up to a certain scale, this tactic acts, but then you may simply not have time to do everything well.
In addition, as an IT company grows, tasks change not only quantitatively, but also qualitatively. The owner may simply not have the necessary experience and opportunities to acquire it.
In total, there are 3 main situations when you need a maven:
- The owner, being in operational tasks from day to day, no longer notices the software things that limit the company’s growth. In this case, the person, even during the initial audit, can show you these things and advise you on a new system of operation. The audit takes a little time, and sometimes it is even free. This is an opportunity to get maximum benefit with minimum investment.
- Business and owner restrictions. We all have beliefs that hinder growth, there are approaches that we have heard about but never applied, there are todo lists that were never made. Product management consulting services will help you to see and remove these restrictions.
- An excellent consultant is also a professional in his field. He can take on some of the responsibilities while setting up processes, train new employees, develop concepts and strategies.
How to find and choose a specialist?
The process of finding a consultant is similar to hiring an employee. It is also desirable for you to see reviews of his job, see previous projects, and communicate in person.
On the other hand, in contrast to the search for employees, specialized resources where it offers consulting services do not exist. Therefore, feel free to ask for recommendations from colleagues, in social networks, in groups for CEOs (for example, in our Association of IT Outsourcers).
You could also search for specialists among the speakers of the conferences you attended. If one of the speakers hooked you – find his contacts and write to him, he may turn out to be a great counsellor.
After receiving the initial consent for cooperation – conduct a more detailed information search. Ask for reviews from his former clients, and not only those whom he names himself – find those who have already worked with this expert and ask their opinion.
Make sure that the person is a specialist in the field in which you need help. It is very important that the consultant himself shows initiative and interest in your results. He can ask questions, find information about your company in advance and immediately give some recommendations when meeting, he can offer a free audit.
Also a very important factor is psychological comfort. If a person suits you in terms of values, you have no antipathy towards him, he is proactive – it is worth continuing to interact with such a consultant.
How to build interaction with maven?
Even before you start looking for a consultant, you should understand that without your participation there will be no results from his actions. Therefore, in advance, tune in to the fact that for joint activities with a person you will need to allocate at least 10 hours a month (and most likely from 10 hours a week) to work with a specialist.
It is also imperative to speak in advance:
- Results of work in numerical measurable terms. Even if it is working with soft skills, for example HR, you can test the team before and after consulting and compare the results.
- Probation. Like any hired employee, the consultant must show a certain result by the required deadline, otherwise there is no point in continuing to work with him. It is important that he, too, has a good understanding of the timing and goals.
- Areas of responsibility. What are you doing and what is a consulting specialist.Even if it works full time, your participation is still necessary.
- How much time are you willing to devote to work? Determine the exact number of hours in advance and include them in your schedule.
During your work, support the maven and help him to implement his ideas and technologies. Not necessarily 100% of them will work, but you won’t find effective approaches until you try them.
Consulting in the IT sphere is still not widespread in our country – some of the owners see this as a deception, some do not understand what they have to pay for. But in the US and Europe, even large state-owned enterprises use the services of consultants.
A good consultant can save your business years and hundreds of dollars, suggest good solutions, and quickly improve your company’s bottom line.
When choosing a consultant, be sure to interview him, ask for feedback, ask for recommendations from friends and colleagues. Choose proactive and psychologically comfortable people with experience in the right field.
Be prepared to work alongside the consultant to get results.
Good luck in your search and growth!