So, your business is going through the kind of awesome growth that requires some internal changes. It’s always good news to be growing, but you’re smart and you realize that uncontrolled growth can be dangerous. That’s why you’re looking for a growth / change management business consultant in Waco.
There are plenty of ways to go about choosing a consultant. If you don’t do it right, though, you’re likely to cause more hassle than you solve.
As an EOS® Implementer, I’ve helped plenty of clients go through the process of hiring consultants in Waco and elsewhere. And, since I’m a share the wealth kind of guy, I decided it was time to make my general tips public.
If you haven’t heard of EOS (The Entrepreneurial Operating System®), click here to learn more.
Just a note: This guide if for general advice. If you have specific questions about working with a change management consultant, you can contact me here.
1: Is Change Management / Growth Management What You Need?
Step 1 is deceptively difficult. When your team is growing quickly, usually the people at the top are the ones who feel the stress first. It makes sense, right? The CFO, CEO, CMO, etc have to think about everything that happens in the business. So, it stands to reason that they feel the burden when more things happen.
Change management can require a significant time and energy investment, especially for the leadership team. You’ve got to make sure you’re really ready to make that investment. So, how do you know?
If your business is going through a short growth period or this is the first real growth you’ve had, you probably don’t need growth management yet. Those first big changes are hard, but unless you’ve got at least 20 employees on the books, growth management can be more trouble than it’s worth.
When you really need change / growth management is during long, sustained growth. That’s the kind of growth that makes you feel like no matter how hard you try, you’ll never catch up. You’re always putting out fires.
I like this metaphor: if you’re putting out fires with a bucket of water, you’re still small enough to deal with it. If you’re big enough to need a sprinkler system, it’s time to look into getting one of the Waco consultants I’ll bring up below.
2: Ask if You Really Need a Consultant
A little bit of growth doesn’t always necessitate taking on outside help. Before you commit, I always suggest you look into one of the many guides to handling change management internally. There are dozens out there, and you may find you enjoy it.
I use a system called The Entrepreneurial Operating System. You can learn about self-implementing that system on our blog, podcast, or on my Youtube channel. There I talk about the tools and challenges of that particular system.
3: Ask Friends First
OK. If you’re still here it means you’re set on hiring an actual business consultant in Waco, or wherever you are. How do you go about it?
I tell everyone that if you are looking for a consultant of any kind, your first resource is your friends and colleagues. Ask them about their own experiences. Get answers for who they recommend, who they don’t recommend. Hound them incessantly. You’re going to spend a good amount of money on this. You don’t want to get the wrong person.
Don’t be shy in asking the in depth questions, either. If your colleagues have gone through a change management process, they’re probably very comfortable being honest and open. That’s part of the process, after all.
4: Build a List of Consultants in Your Area
If you turn up dry with your own network, get online. There are plenty of websites for finding great consultants. Many of them even have a reviewing system much like Yelp. Don’t believe the hype (I’ll touch on that later). Either from the reviews or what the consultants tell you. Real consultants have results. They don’t have to sell themselves, because their long list of satisfied clients do it for them.
If you haven’t already looked at your options, here’s a quick list of sites for finding consultants. It’s far from extensive, but it’s a good jumping off point.
- EOS Worldwide: If you’re looking for the system I teach, this is the best site to find an implementer.
- Consulting Bench: if your company is big enough to foot the bill, Consulting Bench has a list of major consulting firms by area.
- Pro Finder: This is the LinkedIn associated hiring service.
- Others: CT, Graphite, and Consultants 500 are all great places to look if you just want to play the field.
Remember that you’re not at all committing yet. You’re just putting out feelers and building a list. Some of these people are inevitably going to push you for commitment. I know it sucks having to deal with the salesmen out there. But if you’re hiring a business consultant in Waco, you have to at least have the list of options.
5: Do Your Research
A consultant is a lot like a hair stylist. You can pay $10 to a stranger to get a haircut. Maybe you’ll like it. Maybe you’ll look like Jim Carrey from Dumb and Dumber. It’s a crapshoot.
However, I’d advise taking an in depth look at anyone you are seriously considering. What was their education? Do they have a good track record? Will they provide references? If they get fidgety, they probably aren’t being honest. You should feel zero shame in asking a potential consultant every question that comes to mind.
I want to emphasize the idea of references.You should never hire someone that couldn’t provide at least one former client that they would be proud to introduce you to. I even made a video to provide my prospects with exactly that.
6: Demand a Guarantee
I keep a pretty solid guarantee. 100% satisfaction or you don’t pay me.
I know that’s aggressive, but it shows how confident I am that you will be satisfied with my service. And, if you aren’t, I think it says a lot about how I treat my clients. Whether you’re hiring a business consultant in Waco or Japan, I think you should feel confident that the person is more interested in your satisfaction than their paycheck.
It’s not easy to get a guarantee from people these days, though. I’m the exception, not the rule. But that doesn’t mean you should accept anything else.
I tell all my friends, if a consultant doesn’t offer some level of guarantee, they aren’t worth your time.
Meet the Founder
Jeff Whittle founded and launched Whittle & Partners in 2011. Before that, Jeff practiced law in Dallas for 15 years and has an additional 20 years of executive business experience. He has run businesses ranging from startups to 300-employee operations.