Cornerstone Consulting Blog

Is It Risky to Hire a Consultant? Exploring the Pros and Cons

Apr 18, 2018 10:33:08 AM / by Bill Currence

operations-consulting.jpgMany companies have horror stories or leftover relics of consultant engagements that have been a boring or even laughable waste of time. Other organizations repeatedly write off consultant fees in their yearly losses for unusable, unheeded advice. In addition to offering little value (often for large sums of money), these experiences leave an enduringly bad impression that hiring a consultant is a risky proposition. Is a consultant worth the risk?

 

Pros

Hiring a good consultant can be the best expenditure your organization makes. For example,

  • Operations consulting can help you improve your business efficiency and output, enabling you to do more with the resources you have or streamline your operations to run even leaner.
  • Turnaround consulting can help bring a faltering business back from the brink of disaster, offering creative answers, a vital third-party perspective, and necessary “tough love” solutions as appropriate.
  • Short-term consulting with an industry specialist can help you address specific challenges or problems (e.g., redesigning product packaging to reduce breakage, lower shipping costs, and increase marketing appeal).

Adding the expertise, experience, and outside perspective of a consultant can allow your company to take advantage of those resources without adding overhead. From a cost/benefit standpoint, the ROI for consultants can be excellent.

 

Cons

On the other hand, working with a consultant can have some negatives—not to mention some actual cons, designed to separate you from your money without providing significant value. Above all, it’s necessary to do your homework to ensure you hire a consultant who is reputable, professional, and experienced in your industry. Preparation can help you avoid situations like these:

Consultants Who Offer One-Size-Fits-All Advice

Make sure to find a consultant who will analyze your actual needs and customize solutions based on your business rather than trendy, low-value exercises or overly broad, general advice. While a consultant who offers specific, relevant, targeted advice is invaluable, one that merely dispenses generic business platitudes is a waste of time, money, and effort.

Not Working Well with Your Consultant

Every consultant is different, and there are professionals for nearly every business need. Be sure to properly vet a prospective consultant during the interview process to make sure he or she is a good fit for your organization both professionally and personally; in addition to the right skill set, you want to make sure you can communicate effectively, openly, and comfortably with each other.

Fighting Against Your Consultant’s Advice

You should be prepared to get honest feedback from your consultant, which can sometimes be difficult to hear. This outside perspective is vital to help you solve problems and help you grow. Anticipating in advance that there will be some difficult decisions along the way can help you better deal with issues when they arise.

 

Cornerstone Consulting Organization’s experienced, professional consultants offer tailor-made, personalized consulting services. Our operations consulting, ROI consulting, turnaround consulting, and engineering consulting professionals have a wide range of technical experience and knowledge in many specialized industries, including automotive, retail, heavy equipment, food manufacturing, aerospace, defense contracting, and healthcare. Contact us today to learn more and find the consultant that’s right for your business needs.

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Written by Bill Currence