“MAKE SURE YOUR CONSULTANT IS NOT A PERSON OF ONE METHOD”
At a time when everyone is “an expert in himself, an opinion leader and a superblogger,” it’s hard to find a real specialist who will advise your business.
We asked Sergei Matchuk, Vadim Velikoivanenko, Anastasia Kononova and Denis Velichko, co-founders of the AHOW expert search service, how to distinguish a popular Facebook storyteller from a professional who can give practical advice to business.
How to evaluate expertise
From our own experience, we realized that expertise is often an ephemeral phenomenon. It is difficult to evaluate, much less digitize. Before engaging an external consultant, clearly state the purpose and questions for which you want answers.
The right questions are half the answer.
read the real cases of work and the direct contribution of this expert to the result
analyze experience in terms of its relevance to your market and product
Evaluate communication skills and expert ability to communicate your thoughts
make sure your candidate is not an “expert of one method” – a person using the same solution for various problems
rate the speed of immersion in a specific question or project
When searching for experts, analyze reviews of a particular candidate from colleagues, clients and recommendations in the market
if the expert you have chosen for business is a public person, pay attention to the nature of the activity (which is explained at conferences, courses, trainings, meetings, etc.).
The main qualities that a good independent consultant for business possesses are:
can explain complex things in simple words
quickly immersed in the project and related issues
easily switches and understands the context of what is happening
finds an approach to the client and conveys feedback, including constructive criticism.
In what cases will expert consultants help?
Situations vary depending on the type, size and stage of development of the company. For example, startups and small businesses need access to experienced and “expensive” specialists, but they cannot afford full time.
Temporary expertise can qualitatively affect the processes of the company and generally bring it to a new level.
For corporations, the involvement of a third-party specialist on a temporary basis is necessary in the implementation of projects for which the company does not have enough of its own resources for examination.
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For example, for IT, consulting an external expert is an opportunity to fill in the lack of a background in a new area (for example, automotive technology, fintech, etc.). Certified experts also bring a lot of value when conducting pre-sale activities and tenders in which the company participates.
In addition, third-party expert consultants are a good way to improve the knowledge level of company employees. Often people in a company use different tools and approaches, but they don’t fully understand how to use them 100%.
Engaging a third-party consultant helps overcome this problem.
Why consulting or a session with an expert is not the same as outsourcing tasks
In our understanding, traditional outsourcing is the provision of a specific amount of work at a specified time. Moreover, the specialist who provides these services is fully responsible for their implementation.
Need a logo – done. Need application design – designed, need advertising – launched.
Co-founders of the AHOW expert platform – on how to look for a professional consultant for business.
If we are talking about consulting and attracting experts on our platform, then during the session, a freelance consultant uses all the baggage of his experience to give an answer specifically to your questions, but you will implement and apply the information received yourself.
In addition, the expert may ask a question that will lead you to solve the problem without his participation. As a result, you get the shortest path to your goal – but you have to go it yourself.
Searching for an expert will provide an opportunity to get feedback on your strategy, a launch plan in a new market. However, you should not expect that the same expert will implement the chosen strategy.
What is important to know for those who launch their software or service product
1. Form a team of several people that complement each other. The presence of several co-founders increases the likelihood of completing what they started (or at least reaching the first stage).
At least one member of the team will be motivated and push others to the next steps in development. In addition, you share the risks and costs of developing your MVP (product or service with a minimal working version and value for the audience).
2. Do not be afraid to work with your hands and do things that are not scalable.
3. Do not try to automate processes earlier than you really need. While you will carry out routine work yourself, you will learn more information about the market, customers and will be able to form a high-quality business process.