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Tip of the Week: How to Know When You Need a Consultant

b2ap3_thumbnail_do_you_need_a_consultant_400.jpgHave you ever felt like you aren’t sure how to proceed, or how to get yourself out of a rut? You surely don’t want your competitors to know about your weak points, but you feel so much pressure that you might think twice about asking for tips of the trade. After all, a hand once in a while can make all of the difference. This is when you might consider outsourcing a consultant.

Before you cave in and let an outside consultant in on your problems, be sure to take these factors into consideration.

What’s the Worst Way to Approach Consultation?

  • Approach consultation as your only option. This, in particular, is something you want to avoid at all costs. Outsourcing your consultation needs to a third party is a valuable asset, but you don’t want to do this as a last resort and become reliant on the opinions of the consultant. It’s important to maintain control of your problems and keep them from spiraling out of control.
  • Confuse your responsibilities with those of your consultant’s. Before engaging in dealings with a consultant and signing your name on the dotted line, make sure that each party’s responsibilities are clearly mapped out. This way, you won’t confuse who is responsible for performing certain tasks, and you can move forward with certainty.
  • Without an end result in mind. Make sure that you always keep your goals in mind when looking for a consultant. This way, they’ll be able to help you get a clear picture of where you want to be, and how to get there.

What’s the Best Way to Approach Consultation?

  • Be as specific as possible. There’s no room for ambiguity in business. You can’t formulate an accurate plan of action without getting into specifics. You can avoid this by remaining open with your consultant and letting them in on your ideas.
  • Find consultants with a similar mindset. One of the best roles that an IT consultant can perform for you is managing a project on your behalf. To this end, it helps that you find a consultant who thinks like you and can best replicate your expectations. Furthermore, they must have proven their expertise in the industry in order to facilitate a proper level of trust. Give them a trial run to see how they perform under pressure.
  • Be sure to take responsibility for your decision. Just like any other choice in life, you can’t take it back once you’ve chosen which consultant you want to hire. This means taking responsibility for whether or not they perform to your expectations, and realizing that even if it’s not your fault, you’re the one who made the choice. Use this experience to make more educated decisions in the future. It can help to hire a consultant who has skills you don’t have. This way, you’re less likely to get stuck in a foreign situation.

ZR Systems knows how stressful and difficult running a business can be. We also know that you have a lot of work ahead of you, and that you can use a hand or two to stay ahead of the competition. We always maximize the communication between ourselves and our clients when we’re providing a consultation, and we want to see you succeed more than anything else.

ZR Systems can perform any function of your normal in-house IT staff, including IT consultation, minus the hefty salary required of hiring a new employee. For more information, give ZR Systems a call at (808) 369-1000.

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