Does any of the following sound familiar to you? You have a problem but not the right in-house talent to effectively solve it. You are inundated with work but you don’t have the right people on your team to delegate more of it. You have an unexpected temporary need and not willing to make a long-term commitment to a new hire. You may very well have a long-term need but spending time and resources on finding the right hire is just not on the top of your priority list right now. And the list goes on …
In short, there are times when an outside expert may be the perfect solution for you. Instead of viewing your external consultant as a temporary freelancer, here are five benefits that – when properly taken into account – bring long-term value and revenue for your business.
- Limit Risk
Even when your need for external help is not pressing, why not hire a consultant for a small, well-contained project. This will give you an opportunity to get to know them and the quality of the work they deliver. Are they reliable? Do they meet your deadlines? Is their work process well organized? Are you chasing them for information, or do they keep you up to date through excellent communication?
It is a great way to “vet” an external talent in a low-risk and very temporary way, so you’d know who to turn to when you have a bigger and more involved project in the future.
- Cultivate the Relationship
If the intent is to really build a reliable connection for future reference, this trial set-up could be taken a step further. Even though the initial project would be small and well-contained, give the consultant a chance to get to know your business beyond the scope of the project. Share more information than needed. Ask them questions related to your business, but not necessarily relevant to the project. Give them a chance to have their knowledge and thought process about your business deepen.
Assess if there is additional interest and motivation in what you do. If they are willing to invest and acquire more knowledge about your business, you are ready to give them a bigger project.
- Build Trust
Now that you vetted them and they immersed themselves in your business, be sure to build mutual trust. The true value of a consultant lies in the relationship you build with them over time. Keep cultivating it, keep growing it, and treat them well. Be respectful, show appreciation, pay on time.
- Reliable on-demand employee
Before you know it, you have an on-demand reliable “employee” with enough knowledge about your business to work autonomously and be trusted. The consultants from their end now have invested extra time and knowledge into your relationship and your business too. They have built up a vested interest, which makes them even more motivated to put their best foot forward and continue to deliver.
- Full-time potential
And when the initial on-demand work holds the potential to grow into a full-time need, you have already vetted the perfect candidate, while receiving value along the way. Hiring your trusted consultant full time becomes a no-brainer, and you saved money and resources along the way.