Consulting Services - What to Look For, Where to Start

If you've been thinking of having a home based business, you would be forgiven if you're overwhelmed by the choices you have. For instance, you could choose the direct sales industry where you pick a product and market it to a highly targeted niche. Or, you could go a step further and get into a network marketing opportunity, where you have the chance to earn money on sale of the product and recruit people into the business, thereby setting up a residual income. Or you could decide to partner with Google and derive an income from their AdSense program.

Naturally, whichever method you choose, you have to be organized and know what you need to do on a daily basis to get the results you seek. This is where a consulting service can pay very large dividends.

So what should you look for when choosing a consulting service for your business? First of all, take stock of whether or not your business is primarily online or offline as that will make a difference. If your business is primarily offline, then you should look for a consultant firm that specializes in you particular area of expertise.

But what if you do most or all of your business online? What then? After all there are many things that you need to keep on top of when running a business online. The first recommendation I can make is once you have found a firm you think you would like to work with, try to get in touch with previous clients as they will be the best barometer of how your working relationship will go.

If that meets your criteria, then the next step is to set up a meeting either online or in person, if you are both local. Key things to keep in mind are

1. Does the consultant make the effort to be online on time? Just because a meeting is virtual doesn't mean you can be late.

2. Does the consultant comport him or herself in a professional manner? i.e. do they have on business attire (even if the meeting is via webcam this will make a difference) or do they show up in casual clothing?

3. Do you feel as though they actually listen to and understand your business needs or are they intent on doing a "hard sell" and hyping their expertise?

4. Do they plan out specific goals and deadlines or are they trying to do it all at once?

Finally, once the meeting is over and you are reviewing your notes, take stock of how you feel. Did the consultant make you feel confident that this was the right decision for your business? Did they make you feel as though you will be in good hands? Remember, price is not the main thing to look for here. You want a partnership that will add value to your business bottom line as well as your reputation over time.

Ultimately, the right choice here will mean big things for your business now and in the future. A consultant service is an investment and should be treated as such. And it is one of the best you can make.


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