The operating system of your computer sets up an underlying structure for electronic exchange that enables and limits the interaction of information. In similar fashion, our beliefs about how to consult shape our practices with customers, enabling or limiting the results we produce.
As educational consultants, we have chosen ‘consultative service’ as our Operating System. This approach is based on the belief that a consultant’s expertise is most valuable when the customer is clear about results they want to achieve, and regards the consultant as a resourceful partner.
Consultative service begins with a purposeful process to understand what the customer wants and needs, and how these results will benefit them. This understanding is developed early on in the relationship with the customer. It is checked or refreshed during the planning period, and subsequently during service delivery, From a broader time perspective, it is a pillar supporting a mutually satisfying long-term relationship.
How to ‘install’ this Operating System in your work? We have spoken about some aspects of consultation before — in other articles related to open, active listening, and use of a set of questions designed to discover customer outcomes, success criteria, concerns, and possibilities for forward action.
Perhaps the most important piece of ‘seeking to understand’ is to let go of preconceived notions about what the customer may want, and why. To do this, it is helpful to relax, let go, and sink into a space of openness as you begin to ask those questions which will assist the customer in discovering what it is they truly want and how they will know when they have it.
Another important “state-of-being” element is your open, non-judgmental listening to what the customer is actually saying. What you are “listening to” includes more than words spoken. It also includes your observations of body language (which may indicate congruence or lack of congruence about what is said, or possible attitudes to be explored further), and information you may receive through gut feel or intuition. This information will lead you to additional clarifying questions to check your understanding of what the client wants, their actual success criteria, and options for action that they may consider fruitful.
Approaching discovery in this way is fueled by passion for delivering service that makes a difference for our customers, as we draw upon and build our strengths and expertise. Consultative service supports satisfaction from one’s work, builds long-term customer relationships, and is an important part of creating a solid foundation for our future ability to contribute through a successful consulting services business.
If you are looking for social media consultancy then you may be struggling. There are a number of great internet marketing companies out there and it can be difficult knowing what to look for. Let’s have a quick look at ways you can find a social media consultant.
On the internet:
Having a look on the internet should be quite productive. Browse through lots of different websites of internet marketing agencies. Doing this should help you get a feel for each company and could give you an idea of which agency will be a good fit for you and your business.
Another way of finding a social media consultant is to ask around for recommendations. The implementation of social media campaigns is a fairly common thing these days so you will probably know someone who has worked with this kind of consultant. You probably have a number of trusted businesses acquaintances or even friends who you could turn to for a recommendation. The good thing about using a recommended company is that you will get to talk to someone who has worked with them first hand.
These are just two ways in which you can search for a consultant. Try to find someone who has expertise in the area that you are requiring consultancy. Before you start looking for your consultant you need to know exactly what you are looking for. You may want to learn how to run a Twitter campaign, if so, although many consultants will have a broad skill knowledge; it is no good picking someone who specialises in YouTube videos.
If you would like more information on these fairly complex topics just consultant If you would like to have a quick chat just give us a call
If you want to succeed in business, you have to invest in the future of your company. Very few companies sustain success without the help of professional services once in a while. A marketing consultant could be a great asset to your company and one that pays a hefty return on investment. Consider hiring a marketing consultancy firm that does online marketing. But look at hiring an expert who has practical experience offline as well.
Do you want help analysing your existing infrastructure? A consultancy firm that has enough experience to consult for online and offline businesses can help you look at what’s going right, what’s going wrong, and work with you to optimise processes and boost productivity both in house and online.
Are you leveraging the power of the internet? An online marketing consultant can help you tackle the complexities of internet marketing by analysing your site and optimising it. Get a real feel for what’s going right and wrong on your site. Fix what’s broken and optimise what’s ineffective. Your website could go from being an online brochure to a lead generation and customer communication vehicle that serves as a virtual sales person.
Search Engine Optimisation, Social Marketing, and More
Want more traffic? Online consultants can help you get it. Want to run promotions or contests? Looking to leverage tools such as Facebook and Twitter? A consultancy could help you do that.
Need a plan? Got a plan and want to put it on paper so you can approach venture capitalists or angel investors? Get help putting together a winning business plan and this could make a big difference to your ability to get financing. An expert business plan writer could help you position your business as a great potential investment.
Whether you want to hire someone to help you with your marketing collateral creation, to start a new blog, to have someone deal with your press release distribution or for someone to come in and tell you why you aren’t making more money (and then show you how to turn a better profit), a marketing consultant could help. Hire the right consultant and you could grow your business substantially.
Look for someone seasoned in business, well-versed in marketing on the internet, and for someone who’s geographically close enough to understand the issues and challenges you face in your local geographical area.
Remember the rush you felt as you opened that first box of business cards announcing that you were your own boss, an independent human resource (HR) consultant? Sometime later, maybe weeks, maybe months, reality set in as you realized that being an independent HR consultant meant that there was only you to do all that work — everything from HR compliance to photocopying. Maybe that is why big companies have all those different departments.
All That Non-HR Work: Speaking of all that work, I bet that while you were dreaming of being an independent HR consultant, it did not occur to you that you would also have to do the back office stuff (sales, marketing, billing/invoicing, collections, travel planning, photocopying, telephone answering/returning calls, mailing/shipping, email reading and responding, appointment scheduling, correspondence, graphic design (business cards and other marketing collateral), website design, social media, business and marketing planning, networking, bookkeeping etc. too. Although the back office stuff seems like just annoying stuff, it is also necessary stuff — the stuff needed to keep any business running.
The reality of how much time and work is involved in operating a successful HR consultancy can be overwhelming and that can seriously impact productivity and forward momentum, but there are options for dealing with all that non-HR work:
Throw in the towel
Looking at the Options: Let us take a closer look at those options. Working harder or longer is not a viable option. After all, if you could work more than you are already working, you would be doing it. Throwing in the towel isn’t a good option. Hiring an employee is an option, albeit, not a great one. As an independent HR consultant knows, employees come with a built-in set of compliance/regulatory issues, and if you’re operating your consultancy from your home, you can add local regulations to that list of issues. Interns are an interesting option, but the amount of time you would spend on teaching them how to do things and supervising them is a continued drain on your time and productivity, and after the internship is done, you are back to square one.
Outsourcing is a good option for the independent human resource consultant. Outsourcing provides you with targeted expertise (a web designer to design a website, a graphic artist to design marketing collateral, etc.), as well as help only when you need it. Outsourcing eliminates all of the expenses and headaches that come with hiring an employee, and provides you with yet another contact for your virtual Rolodex (you never know who might need you down the road). Although outsourced workers are independent contractors, under IRS rules, you will need to keep a loose eye on the work you have assigned to them to make sure that they are meeting deadlines and quality standards.
Back to All that Work: Remember that list of back office activities needed to operate a successful HR consultancy? That’s just the tip of the iceberg, and unless you want to spend your time ‘keeping a loose eye’ on 17+ independent contractors, you will want to combine as many of those back office activities as you possibly can so you can dwindle down the number of independent contractors you need to keep an eye on. You can combine bookkeeping, billing/invoicing and collections into one activity, thereby eliminating the need for two independent contractors. You may even be able to combine website design with graphic design, thereby eliminating the need for another independent contractor.
What would you say, however, if I told you that there is one outsourcing marvel that you can use to handle all that back office work? That outsourcing marvel is a Human Resource Virtual Assistant (HRVA). A HRVA provides targeted expertise in handling back office functions, as well as experience in working in human resources. An independent contractor in the eyes of the IRS, a HRVA is actually a self-employed administrative expert who specializes in human resources.
Although a HRVA cannot be all and do all, she can do the legwork needed to find other independent contractors who can do the things she does not or cannot do (and that’s surprisingly little), and a HRVA has the project management skills needed to keep an eye on those other independent contractors for you, making sure they meet deadlines and quality standards.
Stop working long hours in your HR consultancy trying to get everything done. Talk to a HRVA now, and find out how she can help you divest yourself of all those back office activities that don’t require your time or human resource expertise. Move your HR consultancy toward greater success and yourself toward a better life. Connect with a HRVA now!