All of us face significant decisions in our lives that shape our path. When making those decisions, we often look for wisdom and guidance from relatives, close friends, or mentors. However, when it comes to expanding business globally, independent professional advice is best. Business consultants are often sought to provide trusted advisory services – but how to pick a consultant that has the skills of an accountant and the network of a president and thinks like an entrepreneur, cares like a relative (or a shareholder), and acts as a mentor?

Start from the basics: match your goals with the qualifications and experience of the consultant.

Would you hire Elon Musk to lead your global expansion plan? So we may say yes, and others may say no, which leads us to say it depends. Elon Musk is considered an innovative mind, but does he have the right skills and experience to carry out an expansion plan for YOUR Company specifically? If you’re an electric car maker looking to enter North America, then yes, perhaps. The truth is that many brilliant people can help you with your expansion plans, but not everyone is a good fit for your Company—as a matter of fact, very few. Before you start, it’s essential to understand who you are as a company, identify your goals and/or potential problems, and have an idea of the type of deliverables you need. Once you have those things nailed down, it’s best to hire a management consultant that has experience in your industry, the qualifications and skills to visualize your goals and solve your problems, and has strong, preferably global, capabilities to meet your deliverables.

Evaluate their experience: seek proven problem-solving skills and results.

When you start from the basics and identify your goals, you have likely identified a gap or a problem; therefore, you need an advisor or consultant that can solve challenges comfortably. Often consultants have case studies on their website, or you can always ask the consultant about the types of client challenges they’ve solved and what results they have achieved. A good business consultant will ask about your goals and challenges and understand your pain points, and how to approach these points effectively. However, remember that superior problem-solving skills are not just about the experience but also about concisely delivering solutions. Entrepreneurs have an innate sense of solving problems; think of management consultants like mini-entrepreneurs that have a specialty in the field that you may not have the expertise for.

Understand their resourcefulness: pay attention to their network.

Once you’ve established that the consultant in front of you has a strong mix of good qualifications and experience, paired with the right skills, it comes down to how well they can execute on their deliverables. What distinguishes good business advisors from great ones is their ability to be resourceful and be able to swiftly gather vast amounts of information. For example, if you have a business looking to enter a new market, and you’re engaging a management consultant to help you with this challenge, looking for professionals from scratch on an international level is difficult, costly, and risky.

Align your business values: hire a management consultant that cares

There are a lot of brilliant management consultants that can help you solve problems, but at what price? First, you need to find a management consultant that cares about your business and your bottom line as much as he cares about his own. Management consultants should be masters of “sweating the small stuff,” and you should keep a keen eye on whether they are willing to go above and beyond without charging an arm and a leg. A management consultant suitable for you is able to be open about their rates and how much it’ll cost you to reach your goals while presenting you with measurable targets to evaluate deliverables. When both sides are transparent about expectations and what it takes to deliver a robust solution, you have a winning partnership.

At Glenn Graydon Wright LLP, our team of business advisors and Chartered Professional Accountants are highly experienced with domestic and international business matters and are passionate about delivering reliable solutions to our clients. If you would like to discuss how partnering with us could benefit your business, contact us to schedule a consultation. Give us a call today at 905-845-6633, or connect with us online, to set up an initial conversation.