How to Know When to Call in Outside Business Experts
Part of addressing your organization’s weaknesses is to get help from outside experts who can fill in or add value when and where it’s needed. That can help to free you to spend more time and energy exploiting your strengths, and it can improve your company’s overall results.
Know where you need help.
Smart management involves knowing when to do it yourself, and when it’s better to outsource a task to the best resources from outside the firm. Always consider whether a given problem or challenge could be resolved most effectively by adding to your staff, by improving your staff’s capabilities through training and mentoring, or by outsourcing.
Do your homework to find the right resources.
Let’s assume that you decide to look for outside expert help. How do you know who the best service providers are? And how do you know whether they’re the right fit for your company? Resources could include word of mouth from industry contacts or from trade associations, or through objective analysis by impartial third parties, such as consulting agencies or groups that have relevant insights. Also, screen candidates and ask for referrals.
Be clear with your consultants and monitor their performance.
Apply the same clear and honest feedback to your relationships with consultants as you do with your staff. Begin by spelling out your expectations and the deliverables. Precisely, what do you want done, how (if relevant), by when and for how much money? Then monitor your vendors’ performance. Don’t micromanage, but don’t turn a blind eye either. You have a responsibility to get the best out of all your resources. Continually measure the value they provide to your company.