How to Work with a Consultant While on a Budget


By: Ana Margarita Olar|

From simple marketing tips to the improvement of business strategies, to major projects, or redesign of business concepts, owners seek a consultant’s advice to help operations and sales. Asking for an expert’s advice is not cheap.

Here are some tips to get the most from outside help:


Include consultant’s fee when planning your budget.

Take the Topper’s Pizza as an example. Scott Gittrich, founder, and president of this company, says that going the consultant route can save money. Instead of having consultant as an additional employee to the marketing department, Toppers teamed with a third party to do an analysis of information that his marketing team had already gathered.

In this way, the company saved more than if they would hire an employee with salaries and benefits. According to Grittrich, they had a more in-depth analysis and acquired quicker results.

Give options with the consultant’s fee.

Robert Giaimo, President, and CEO of Silver Diner offered experts with stock options. They pay half the price in cash and the other half in stocks.

It’s like hitting two birds with one stone. One, you can afford an adviser even if the rate is beyond your pay reach, and two, the consultant will be more willing to participate with the company’s success.

Choose wisely and make the consultant a part of the team

Before hiring a consultant, talks to their previous clients, do research, to make sure that they have what your company needs.

Once they are in, keep in touch with them; make them a part of your operating team as much as possible. Take them to the critical operations of your company so that they will have a deep understanding and can make a more intellectual recommendation regarding the company’s operations.

Set goals and deadlines.

Because the consultant is not a regular employee, you should set a specific time frame on each project so that the fee does not pile up. A consultant that is not done with the job within 6 months should’ve been an employee.

To achieve this, find a consultant who is an expert on a specific job. Point out the issues or problems, integrate the consultant with the operations and be specific on when you want the job to be completed.

While it is very important to get a consultant, the financial aspect of the company should not be put in jeopardy.

Hiring a consultant is very efficient way to see the picture because they come from outside, having a different angle and an entirely different point of view.