Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a contractor and a consultant?
Contractors can be terrific people and serve a good purpose for many companies. But contractors are not consultants. Contractors tend to fill a specific role and augment the current or existing staff. Contracts serve under limited scope and provide functional support. The market for contractors is also price-driven.
Consultants serve a strategic purpose that is broad in scope. The essence of a consultant is to bring his mind, experience, and thought leadership to the table for the sake of improving the company. Consultants ask "why?" a lot, too. The market for consultants is driven by value, not price.
What is the difference between staff-to-hire and a consultant?
Staff-to-hire or "try and buy" is often marketed as consulting, but it is not consulting. Staff-to-hire can serve a purpose, but clients should beware that the market for this is completely driven by price and who is available at the moment. Remember, you get what you pay for.
Again, consulting is a mindset, a passion, and a calling for many. Being a consultant is something many take pride in because it is one of the four top careers chosen out of top MBA schools (the other three being venture capital, hedge funds, and private equity). Being a top consultant takes true dedication and sacrifice, with a passion for continual learning and improvement.
Why should we hire you instead of McKinsey, Bain, or Boston Consulting Group?
All three are known as "MBB" and can provide terrific, strategic, and valuable help. But the model is 100+ years old and very expensive. When you hire one of the three, half of the bill will be for hotel, travel, food, and equipment. They won't be staying at your discount hotelier or eating on a budget, either.
The model still operates out of fancy offices in major cities, which you pay for. There is no way they will change their model or pricing structure because they can't, it's not who they are.
But when you hire us, you get the same talent for less than half the price. The average tenure at MBB is 3-5 years. That means that consultants get the experience or get burned out from being a road warrior (constant travel, 16+ hour days), and leave the company.
Many of these folks are still wonderful people with a terrific work ethic. We hire folks like this who are ready to work hard but maintain a work-life balance, see family, build relationships, and serve in the community.
Since we believe in working at the client's office or out of our own home office (work-life balance), we save you that cost. We also don't fly first class or stay at 5-star hotels, saving you more money. By saving this money, we still hire great consultants but serve you the significantly discounted rates.
Why not just hire somebody internally instead of use a consultant?
You could do this and sometimes it works for companies. Generally, companies who seek consultants are needing deep expertise in a functional area for a temporary time period.
The common mistake some people make is believing they should hire every role internally. We encourage clients to focus on what they do best and partner with others to help with the rest.
Big value comes from a consultant as well because he can leverage his experience across many industries, sectors, and projects. Because a consultant is always serving a client or helping other consultants with their clients, he gains massive experience in a short amount of time. A common heuristic is that 1 year of consulting is like 5 years in the normal marketplace.
So, when you hire a consultant, you're getting a catalyst, a multiplier, a special ops player on your team who can and will take you to the next level.
How do we know what to look for when picking a consulting firm?
Good consulting firms will spend more time asking about you and your business than talking about themselves and their business. Because consulting is about teamwork and partnership, a good consulting firm should ask questions like:
- What is your long-term vision?
- What is behind your reason for change?
- What will happen if you don't change?
The consulting firm you pick should also have notable, reputable, and dependable. Lots of people call themselves consultants but you should look at 4 key factors when choosing a firm:
- Quality of experience
- Number of certifications
- Type of education
- Who they hire
- Potential for success
The quality of experience is what you're really after. Years of experience isn't a reliable metric, but the types of projects a firm has worked on speaks volumes.
Number of certifications is a test of commitment, sacrifice, and knowledge. Anybody can say they now a topic but when a firm has the external third-party certifications to back it up, they mean business.
Type of education refers to what a person chose for formal education. Don't rule out somebody with an undergraduate in Psychology or Theater, their creativity and ability to create customer experience may wow you.
Who a firm hires is crucial. If a firm spends time recruiting from the Ivy League but you don't get results, that's a problem. But if the firm hires people with entrepreneurial mindsets, a solid work attitude, and high ethical principles, then you have a winner.
Potential for success is the ability of the firm to executive on your creative ask. Just because a firm has not worked on a specific set of technology, in a particular industry, or with a tactical problem, does not mean they can't help you. In fact, a firm with the aforementioned traits might have exactly the creativity, tenacity, and drive for success to be a terrific partner.
What if we already have consultants?
If your current consultants are doing a great job, then terrific, keep them. This means they should be doing the following:
- Thought leadership on your current project, future projects, and what to look out for
- Transparent communication about weekly status, milestones, pending change requests, risks & issues
- Respecting you and your team through their attitude, dress, and schedule in your workplace
- Researching new, trending topics and categories for you and your team, at no additional cost
- Delivering results on-time that are high-quality and important to you and your success metrics
If this doesn't sound like your current consultants, then it might be time for honest feedback. Remember, you deserve consultants who care about your business as much as you do. This means they deliver so your product or service can be successful in the marketplace with happy customers.
What if we aren't happy with your services?
Your money back, guaranteed. We believe in customer service and providing the best customer service in the industry. We truly are committed to being the best consultants you have ever worked with. That is our promise to you.