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It’s not your consultant’s job


to come up with your budget


unless that’s the assignment.


     Just because you’re the boss doesn’t mean that the consultants you hire are going to work for you personally (unless you’re a celebrity or worse, a political candidate!). Their allegiance is to your company or the project you assign, but that doesn’t make them thumbtacks you can press into any passing piece of cork.

     In other words, the reason for going “outside” is to get an informed fresh perspective on whatever your focus is, down the road or at the moment . . . and consultants provide an objective sounding board; they are not part of your company “politics.”




     Sure, there are “Yes Men” in the ranks. They are as proportionally present in the consulting field as in any other.

     Part of your job is to sort through them, and appreciate the differences in their backgrounds as well as the similarities of strategy they may use to attack your business problems. Once you’ve settled on compatibility and track-record issues, you may want to consider:

First and foremost in every consultant’s mind is the same concern that would be front and center in yours . . . 

How much will this assignment pay and on what basis?

     Consultants charge hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually . . . and project fees. Some allow flexible terms and may accept partial payment with a performance incentive. Others are very cut and dried, or unyielding and regimented about what and how they charge. Lawyers, as most of us know, charge for every hiccup.

     Some charge fees that are all-inclusive. Others may charge additional fees for “Rush” service, “Full” service, “Specialized” service, or “On-Call” service. Some fees may have a timeline attached, or a project benchmark or specific goal defined. All are legitimate. Only you can determine what will work best for your situation.

The worst thing you can ask of a prospective consultant — and it’s done relentlessly — is to come up with a budget before agreeing to any engagement of services.


If you want to go window shopping, do it on Bing or Google. Don’t make prospects jump through hoops and expect a solid work relationship as a result.

     Most consultants in my experience are happy to do what they can within the framework of your budget, but to ask them to set your budget for you is neither realistic nor fair, and puts an anchor around the neck of your goal pursuits!   

     When you want exceptional input from a consultant, provide an exceptional compensation package. Consultants are not for Scotch-Tape and rubber-banding problems quicker and cheaper than you think your staff is capable of. Consultants are for problem-solving that you and your people cannot afford the time to address, or lack the experience or expertise to bring to the table.

     Consultants are for accelerating business progress at a quicker rate than you and your people are capable of doing on your own, given existing limitations of time, money and know-how. This is not to suggest handling consultants with loose reins. You need to give them — up front — a tight but reasonable timetable, and it behooves you to also itemize specific deliverables you seek.

     The period of engagement and renewable options need to be established and clearly defined, and a meaningful communication and reporting system needs to be in place from the outset. or 302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You. God Bless America and America’s Troops. “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]  Make today a GREAT Day!

6 comments so far


  1. Zacharyon 21 Sep 2010 at 6:36 pm

    You are obviously a seasoned blogger… great post, thanks!

  2. Hal Alpiaron 21 Sep 2010 at 7:46 pm

    Thanks Zach. I appreciate your visit and your comment. And after checking your site, I’ve clicked to follow you on Twitter. Please return anytime. Regards – Hal

  3. Sindy Honon 10 Dec 2010 at 1:06 pm

    What I find difficult is to locate a blog that can capture me for a minute, but your’s does; it’s different. Keep it like this.

  4. Mindy Rudinon 10 Dec 2010 at 4:29 pm

    I have to admit that I sometimes get bored to read an entire post, but i think that your blog is an exception. Bravo !

  5. Hal Alpiaron 11 Dec 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Thank you, Mindy. I appreciate your visit and your kind comments. Please return soon. Regards – Hal

  6. Hal Alpiaron 11 Dec 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Thanks much, Sindy! I am grateful for your visit and encouraging words. Please return soon. Regards – Hal

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