From somebody who has been in the trenches and used a numerous consultants in the past, here are our 3 highest tips for you when searching for somebody.
Over the years I have made many mistakes in choosing consultants and I estimate all up that it has cost me in excess of $20,000 (and thats being conservative). If you want to avoid making the same mistakes, keep reading.
- Get Real on What You Can and Can’t Do. Here’s the ﬁrst and maybe most important tip. As a person with intermediate knowledge of Google Ads, I can tell you that becoming and staying a top expert in this ﬁeld is no mean feat (an done which I choose not to try). If you wouldn’t do your own brain surgery, don’t do your own google ads. Great entrepreneurs surround themselves with great experts.
- Get Clear on Your Objectives. Get clear on exactly what you want the consultant to achieve. Here’s one of our own examples:
“By 30 August, Sales less Marketing Spend has increased from $X to $Y”
- Focus on “Sales After Marketing Spend”. This is allied to the above point but warrants separate mention. Be careful of the smokes and mirrors here with talk of ‘CPA’ and ‘CPC’ and ‘increasing conversions’. There is only ONE thing that matters and thats the addition to the bottom line. Don’t chose a provider unless they are willing to work to take responsibility for that ﬁgure of Sales After Marketing Spend (including their own fees as part of the Marketing Spend).
- Terms and Conditions. Before you make a decision, ask them if they have standard terms and if you can have a copy before making a decision. Beware of things like locked in contracts and reversion of accounts to previous settings on termination.
- Your Own Terms. Get clear on terms that are important to you. Some ones we suggest are:
- Milestones – eg By X date, account revamped
- Reporting – eg By 4th of each month, two line report on progress on Outcomes for previous month
- Communciation – Within 24 hours of receipt of communication, respond even if it is to say “I can’t respond until…”
- Restraint of trade (if relevant)
- Top Quality. Contrary to popular belief, not all experts are equal. Before hiring, insist on actual case studies and test by asking what they would do with your account and/or whats the latest ideas.
- Payment Terms. Be open to different payment terms (eg ﬂat fee or commission) just so long as they are focused on that ﬁgure of Sales less Marketing Spend. Be careful of a fee structure based on a % of spend which can encourage providers to increase spend without necessarily a commensurate increase in proﬁt
- What about Overseas Providers? Sure, as long as they can meet the above conditions. These can be especially useful for start ups or smaller campaigns.
- Do Your Homework. Finally, spend the time and do your homework to make sure you get the above right. Getting the wrong provider can cost you a lot of time and money
At the Small Business Authority we have spend years researching and using different providers (both within Australia and overseas).
In addition to the above, we have learnt that there is no ‘one right’ solution for all small businesses – the best solution for you depends on your situation.
We are now ideally placed to help you chose the right provider for your situation.
For more information on how we can help, contact us.