I’ve been an early childhood marketing and business development consultant for seven years now. Before that, I held jobs in the industry in which I hired consultants. Looking back on my earliest experiences as a child care administrator, I know I didn’t always sit down and craft all of my objectives for my contracted professional development trainers. Actually, back then, I didn’t know I should.
As time when by, and I began working with more types of experts on other projects, I learned a lot about how to write a Statement of Work and planning measurable objectives. I know now that because I didn’t go into those beginning relationships with clear goals, the consultants and I did not achieve as much as we might have if I had been well prepared. My consultants did great work, but we could have achieved more if I set clear expectations.
Notice my liberal use of the word “we”? Going into any consulting agreement means that you have to be prepared to collaborate, and build a team with your consultants. It also means you must manage the relationship and be open to change. Stop and think about it, the very idea of inviting someone with expertise into your organization means that inevitably the outcome will mean change from what your organization is doing now to what it will be doing in the future. The most fundamental objective for which you need to plan is that everyone in your organization needs to be prepared for collaboration and change.
If you are a program administrator in a direct service program, it’s highly likely you’ve hired consultants for professional development, But just like early childhood leaders in all types of organizations, you may also need other types of expertise like graphic designers, organizational consultants, website experts, and so many others like those listed on ECEexperts.com. It’s important to remember that one size does not fit all when it comes to preparing to work with consultants, but there are some rules of thumb you can use before you get started.
Choosing a Consultant Part 1. Deciding to Hire a Consultant on Planning.org (American Planning Association) offers a wealth of information about getting started with consultants. Jump down to the section, Organizing for Selection. to learn more about SOWs and objective planning. Then, start your search on ECEexperts.com! It’s free to search and register to contact consultants.
Consultants can and should help their potential clients achieve their goals by guiding them through the planning process if they are not prepared. But the preparation process before you even talk with clients will ensure you not only find the right person, but also that the money you invest is well spent, and you will successfully achieve your organization’s goals. Meet your next consultant on ECEexperts.com, where is it free to search for consultants who specialize in helping all types of organizations in the early childhood sector!
And, you.. consultants… Are you prepared to guide prospective and new clients through the steps of setting goals and preparing for change? It’s a big task, but if you want to effect change and you want happy, successful clients, you better have your own plan! That’s our next post… Helping clients help themselves… coming soon. Subscribe to our blog so you do not miss the next installment!
Do you have tips for consultants and early education leaders who use them? Share them! Post a comment below!
Join us for a FREE Product Demonstration for consultants
Find new clients on ECEexperts.com
October 31, 2016, 2 pm – 2:45 pm EDT
You will receive a discount code to use if you decide to subscribe!
Thanks for reading!
Fran Simon, M.Ed.
Chief Engagement Officer
Engagement Strateiges, LLC.
Founder, Early Childhood Investigations Webinars and
Early Childhood Investigations Consultant Directory