Benefits of Working with a Consultant
Are you considering hiring a consultant for your practice? Make sure you understand all the potential benefits you could receive to make sure you choose the right one.
What Does a Consultant Do?
There are various types of consultants specializing in different aspects of a business. Plastic surgery practices should look for consultants with real-life, hands-on plastic surgery practice experience.
A consultant should be able to talk about how they have helped other plastic surgery practices with things like:
- Patient Flow Issues (Operations)
- Inventory Management (Operations)
- Reducing Overhead (Financial)
- Increasing Revenue (Financial)
- Employee Performance Issues (Human Resources)
- Employee Policies and Compliance (Human Resources)
- New Services (Strategic Planning)
- Growth (Strategic Planning)
Why Do Practices Hire Consultants?
Every practice is different, so the specific reasons one decides to work with a consultant vary, but there are common themes:
- A consultant provides objectivity: It helps to have a fresh pair of eyes to share an unbiased opinion to help you meet the goal you are looking to achieve.
- A consultant can help identify problems: We don't know what we don't know. Working with someone who has the right expertise can help you solve problems you couldn't find on your own and come up with the right solutions.
- A consultant can help supplement the practice staff: It can be hard to implement change when practice staff already have a full workload.
- A consultant can help by taking on the planning role of a project and putting realistic timelines in place based on staff time and resources.
- A consultant can be a facilitator of change and help influence others: When someone is passionate about the task at hand, it shows, making it easier for them to bring the team together and get them excited about new
How Do You Choose the Right Consultant?
A strong consultant can help with positive changes like reducing expenses, increasing revenue and creating more efficient workflows. The wrong consultant will be a waste of practice resources and taint the team's perception of utilizing outside help, making it harder for them to trust others in the future.
During interviews, ask yourself, "Will I get along with this person?" Not all consultants are the right fit for you (the client), and not all clients are right for the consultant, and that's ok.
Ask about their client base. A lot of consultants will say they specialize in a specific area, but do they?
Do they offer customizable solutions? There is not a one-size-fits-all approach for running a successful practice, so if someone is saying, "It's their way or no way." keep looking for someone who understands your goals and your practice.
When allowing someone to dig into the nuts and bolts of your practice, trust and integrity is extremely important. Be sure to ask questions about their mission and values and be sure there is a nondisclosure section in your agreement.
What to Look for When Signing a Consulting Agreement
A consulting agreement should give specific details about the project scope, tasks and expectations.
- Scope: This will provide details on the services to be provided.
- Tasks: If specific deliverables or services were discussed they should be individually listed to ensure there is no ambiguity.
- If a set timeline was discussed, this should be clearly defined in the agreement, along with what happens if the timeline is not met.
- Any expectations around fees and payment should also be clearly identified.
- If expectations are not met, by either party, a process for termination of the agreement should be outlined.
Interested in learning more about customized consulting solutions that fit your practice needs? Schedule a call with PS2!