How do you go about choosing someone to help your company achieve its IT goals when you don’t have the resources to do it internally? It is really quite simple – do your upfront homework and maintain your involvement through the life of the project. Perhaps this is obvious, but we’ve found that when you follow these four main ideas, you’ll end up with a successful project.
First, when considering a professional services firm for your IT project, start by checking with others – both inside and outside of your industry. Talk to your peers and ask them about their results when engaging with IT Consulting firms. After that, ask each of the consulting firms that you are considering for several references of clients where they have recently completed projects. Then take the time to call those references to get a clear understanding of how easy the firm was to work with, how well they worked within the company’s internal culture and if they got the job done on-time and on-budget.
Second, once you’ve completed your review of the references and have awarded the project, begin by clearly outlining your expectations for the project. Let’s face it anytime you bring in outside resources, it changes your internal culture. Ensure that the consulting firm has a clear understanding of your corporate culture, how you operate, and how you wish them to operate within your business environment. This will go a long way towards alleviating any “silly” issues that will definitely arise if the consultant isn’t aware of how you manage your business.
Third, once this foundation is completed, take a hard look at the project plan and ask yourself if it is truly feasible. For instance, it is important to ensure that all resources – whether human or systems – are available to the consultant per the project plan. We normally begin our IT projects with a series of interviews to get a clear understanding of the existing business processes and the people and technology that perform them. This means that in order for us to do our job as efficiently as possible, we need to be able to meet with the people or access the systems per our defined project schedule. If you ensure that this happens, you’ll be well on your way to getting your project completed as efficiently as possible.
Finally, most consulting firms will schedule project progress meetings as often as it makes sense (based upon the project). It is important for you (or someone that you designate on your team) to be engaged in these meetings as they occur – even if they aren’t involved in the details of the project. This will assist you in identifying any pitfalls that may occur as the project progresses. Further, this will allow you to ensure that what you are doing continues to make sense – you are achieving what you set out to accomplish. We’ve seen both time and money saved when the consultant was able to effectively shift gears mid-course and keep the project on track as problems were averted due to these meetings. We’ve also seen re-work having to be done because the client could not make the meetings and issues were found after applications were written or systems were implemented. Most of this re-work can be eliminated by all parties staying engaged in project progress and ensuring that the end result is going to work as desired.
Even for those who know how to decipher the clues of the international market, tendencies are truly paradoxical and sometimes hard to predict. While not all real life businesses turn to marketing experts, there are few exceptions on the Internet that do not have serious Internet marketing counseling to back decisions, strategies and campaigns. To put it otherwise, 90% of the companies that operate on the virtual market, rely on expert advice to make profit and stay in business. Why is online marketing consulting so important? The growing need for good online business presence is rooted in the features and operational modes of search engines.
Based on a user’s query, search engines display the web pages that are the most relevant for the typed keywords. The presence in the search result pages is the one that matters most, hence, the tendency is to somehow get displayed on the first or second page. Internet marketing consulting is built on various techniques and methods whose implementation enhances the performance of the web page in searches. Good searches and more visitors equal a better profit. And the best way to prove it is to refer to search engine optimization. SEO represents one of the most common services provided as part of Internet marketing consulting.
The product or service a business promotes will be best defined by the features resumed in keywords or key phrases. These very relevant lexical associations are the words that any Internet user will type in the search box of a search engine. Internet marketing consulting will therefore start with identifying those exact terms that best define your domain of activity, which will eventually target the most significant of web users. Not only site content but ads or links are optimized too as part of a continuous process of monitoring a company’s performance online.
Internet marketing consulting represents a permanent necessity for a business that grows online, the virtual market is subject to sudden changes that can ruin or enhance the business opportunities. Internet marketing consulting facilitates the adaptation to the new standards, allowing the adjustment of methods, the switch of strategies, the reinvention of keywords and so on. Therefore, when you hire an Internet marketing consulting service, make sure it is for the long term, since the tasks performed by marketing professionals are unparalleled and vital for the existence and success of a company online.
Why use a search engine optimization consultant to do the things you can do for yourself? There are lots of reasons. Perhaps the most important one is that you are discouraged with the results from your own efforts to increase web traffic. Another good reason is a planned expansion of your company. In that case, you need all the help you can get, and SEO consultants do help many companies succeed. These consultants can help you increase your exposure on the Internet as well as help you achieve your goals for your company. But beware – you can spend a lot of money and find yourself back where you started. Review carefully the resources the consultants will require before you sign on the dotted line.
A good test regarding the SEO consultants is this: they should tell you right away that an ill-planned campaign could lead to disaster. This generally happens when you don’t know what will be required of you to make the project successful. You want success, but you also want it as quickly as possible. If the project stalls, it’s going to cost and not necessarily just in the lost opportunities.
The SEO consultants will probably want to make extensive changes to your site, and your internal IT team will probably balk at that. They’re not going to want anyone to interfere with a site that they’ve worked hard to make function smoothly. So settle this matter early on. Make certain they’re on board before you sign any contract. Also, be sure you have established a baseline of traffic coming from search engines. Otherwise, you will have no solid foundation for claiming success later after the SEO consultants have done there work.
Think about changes ahead of time and get them all straightened out early on so you don’t run into conflicts and roadblocks later on.
If you’re the marketing manager and you are spearheading this effort, just remember that time is your most valuable commodity. You may have several campaigns running at once, and you may think that by bringing in SEO consultants you are buying time for yourself. It probably won’t work that way. You are the only one who knows the business of your marketing department, and you’ll have to be involved. An hour a week will be a minimum for looking at what’s going on, asking for changes, and making sure that what they’re doing is consistent with your marketing goals.
Business integrity is more than what takes place inside the company. It is all about the business behavior of a company that can have a significant impact on the concerned parties outside its premises. The expansion of business activities on a global level has led to the expansion of its impact as well. This in turn has made it difficult for companies to deal with the increased risks that are involved in violating compliance and ethics. This is the point where companies require help from corporate social responsibility (CSR) consultants.
CSR consultants are not only responsible for implementing an accurate screening and due diligence for reducing compliance risks but they can also prove beneficial in different areas such as social auditing, participatory research and international business development. Their basic objective consists of providing assistance to their clients so that they can manage changes in their business effectively.
In today’s competitive business world where companies are practicing new methods to ensure a strong standing in the market, the value of CSR consultants cannot be denied. A growing number of organizations are keeping track of the latest developments in sustainability and corporate social responsibility through CSR news and CSR events. In order to get an edge over others, hiring a CSR consultant makes a lot of business sense. Apart from complex problem solving, they are also responsible for strengthening the capacity of the organization for future. Their main aim is to generate an effective strategy by combining valuable ethical, socially responsible and sustainable practices.
Today, various companies offering CSR consultation have emerged. The main objective of these companies is to partner with their clients in an effective manner so that they can attain their respective corporate social responsibility goals. CSR news and CSR events posted on the Internet are also talking about its significance. Some of the common services offered by CSR consultants are: establishing good relations with stakeholders, reporting and communication of new ideas, structuring programs, training employees on CSR and creating sustainable development strategies. It is essential for CSR consultants to recognize the importance and connection between socially responsible behavior and reputation of a company. CSR consultation is different from public relations because earning a positive reputation involves more than just paperwork.
Kevin Long is the founder of Global Deaf Connection and the co-founder of Justmeans, a social utility site that helps companies to attract and ignite advocates of better business. Kevin has done significant business development work for both for-profit and non-profit organizations that support good work.