A Useful Guide in Business Consulting Firms

One of the key factors contributing to the success of big multinational companies and local industry leaders is trustworthy and experienced business consulting firms. These help stay ahead of the competition. It also levels the playing field for entrepreneurs who are starting a small business.

These companies provide the guidance every establishment needs. Part of their duties includes planning the company structure, establishing brand identity and developing sales strategies. If you are starting your own company, you might want to look into business consulting companies. There are many who are more than happy to give you great services at affordable rates. If you want to know more on what these companies can do for you, read on.

What are business consulting firms?

A consulting company offers specialized expertise and knowledge to its clients. There are many types of consulting firms, the popular ones being information technology (IT) consulting firms and management consulting firms. There are also other types such as human resource and environmental consulting firms.

All business consulting companies employ different approaches and methods. They offer the services of professional consultants who can focus on a single project or train and implement changes to the staff. There are even project oriented consulting companies that focus in specific business functions. An example of this is a supply chain or customer relationship management (CRM). These firms study their clients’ needs and manage training, implementation and development.

There are also many consulting firms focusing on staff augmentation. These firms start after the client’s business has been studied carefully. By this time, the projects should have an existing outline and a clear budget. Staff augmentation firms offer training, methodologies and specific resources. Their job is complete upon implementation.

Why should you get business consulting companies?

Hiring a great consultant company can do great wonders for your business. These industry specialists can improve and modify your business practices. You can trust them to make positive changes because of their years of experience in marketing.

Here are some of the services a good consulting company can provide:

- They will assist you with all the paperwork needed for your venture

These companies know the registration procedure and can process your papers. They can assess your business and know the kind of equipment and manpower you will need.

-They offer retainer services

After helping you start your business, these firms can streamline processes to make them more effective. They will work with you in creating methods that can improve your practices. They can also help develop marketing plans to attract consumers and generate more income.

-They provide an honest assessment of your business

Consultants are armed with years of experience that allow them to point out which of your practices are effective and which ones do not work. They also know your competition well. They can then give you better recommendations on improving your performance as an up-and-coming enterprise.

Remember, starting your own business can be simple and easy with the proper guidance. Get help from business consulting firms today. Doing this allows you to compete with industry leaders and eventually be one of them.

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The Ultimate CBD Oil UK Collection Launched by for the Ageless

For Immediate Release:
March 5, 2018: Research has established the good effects of cannabis for various medical conditions in humans. CBD oil is derived from hemp from cannabis sativa and constitutes a legally produced food supplement in most of the West. for the Ageless is one of the most popular online stores for CBD oil UK products offering different types of CBD oils, edibles, CBD balms and e-liquids. Over the years, this online store in the UK has been serving thousands of customers to their best satisfaction, because it offers a personalised service that is hard to find elsewhere.

The CBD oil UK products they offer are genuinely good, because they’re certified organic and full spectrum. The prices at for the Ageless are matched with those of the manufacturer, making them the most competitive in the industry. Health benefits are assured because the products have been derived from the whole plant, making the CBD oil full spectrum. For the Ageless has managed to put together a premium selection of the best CBD oil UK available products, exclusively from ethical manufacturers who use small organic crops and supercritical CO2 extraction.

For the Ageless has recently announced its mission at a London press conference: ”to provide customers worldwide with the best, fully organic CBD oil UK oils, edibles and skincare”. Online shoppers can find the top CBD oil brands from Europe and UK in one single collection: Love Hemp, CannabiGold, BioBloom, Biopurus, Charlotte’s Web Oil and many others.

This CBD oil UK collection stands out from the rest for having its products organised clearly by CBD content, making their selection easier and faster. for the Ageless selects only organic, full-spectrum CBD oils, hemp teas, CBD vapes, sweets and edibles from cold-pressed Cannabis Sativa L. The CBD UK retailer ships worldwide for free and offers CBD product gifts and samples.

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Songs.pk: An Ultimate Platform for Hindi Mp3 Songs Download

For Immediate Release:
March 4, 2018: The world of music is magnificent and has captivated hearts and soul of people across the world. The advancement in technology has created a huge platform that is internet which help music lover in the entire world to download latest mp3 song of all genre whether heart-warming bollywood hindi songs, pop music, or any regional song.

There are many music websites from where hindi songs lovers can download the entire range of songs in the music industry. One such website is Songs.pk which is one of the most popular and renowned songs destination that has an excellent collection of variety of hindi songs. It is a leading online portal that offers visitors the scope to download the latest and the best hindi songs from their favorite artists and musicians.

Using the Songspk website, hindi mp3 songs download and the collection of finest music has now become easy. All that a person needs to do is visit the website and check out the extensive collection of music that is offered there. The users can also make use of the search engine present within the site to look for the movie or the artist whose songs they are looking to download.

The database at Songs.pk is updated on a regular basis which means that users can come back at regular intervals to check out for new hindi mp3 songs download. All the songs that are available on this website are in the form high quality mp3 files, which mean that visitors can have a great time listening to them.

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Thinking emoji meaning

HotEmoji Shares Excellent Tricks For Using Thinking Face Emoji In Different Social Media Platforms & Websites
For Immediate Release

Thinking Emoji, 3 March, 2018: HotEmoji.com welcomes people in an excellent platform where they can access thousands of different emoji & use them on different needs whether its business presentation, documentation, blogging or personal messaging. HotEmoji.com features different categories of emoji symbols including thinking emoji, animal & nature emoji, people & smiley emoji and a lot more.

Thinking emoji is a widely used emoji that helps people to express their thoughts in much better & deeper way. By using thinking emoji one can make a statement more understandable especially when they are sharing important business or personal message. HotEmoji.com has a huge collection of thinking emoji which includes thinking face emoji, wondering face, thinking smiley, question face, hmm face and many more.

HotEmoji.com also shares the thinking emoji meaning and the tricks of using these emoji in different platforms. The emoji that we see in our device are basically made of some special symbols, letters& texts that anyone can simply copy & paste on their device whether it’s mobile, tablet or computer (emoji should be supported in the device) to get the real emoji face.However, these emoji can differ in the look for different devices & platforms.

HotEmoji.com shares the symbols for different thinking smiley and emoji that can be easily copy & paste to different platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Viber, WhatsApp, Skype, Snapchat, SMS, Messenger and any other website or chat application. The best thing about the emoji trick is, there is no need of downloading external apps to make this trick work on your device.

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Thinking emoji

HotEmoji Shares Excellent Tricks For Using Thinking Face Emoji In Different Social Media Platforms & Websites
For Immediate Release

Thinking Emoji, 3 March, 2018: HotEmoji.com welcomes people in an excellent platform where they can access thousands of different emoji & use them on different needs whether its business presentation, documentation, blogging or personal messaging. HotEmoji.com features different categories of emoji symbols including thinking emoji, animal & nature emoji, people & smiley emoji and a lot more.

https://hotemoji.com/thinking-emoji.html is a widely used emoji that helps people to express their thoughts in much better & deeper way. By using thinking emoji one can make a statement more understandable especially when they are sharing important business or personal message. HotEmoji.com has a huge collection of thinking emoji which includes thinking face emoji, wondering face, thinking smiley, question face, hmm face and many more.

HotEmoji.com also shares the thinking emoji meaning and the tricks of using these emoji in different platforms. The emoji that we see in our device are basically made of some special symbols, letters& texts that anyone can simply copy & paste on their device whether it’s mobile, tablet or computer (emoji should be supported in the device) to get the real emoji face.However, these emoji can differ in the look for different devices & platforms.

HotEmoji.com shares the symbols for different thinking smiley and emoji that can be easily copy & paste to different platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Viber, WhatsApp, Skype, Snapchat, SMS, Messenger and any other website or chat application. The best thing about the emoji trick is, there is no need of downloading external apps to make this trick work on your device.

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The Kugali Anthology

The Kugali Anthology Comic Book Showcasing The Best African Stories In The Most Exciting Way
For Immediate Release

The Kugali Anthology 2 March 2018:The Kugali Anthology, a brilliant comic project to showcase the best African history & culture, has set a new record in the world with its wonderful content, art and stories. The Kugali Anthology is mainly designed to unveil the enriched culture of Africa to the people of the world in a new yet thrilling way.

This comic project is created by 15 most talented and multiple award-winning artists from Africa and many other countries of the world. These 15 brilliant artists have worked together to bring African culture in a form of comic very wonderfully which is absolutely praiseworthy. Some of the artists who have contributed in this anthology are Juni Ba, Gbenle Maverick, EtubiOnucheyo, Ziki Nelson and more.

The Kugali Anthology contains 200 colored pages with 6 amazing stories and 2 amazingly designed covers. This anthology is designed in such way which ensures to give the best comic book experience to the comic lovers.

However if anyone is interested in contributing in the creation of this great comic project, then they can simply by pledging money for this project. The Kugali Anthology team is running a campaign where everyone can join to support this massive African comic project.

The Kugali team welcomes everyone from all around the world to pledge in the campaign to help them make this project more successful. This campaign is also a chance for us to express our belief in the African culture as well as to make these stories available to wider number of people around the world.

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How to Check Consultant References

There is always a certain degree of risk when you decide to hire a consultant or consultant company. You can minimize this risk when you subscribe to one of the top outsourcing services. Professional and exclusive memberships do an excellent job in attracting the right caliber of consultant to meet the demanding needs of their clients, including their own verification of references.

However, human nature dictates that some consultants may not be totally accurate when bidding for project assignments and will require you to conduct due diligence when selecting the right consultant.

For example, the consultant may have just recently joined an online service and have yet to prove their worth and track record, but they may still have the necessary skills and talent to deliver.

As with any new person onto your team, conduct a full check on consultant’s references as part of your selection process. Eliminate those consultants from your list or ask for clarification when the results of your checks do not match the information provided by the consultant.

Interviews can be an effective way of gathering information and seeking clarification, and when completed, checking consultant references should be your next step. You may not be able to conduct face-to-face interviews with prospective consultants and even if you can, interviews alone may not be enough to determine a consultant’s track record. Online interviews can be even more challenging.

Reference checking is the only meaningful way of verifying the track record of the consultants you are considering for your project. You will be able to gather valuable information such as work ethic, interpersonal skills, project management skills, meeting deadlines, keeping within budget and so on.

How To Gather And Verify The Information

As part of their proposal, experienced consultants know the importance of providing verifiable references or testimonials. Many will also provide a full resume.

When checking the information you have been given…

o Ask for the relevant information with which you can contact the consultant’s previous clients. Raise a warning flag as to the accuracy of the proposal if the information is not forthcoming.

o Seek permission first before contacting the consultant’s current or latest client. Use your discretion here as this client may not be aware that the consultant has contacted you.

o Ask the consultant for a full resume, if this is the consultant’s first proposal and there is no track record. Ask their permission to contact previous clients (or employers) with whom the consultant has worked and to whom he/she directly reported.

o Check that references include at least one point of contact to who the consultant reported directly. Ask follow-up questions and seek clarification when this information is missing.

Successful and positive working relationships between clients and consultants take a certain mindset and chemistry. Unfortunately, not every project or contract will end happily. Take every opportunity to gather feedback on the consultant’s interpersonal skills as well as the more obvious project management skills.

You decided to hire a consultant as the most effective way of achieving your goals. Choosing the right one is therefore, essential.

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Managing Consultants

“An expert is someone who lives more than 50 miles out of town
and wears a tie to work.”

- Bryce’s Law

INTRODUCTION

The need for outside contract services is nothing new. IT-related
consultants have been around since the computer was first introduced for
commercial purposes. Today, all of the Fortune 1000 companies have consultants
playing different roles in IT, either on-site or offshore. Many companies are
satisfied with the work produced by their consultants, others are not. Some
consultants are considered a necessary evil who tackle assignments
in an unbridled manner and charge exorbitant rates. For this type of
consultant, it is not uncommon for the customer to be left in the dark
in terms of what the consultant has done, where they are going, and if
and when they will ever complete their assignment. Understand this, the
chaos brought on by such consultants are your own doing.

IT consultants offer three types of services:

  1. Special expertise – representing skills and proficiencies your company is currently without, be it the knowledge of a particular product, industry, software, management techniques, special programming techniques and languages, computer hardware, etc.
  2. Extra resources – for those assignments where in-house resource allocations are either unavailable or in short supply, it is often better to tap outside resources to perform the work.
  3. Offer advice – to get a fresh perspective on a problem, it is sometimes beneficial to bring in an outsider to give an objective opinion on how to proceed. A different set of eyes can often see something we may have overlooked.

Whatever purpose we wish to use a consultant for, it is important
to manage them even before they are hired. This means a company
should know precisely what it wants before hiring a consultant.

ASSIGNMENT DEFINITION

Before we contact a consultant, let’s begin by defining the
assignment as concisely and accurately as possible; frankly,
it shouldn’t be much different than writing a job description
for in-house employees. It should include:

  1. Scope – specifying the boundaries of the work assignment and detailing what is to be produced. This should also include where the work is to be performed (on-site, off-site, both) and time frame for performing the work.
  2. Duties and Responsibilities – specifying the types of work to be performed.
  3. Required Skills and Proficiencies – specifying the knowledge or experience required to perform the work.
  4. Administrative Relationships – specifying who the consultant is to report to and who they will work with (internal employees and other external consultants).
  5. Methodology considerations – specifying the methodology, techniques and tools to be used, along with the deliverables to be produced and review points. This is a critical consideration in managing the consultant. However, if the consultant is to use his/her own methodology, the customer should understand how it works and the deliverables produced.
  6. Miscellaneous in-house standards – depending on the company, it may be necessary to review applicable corporate policies, e.g., travel expenses, dress code, attendance, behavior, drug test, etc.

Many would say such an Assignment Definition is overkill. Far from
it. How can we manage anyone if we do not establish the rules of the
game first? Doing your homework now will pay dividends later when
trying to manage the consultant. Assignment clarity benefits both
the customer and the consultant alike. Such specificity eliminates
vague areas and materially assists the consultant in quoting a price.

SELECTING A CONSULTANT

Armed with an Assignment Definition, we can now begin the
process of selecting a consultant in essentially the same manner
as selecting an in-house employee. Choosing the right consultant is
as important a task as the work to be performed. As such, candidates
must be able to demonstrate their expertise for the assignment. Certification
and/or in-house testing are good ways for checking required skills
and proficiencies. Also, reviewing prior consulting assignments (and
checking references) is very helpful. Examining credentials is
imperative in an industry lacking standards. For example, many
consultants may have a fancy title and profess to be noted experts in
their field but, in reality, may be nothing more than contract
programmers. In other words, beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Ideally, a consultant should have both a business and technical
background. True, technical expertise is needed to perform IT
assignments, but a basic understanding of business (particularly your
business) is also important for the consultant to adapt to your
environment. This is needed even if you are using nothing more than
contract programmers.

In terms of remuneration, you normally have two options: an hourly
rate or a fixed price. For the former, be sure the work hours are
specified, including on-site and off-site. Many clients are
uncomfortable paying an hourly wage for an off-site consultant. Under
this scenario, routine status reports should be required to itemize
the work performed and the time spent. However, the lion’s share of
consulting services are based on a fixed price contract. Here, the
role of the methodology becomes rather important. Whether you are
using “PRIDE” or another Brand X methodology, it is important the consultant
and client both have a clear understanding of the project’s work
breakdown structure, the deliverables to be produced, and the review
points. From this, an effective dialog can be communicated in terms
of managing the project. Further, the methodology becomes the basis
for the preparation of estimates and schedules.

After examining your candidates, it now becomes necessary to
balance the level of expertise against price. Sure, a senior
person can probably get the job done in less time, but perhaps
the costs may be too high for your budget. “Expertise” versus
“expense” becomes a serious consideration at this point.

Whomever is selected, it is important that a written agreement
be prepared and signed. The agreement should reference the Assignment
Definition mentioned above and any other pertinent corporate
verbiage. Very important: make sure it is clear that the work
produced by the consultant becomes your exclusive property (not the
consultant’s). Further, the consultant shouldn’t use misappropriated
work from other assignments. Finally, add a clause pertaining to
workmanship; that the consultant will correct at his/her expense
any defects found; e.g., defective software, data base designs, etc.

MANAGING THE CONSULTANT

The two most obvious ways to manage consultants is by having
them prepare routine status reports and project time reports. Such
reports should be produced on a weekly basis and detail what the
consultant has produced for the past week and detail his/her
plans for the coming week. You, the client, should review and
approve all such reports and file accordingly.

A methodology materially assists in tracking a consultant’s
progress. As a roadmap for a project, the methodology takes the
guesswork out of what is to be produced and when. Without
such a roadmap, you are at the mercy of the consultant. Along
these lines, I am reminded of a story of a large manufacturing
company in the UK who used one of the large CPA firms to
tackle a major system development assignment. The system was
very important to the client, but lacking the necessary in-house
resources to develop it, they turned to the CPA firm to design and
develop it. Regrettably, the client didn’t take the time
to define the methodology for the project and left it to the
discretion of the CPA firm. The project began and the CPA
firm brought on-site many junior staff members to perform
the systems and programming work. So far, so good. However,
considerable time went by before the client asked the senior partner
about the status of the project (after several monthly invoices). The
senior partner assured the client that all was well and the
project was progressing smoothly. More time past (and more
invoices paid) with still nothing to show for it. Becoming
quite anxious, the client began to badger the consultant as
to when the project would be completed. Finally, after several
months of stalling, the consultant proudly proclaimed “Today
we finished Phase 1….but now we have to move on to Phase
2.” And, as you can imagine, there were many more succeeding
phases with no end in sight.

What is the lesson from this story? Without a methodology roadmap,
it is next to impossible to effectively manage a consultant. The
project will lose direction almost immediately and the project will
go into a tailspin. The only person who wins in this regard
is the consultant who is being paid regardless of what work
is produced. Instead of vague generalities, you, the client,
have to learn to manage by deliverables.

CONCLUSION

My single most important recommendation to anyone considering
the use of outside consultants is simple: Get everything in
writing! Clearly define the work assignment, get a signed
agreement spelling out the terms of the assignment, and
demand regular status reports.

I am always amazed how companies give consulting firms
carte blanche to perform project work as they see fit. Abdicating
total control to a consultant is not only irresponsible, it is
highly suspicious and may represent collusion and kickbacks.

There is nothing magical in managing consultants. It requires
nothing more than simple planning, organization, and control. If you
are not willing to do this, then do not be surprised with the results
produced. Failure to manage a consultant properly or to adequately
inspect work in progress will produce inadequate results. So, do
yourself (and your company) a favor, do your homework and create a
win-win scenario for both the consultant and yourself.

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