Hostetler begins by explaining: “The first ‘criteria filters’ will be the judgments that are made on the consultancy candidate’s technical abilities. This stands to reason, because you cannot consider asking an advisor into your business that presents anything less than stellar credentials. Most people might think that the second most important criteria less important because personalities should play no part in a decision of this nature, but I beg to differ with this mentality. You have to consider that you’re going to be, literally, living with this person (or persons) for months and, quite possibly, years so the choice of who is by your side during this extended period of change is important, to say the least. So the boiled down fundamental criteria should be: (1) Ability and (2) Personality.” Although these two decision-making approaches come from almost opposite directions, they are much more complimentary than they appear, and should be coupled together before any decisions are made or actions taken.
Hostetler goes on to say: “Many, or most, of the decisions based around business issues are standard issue and don’t change much from the core activities of entrepreneurship. So bringing up your problems in a confused, incoherent manner spells out “sitting duck” to a consultant and is NOT what I would prescribe. You need to be specific in regard to what tangible outcomes you expect and leave the design of the solution to the consultant. You cannot expect to tell them what you want and how you want them to accomplish it. It doesn’t work that way. After all, if you knew how to accomplish what you wanted out of your business, why would you need a consultant?”