By Susan Hoffman
Contributor, Online Career Tips
Technology has made it possible for business people to easily advertise their expertise. There are websites and business blogs, as well as different social media sites like LinkedIn and Twitter. These sites enable businesses to share content that demonstrates their expertise, such as photographs, videos, infographics, presentations and white papers.
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However, technology has also made it easy for self-proclaimed “experts” to take advantage of business owners. Often, these people advertise their skills on social media and do not have the true expertise that is gained from years of practical experience and education. As a result, anyone unlucky enough to hire them can suffer financially when those “experts” do not deliver the promised business results.
Standards for Evaluating Business Experts
Sometime in your career, you may be called upon to hire outside consultants or freelancers for your company. Before you make that hire, be sure to carefully evaluate those business experts with these standards in mind:
- Educational background — Do they have a degree or any certification in a related industry field?
- Years of experience – How long have they worked in the industry?
- Realistic guarantees – Do they make claims of instant business success? Often, success takes time and doesn’t happen overnight.
- Published material – Have they written any books, ebooks or white papers? Have they ever taken part in a podcast or video because of their expertise?
- Previous customers – Do previous customers speak well of these business experts? Did their previous work produce quantifiable results? Have there ever been any complaints filed against them?
- Peer influence – Do other experts recommend them as good, helpful people to work with?
Hiring the right experts can make a significant difference to your business operations. As Mayra Ceja of Bplans points out, “hiring the right consultant can be a cost-effective way for your small business to leverage specialized knowledge. Conversely, hiring the wrong consultant can cost more than money – it can cost you a lot of wasted time and energy.”