Consulting firms are great resources for learning general information about Nigeria’s market. When you hire a business consultant in Nigeria, you’re employing a professional who has worked with international companies on projects that span several industries and sectors within the country. You’re also giving your company an opportunity to form a partnership with someone whose local market knowledge can be leveraged to develop lucrative marketing strategies.
As an executive of a multinational company who has successfully brokered deals, you understand the importance of making and receiving a good first impression. As a new entrant, you want to make sure that you have a positive experience with the first consulting firm you choose to work with.
Since your company’s new to the Nigerian market, choosing a business consultant can make or break your business’s performance. Furthermore, you want to try to avoid choosing the wrong consulting agency, as doing so could deter you from cultivating the right business partnerships in Nigeria in the future.
By fully understanding the nuances of how to locate and hire a business consultant in Nigeria, you will be able to mitigate risk and ensure a bright future for your company within the Nigerian market.
Finding a Consultant
While you may find a credible business consultant in Nigeria using online platforms and search tools, opting to locate a consulting firm via your professional network is a safer bet. This way, you’re able to use the firsthand experience of someone whose business acumen you trust to select your new business partner.
Another option is to hire a large, reputable international consulting firm, such as McKinsey & Company or KPMG, to assist you. Even though this is an easier route than searching for a local firm, it is also a more expensive one.
Interviewing a Consultant
Once you have identified a couple of consulting firms you would like to work with, request case studies and previous work they’ve done for previous clients. Use this information to evaluate the firm’s work quality and credibility.
You should also look into setting up an interview with any consultant you plan on engaging with. Conducting in-person interviews is best, however, if the consultant is based elsewhere, try to connect over a video call platform, such as Skype. If neither of the aforementioned options is possible, try to hold an interview over the phone.
Scheduling an informational interview with a former client is also a great way to assess a consulting firm’s credibility. Ask the consulting firm you’re looking to partner with if this is at all possible. If they oblige you, move forward with setting up a time to speak with the client at a time that fits their schedule. While scheduling on a time to speak may prove to be difficult, this informational interview will serve as a great source of information.
Furthermore, outside of scheduling interviews and evaluating the firm’s previous work, pay close attention to how the firm communicates with you. Are they responsive to your inquiries? Do their correspondences maintain a professional tone? Are they listening to your needs and providing valuable solutions to help you solve your problems? Are they quick to communicate any changes in schedule or appointments? The most effective consulting firms listen to their clients and communicate in an efficient manner.
Engaging a Consultant
After you have gone through the interview process and selected the business consultant in Nigeria you want to work with, it’s time to fully engage in this new business partnership. Start by clearly stating your company’s project objectives. This should include a timeline that clearly defines how long the project should take to complete, the costs associated with said project, and a clear understanding of the project deliverables.
Additionally, you should discuss and settle on pricing for services rendered. This would include an agreement on a retainer amount and payment schedule (e.g., monthly, bi-weekly, etc.).
You should remain in constant contact with the firm. Meeting and corresponding on a regular basis will help ensure that progress is made on your project and that potential threats, such as scope creep, do not arise.
While selecting a business consultant in Nigeria can feel like an overwhelming task given your position as a new entrant, it can be a very hassle-free, streamlined process if you know what to look for and how to vet potential firms. Moreover, selecting the right consulting firm for your business initially can help secure your company’s success within the Nigerian market.