Consultants are expensive.
So use us wisely!

By Julie Grass

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Management Consulting & Employee GPS



  • What is a success you’ve had as a consultant?  What was its impact?

  • What is a failure you’ve had as a consultant?  What did you learn from it? How would you have handled it in hindsight?

  • Do you ever encounter resistance from employees?  How do you handle that?


Julie Grass, Principal


Julie is the Q in Q & A.   She asks probing questions that make clients think about things differently, creating more possibility.  She is an organizational troubleshooter, a business coach, and a dynamic retreat facilitator.  Her expertise in strategic thinking, navigating people dynamics, and building a sense of "team" helps her clients obtain clarity, improve communication and take action.


She works with small entrepreneurial businesses, nonprofits and sole practitioners.  Julie teaches classes in communications, presentation skills, and project management at UCLA Extension.


When you’ve lost your spark, Julie can reignite it for you. 

(Read Full Bio)


I have updated my website
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Whether you are hiring a consultant to help you navigate a specific project, or engaging someone on an ongoing basis to provide counsel, be sure to get your money’s worth.


Here are 9 tips for maximizing your consultants:


  • Be clear up front about deliverables – what you expect and when you expect it.  The more concrete you are, the more likely you will get what you need. Make sure you each have a signed copy of the agreement in writing.

  • Agree on the scope of work and cost before any work is started.  Consider how you will reassess fees if the scope of work changes once the project is started.  It often does.

  • Provide access to the data and people that the consultant will need in order to be effective.  Explain the consultant’s focus to staff.

  • You are a prime resource to your consultant, so make sure that you are accessible.

  • Schedule status updates so you are aware of progress being made (or not made).  Meet throughout the project so you are not blind-sided by progress made or not made.

  • Ask for documentation.  The consultant will likely learn a great deal about your business that will be helpful for you to know going forward.  Also, if they are putting a system in place, you want to know how to use and maximize it once the consultant is no longer there.

  • Consider the impact of the consultant's recommendations on other parts of your business.  Often fixing one area in a company creates problems in other areas.


  • Do diligence before you engage a consultant.  Unlike employees who you are investing in long term, you don’t want to pay a consultant a lot of money while they struggle through a learning curve.  You need someone with the right expertise and sufficient experience so they can become familiar with the specifics of your business quickly and then dive in.

  • If you’ve engaged the ‘wrong’ consultant - whether because of competence, work ethic or personality fit, cut your losses quickly.


If you have other ideas that work for you, please share them with me and I will pass them along to others.  Or, if you have a great dessert recipe....