Every consultant does things a little differently. Especially when it comes to performance-based consultants, no two are the same. And as expected, there are many details that determine how long performance-based consultants work with a business.
First, because performance-based consulting is so uncommon, it can actually be quite difficult to find other similar performance-based consultants from which one can learn. Discovering one in a specific industry or scope of work can be exponentially tougher.
Secondly, there is no magic formula that is better than another. Performance-based consultants must structure their business model so that it makes the most sense for their specific situation, process, and of course, their clients.
Many performance-based consultants, as a result, carefully craft their business model using research, intuition, and sometimes, trial and error.
That being said, one thing performance-based consultants have in common is that they tend to work with businesses for longer periods of time than traditional consultants. Here’s why.
How Long Performance-Based Consultants Work with a Business
First, how long any consultant works with a business depends on their scope of work.
Are they a branding consultant, which may take more time to make an impact than an operations consultant? Does their business model prepare them to be their clients’ long-term branding partner? Or, are they expected to implement a few branding strategies and exit?
A business turnaround consultant, for example, may work with a business for the better part of a year, due to the high complexity of their clients’ situations.
In general, a consultant’s market positioning and services may have a drastic effect on how long they work with a business.
Implementation or Results
One of the most significant elements of a performance-based consultant’s time spent with a business is whether they receive compensation based off of their implementations or results.
If they’re measured by their implementations, their time with a business is greatly reduced. They usually do not need to stick around for later stages, such as the evaluation, assessment, and modification of the company’s plan or execution, because they’ve already been paid.
On the other hand, if the performance-based consultants’ compensation is measured by their results, it’s a different story. In this case, they work with a business for much longer because they are responsible for the final outcome of their implementations. Plus, they want that outcome to be as high as possible. If that means putting in some more work as time progresses, that’s what they’ll do.
A key detail that is often overlooked when considering how long performance-based consultants work with a business is the consultants’ engagement frequency. This is, in other words, how frequently consultants work with their clients.
Do they work with each client continuously until the job is done, like in most traditional consulting projects, or do they work in intervals?
If they work in intervals, do they work with clients once per week? Twice per week? And of course, how many weeks are we talking?
Most performance-based consultants work with businesses in intervals for a number of reasons. But most importantly, they do so to ensure the greatest possibility of success for their clients. This naturally extends how long performance-based consultants work with a business.
Because performance-based consultants prove their value to businesses before receiving compensation, they are usually paid after their service and over a certain period of time. This time is their compensation period.
Generally, performance-based consultants are finished working with a business prior to their compensation period. However, it is not uncommon for a consultant to begin receiving compensation for their early implementations near the tail-end of their engagement period.
Either way, some performance-based consultants prefer not to exit a business entirely, once they reach the end of their engagement period. Although their hard work is often complete by the start of their compensation period, some prefer to continue meeting with the business to ensure the success of their work throughout this time. They simply meet much less frequently. That way, if obstacles arise over the following weeks and months, they can take small, quick actions to get the business back on track with minimal effort.
Even though they may not necessarily be performing their service for a business this entire time, they may still be very much involved in the ongoing decision-making and support.
Lastly, performance-based consultants are always about the long-term success of their clients. If the client’s business succeeds, so does the consultant. It’s a win-win for both parties.
As a result, it’s actually very common for a business to retain the services of a performance-based consultant for many years after their initial engagement, or at least utilize their services intermittently.
Due to the inherent benefits that comprise performance-based consulting, it’s an obvious choice for a business that wants to continuing capitalizing on previous momentum and success.
When the business owners’ desire to retain a consultant is factored into the equation, how long performance-based consultants work with a business can be remarkably extended.
How Long Performance-Based Consultants Work with a Business
How long performance-based consultants work with a business depends on all of these things. But, it all goes back to the consultants’ business model and how they’ve decided to best help their clients.
The truth is, a performance-based consultant may work with a business for anywhere between a couple of days and several years, especially when their compensation period is considered.
There’s much risk in devoting so much time to a single business, but that’s the challenge performance-based consultants happily welcome time and time again.
For performance-based business consulting, contact The Business Turnaround Group.