The Secrets of Selecting a Consultant

Posted on by Mark Fernandez

Peter Buckingham- headshot

NEW Spectrum logo - PBBy: Peter Buckingham

Many of the big names of industry, in their semi-retirement, hang out the shingle to offer their services to anyone who believes their story, and also become a “Consultant”. Interesting how their views on Consultants can change!

Whether you are a small or large business, the offer of a “let me make it right for you” solution can be either an effective fix, or an expensive exercise for your business.

Consultants are seen as a strange breed by many… Experts, Boffins, Propeller Heads, Conmen, something in between all of the above, or someone who can really help your business.  Most come with experience and ideas, and it is their responsibility to perform or else for you!

There are many different varieties of consultants in industry including:

and a heap of professions that are in my view consultants as well:

How do you pick a consultant to assist you, and how do you work with them to achieve what you are looking for?

Just remember you are not hiring a consultant by the hour, but rather for the years of experience they bring to the issues you need assistance with. Most good consultants come with the necessary experience, and reasonable academic qualifications. On top of this there are qualifications issued by groups such as the FCA (Franchise Council of Australia), the AIM (Australian Institute of Management) and the IMC (Institute of Management Consultants) to name a few.

When you go to a doctor, a lawyer, an accountant or a surgeon, you actually know they have achieved a professional level to be allowed to work in their profession. Unfortunately there is no such requirement of consultants, and the right to “hang out a shingle” is one anyone can do, whether they have experience, qualifications, or have just run a hot dog stand!

Good consultants, like lawyers, should be both qualified and keeping up to date with their area of expertise.

Select well Grasshopper!

Peter Buckingham is the Managing Director of Spectrum Analysis Australia Pty Ltd, the leading Geodemographic and Sales Prediction Modelling Company in Australia. He worked for Caltex for 20 years in many areas including 2 years in Perth and specialises in site selection process and territory planning. He is also a Director and past Vic / Tas President of the Institute of Management Consultants. Peter is contactable by email at: or visit

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