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The number one goal for most companies is growth: sales growth, team growth, or product growth. As an entrepreneur, you are constantly asking yourself what it will take to level up and you may have considered hiring a consultant to get there faster. Maybe you need aid in strategic planning, project management, market opportunity assessment, financing direction or sales mentorship. Whatever you seek, use the following tips to maximize the value from your engagement.

#1 Do an honest analysis

Knowing your weakness can be your greatest strength. As an entrepreneur, you probably spend most of your time as a “jack-of-all-trades”; unfortunately, this is a far cry from “master-of-all-trades”. To level up, you will need to determine how to maximize the time you spend on your strengths and evaluate how to manage the gaps. Consider using a consultant as a stepping stone towards your goal.

#2 Think strategically

Don’t use a consultant as a short term fix to a long-term problem. Instead, map out how engaging a consultant will transport you to your next milestone. What can this consultant teach you? What tool or plan can they provide that will continue to deliver results in the long-term?

#3 Treat the engagement as an investment

Consultants are expensive, however, they should not be viewed as an expense. If properly utilized, a consultant can create a future framework to be developed or executed long after the engagement is complete. As with all investments, it is imperative to evaluate the return on investment before signing on the dotted line.