Maybe you’re just starting out in the DTC space and need someone to help you figure out your brand identity. Maybe you’ve been in business for a while but don’t have any idea how to start marketing the products that you sell.
Or maybe you already have an established presence but are only bringing in a couple of thousand sales per month and want to grow your business.
Whatever the case, a direct-to-consumer consultant can help you get where you want to go. However, to find the right DTC consultant for your business, there are some important things that you should know before getting started.
Here Are Six Questions That We Think Every Business Owner Should Ask Before Hiring a DTC consultant:
1. What Type of Experience Do You Have?
Although this may seem like common sense, it is still important to make sure that the consultants you are considering working with have experience working with businesses in your specific industry.
A good consultant will understand both your industry and the channel through which you’re selling your products so that they can give you advice on what does and does not work within those parameters.
2. Why Do You Think We’ll Be Successful Together?
This is a great question that helps you understand the consultant’s approach and vision. It also gives you an opportunity to express your goals and expectations.
3. What Will Our Relationship Look Like?
What do they need from you and your team in order to complete their work? Are they willing to meet in person or run calls frequently? Will they be communicating regularly with the team, on a specific schedule, or only when the work is completed?
While you may want to hire someone to help with a specific project, it’s important to understand how they would interact with your team and how that might affect the success of their work.
4. What Can You Do With the Budget We Have Set Aside?
It’s important to be informed and realistic about your expectations, especially if this is your first venture into eCommerce. Understanding the types of services that might fall out of scope with a specific budget will help you accurately gauge whether the consultant has the right expertise and experience for your project.
This question also helps you understand their pricing model, which can vary between consultants. Some consultants are generalists who have a higher hourly rate with a wider range of expertise, while others have more specialized expertise (i.e. Facebook advertising) and charge lower rates per hour.
5. How Will You Measure Success?
You want to see results from working with your DTC consultant. But how does that consultant define success? Does it mean measurable results in X amount of time or is it as simple as making sales? Make sure you and your consultant agree on what constitutes success before signing on the dotted line.
6. What Can We Do To Help You Succeed?
The relationship between a consultant and their client is a partnership. You need to be aligned on the best way for your team to work together and achieve your goals.
Ask this question in the interview process to get a sense of how much support the consultant will need from your team. For example, do they require someone from your team to spend time on-site with them each month? How much information or data does their team need from yours?
You’ll want to identify any resource requirements up-front so you can make sure you have the right team members available.
The Bottom Line
Most consulting engagements should be structured as an active partnership between the client and the consultant, who both bring valuable skills to the table. You need to be able to clearly articulate your goals and expectations, and you should feel comfortable working with this person on a daily basis.