How to resolve business consultant exits

“This article has been produced by an independent contributor and does not reflect the views and opinions of the Immediation team or the brand as a whole.”

There comes a point in every business where decision makers need help. While building a strong and reliable in-house team is crucial to making a business work, there is always an advantage of engaging some outside expertise to tinker upon solutions to tricky problems.

Without a doubt, finding the right business consultant can make a huge difference in the success of a business achieving its goals. From improved performance and efficiencies, consultants and advisors are known to help analyse a business and create practical solutions that are focused on a businesses’ goals.

When a business consultant decides to exit an engagement, it can negatively impact your business due to timing and progression. Further, the concern of having professional support revoked can be very stressful for business owners especially if the consultant has helped the business grow significantly.


How do business consultants help businesses?

To understand how to resolve business consultant exits, it is important to identify what services a consultant may provide to a business.

There are many different types of business consultants and advisors. Their services may include:

  • Providing industry specific knowledge
  • Acting as a financial advisor or accountant
  • Assisting with insurance management
  • Identifying operational problems
  • Supplementing staff
  • Initiating improvements and change
  • Providing practical objectivity
  • Training employees
  • Improving business plans and strategies

Given the wide range of services, it is important to understand the services offered to you by your business consultant based on the consultancy contract. That way, you can set your expectations based on deliverables being met.

By revisiting the contract, certain elements of the consultancy engagement may bring light to discrepancies that weren’t identified before. For example, a business consultant may feel the contract to be unfair based on their work expectations of the contract being transferred to a more difficult situation in reality. Another example could be that the remuneration of the engagement may be deemed low in the eyes of the consultant given the level of expertise and expectations of the engagement. In other instances, a business consultant may not be qualified to provide certain advice in accordance with their contract with you – which is something you may not have been aware of.

Find out the intentions behind the exit

Instead of speculating why your business consultant intends to exit, why not ask them?

Finding out the intentions behind an exit, in the words of your advisor, can help clear any confusions and misunderstandings – thus allowing you to work toward improving the relationship to resolve the threat of an exit.

When a consultant is being ambiguous as to why they intend to exit, professional help, such as using a mediator may, be necessary to resolve the issue. This will be discussed further in the article.


Renegotiate the terms of the contract

If you’d like your business consultant to continue their engagement and avoid the threat of an exit, you may need to consider renegotiating the terms of the contract.

More often than not, renegotiation of a consultancy contract will mean increased remuneration and a redetermination of services to be provided.

To prepare yourself for a renegotiation of the terms of contract, you should make a list of service expectations followed by a realistic bottom line for the revised remuneration figure approved by the relevant decision makers of your business.


Engage a mediator for a third party perspective

Undoubtedly, the threat of an exit by a business consultant can cause rifts in the business relationship. Given your intentions to resolve the matter and to continue the relationship, it is best to approach the situation in a passive manner that acts in cooperation rather than confrontation.

This will mean moving away from lawyers and leaning toward mediators.

Due to the nature of mediation, mediators are ideal to help maintain positive business relations and even perhaps establish strong foundations. During the mediation process, you will be able to discuss your concerns of the exit with the consultant as well as listen to their reasons for wanting to exit. The mediator will work to help both parties reach an amicable agreement which often works in favour of everyone involved. The process is very cooperative with all parties taking on a sympathetic role in aim to resolve any disputes as painlessly as possible. Mediation is very different to several other alternative dispute resolution solutions and litigation.

Additional advantages of mediation for businesses include being more cost savvy and time efficient. To gain the most out of the mediation process, businesses should consider utilising online mediation platforms.

Online mediation provides the advantage of:

  • Being even more cost effective with savings as high as 98% when compared to litigation
  • Having flexible time schedules that fit all parties (including those out of conventional business hours)
  • No travelling or logistic requirements
  • Absence of inferences which allows parties to not be judged for their unintentional gestures and reactions

To find out more about how your business can benefit from online dispute resolution, get in touch with Immediation today.