How to Hire a Microsoft Excel Consultant – The Definitive Guide

Here are the steps to hire the right Microsoft Excel consultant or programer

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Determine Your Needs, In Detail

The Output - What Do You Need The Application To Do

Mission Critical, get this wrong  and it may cost you dearly, so take the time to fully understand your needs and take as much time as needed to fully think it through. And it is okay to have the Excel consultant to do a paid deep dive analysis to help you with this effort.

Think in terms of what you “need” in the Excel application versus what you “want” in the application.

Before you speak with anyone take the time to sit down with your staff and discuss your needs.  Make sure to include the users of the system.  Know what would be nice and what is required, and what can wait for phase two.

Look At Their Team Page

Are They A Fully Staffed Corporation

Their team page will tell you a lot about them.  Do they have a team page? Is so, how many people are on it? For the people on it, what do they do and how long have they been doing it?  Are they the top experts in the field? Has Microsoft certified them?  Do they have a page on the Microsoft website?

If not, you may question if they are a legitimate company or are they a single person doing freelance work  out of their home in the evenings and over the weekend. You want to hire a fully staffed company, not a freelancer.

Look At Their Client List

Do They Have Many Big Name Clients

Do you recognize the names of their clients?  If so, are there just a few known names or are there dozens and dozens? This is very telling.

Read Their Testimonials

Testimonials Tell You Something

Read the testimonials on their website and on LinkedIn.com.  How many do they have, what do they say, who wrote them.

For example, if Red Bull was a client, did Red Bull write a testimonial? Is there a case study on the Red Bull project?  All of this tells you much.

Look For Important Certifications

Microsoft Certifid Partner, Microsoft MVP, Experts-Exchange, etc

Are they certified by Microsoft? Being so is huge.

Ignore things such as the Better Business Bureau, Norton, etc.  You want to see certifications from Microsoft.  Even better, you want to hire a firm that Microsoft has hired.  And if Microsoft hired them more than once, that is even better.  Think about it, if Microsoft Certifies them and if Microsoft hires them repeatedly, that tells you that the firm delivers.

Are any of their experts certified by Experts-Exchange.Com? If so, how high are they ranked?  Being so means they are an expert in the application(s), such as Helen Feddema being ranked as #2 in Access development.

Do their trainers have training videos on Lynda.Com? If so how many.  Dennis Taylor has over 55 and he is one of their topped ranked experts, and he is our senior Excel trainer.

Do They Have Other Important Aspects

What Else Sets Them Appart

Do they own and operate one of the top Microsoft help forums? We do, look at VBAExpress.com.

When we say we wrote the book on it, we mane it, literally.  Several of our programmers and trainers have written books on the applications they work in. Often our competitors read those books to learn Excel, Access, Word or Outlook.

Get A Free Consultation

You Want To Discuss Your Needs In Detail

Does the company offer free consultations to gain an understanding of your needs and their ability to assist you? Why should you pay for this? If the company wants to work with you, this should be offered.

If your needs are extensive, then we recommend that the company should offer a paid deep-dive to fully spec out the work.  These can be offered either onsite (At our office or yours), or remotely, which is the norm.

An on site discovery meeting is very similar to an off site consultation. But onsite involves visiting your office in-person to gain a better understanding of your current capabilities and workflow so that we can help you enhance your performance.

Know The Complete Cost

Get An Estimate InTerms of Time, Money and Opportunity Costs

Get in writing what the project will cost, both in terms of time and money. Is it fixed-bid or by the hour?

What is their pricing policy?

There are four costs to any project.  Two you are already aware of, and two you may not be.  Here they are.

  1. The two costs you may be aware of:
    1. Time, how long does it take to have the application in production.
    2. How many dollars will you pay for the work.
  2. The two costs you may not think of:
    1. The cost of the application not doing everything you want it to.
    2. The cost of repeating the project.

Those 4 items make up the cost of your project. You will want to know what they are.

How to Successfully hire a Microsoft Excel Consultant

The Definitive Guide To Hiring an Excel Consultant.

 

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