The Definitive Guide To Hiring an Excel Consultant.
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Here are the steps to hire the right Microsoft Excel consultant or programer
The Definitive Guide
The Definitive Guide to Successfully hiring a Microsoft Excel consultancy. Give this the once over, then you can decide if you should hire us, or them, an individual or a corporation, 2-3 years experience or 22 years in business? So many things to take note of.
Overview - Getting It Done Right The First Time
Okay, so you have decided that you need to hire a Microsoft Excel consultant or an Excel programmer to either work on Excel files you already have, or to build a new Excel based application, from scratch. Sounds easy enough, but wait, how do you successfully hire a Microsoft Excel consultant or programmer?
We wrote this page to help you make sense of the market and to help you to navigate the waters. We used our 23 years of experience as one of the superior Excel consulting firms to come up with the list below. Follow this and you have a very good chance of getting what you were looking for. And if you have questions about the market we will be happy to discuss them with you.
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.
Developers - What Type Of Company Do You Want To Hire
So you know what you need in the Excel application. But you also need to know what you want from the firm that you hire. Here are just a few of those possible requirements.
Do You Want To Use Google, LinkedIn, Referrals, etc
Google is the best search method/tool you can use to find the right Microsoft Excel consultant to hire. Look at those companies ranked 1st, 2nd and 3rd, as Google values those companies over the others.
Type "Local Excel Consultant" into Google For Example
Either type in the search phrase “Excel Consultant” or “Local Excel Consultant” depending on your needs.
Which companies comes up first, second, or third? Those are the ones that matter most to Google.
In Google For Example What Results Matter
In Google’s eyes it matters who comes up first, second, and third, that is what counts. Not the paid ads, but the organic results are what you want to see.
Not individual freelancers, not those foreign based job boards, but corporations with 20 or more years in the business, if possible, the market leader.
Are They A 5-Star Rated Company?
Online Client Reviews can tell you a lot about a company. When you read them do you see different clients saying the same things? Are they confirming the qualities of the company?
Always look for a 5-Star Rated company. Those are the companies that you want to work with. It is your money so hire the best firm for the dollar.
Look for firms that “Exceed Expectations”, here is a perfect example of what you want to read:
Our company was in need of VBA programming for an Excel template I had created. Excel & Access response time with a quote and a finished product was superior; they made the process simple and easy and by far exceeded our expectations with their responsiveness and accuracy of the output. Excel & Access truly takes pride in their work and business relationships. I highly recommend Excel & Access to any company looking for professional, accurate and VERY expeditious service!!.
Unless You Want To Hire An Individual In India
There are numerous job boards in the results these days. These are typically offering low cost individuals that work out of India. They are not companies and they are not professional consultants, they are individuals that often miss the mark, based on what our clients have told us.
$12 an hour sounds great, that is until you see the results. You often get what you pay for, and you often have to hire two or three companies if you go the low cost route.
Take A Good Long Look At Their Website
For the firms that are ranked in the top three spots in the organic rankings section on Google. take a few moments and look at their websites. Do they look professional. Do they have case studies? Do they have the credentials?
If you like what you see then take a deeper look at the company. If you do not like what you see, then move on.
Can You Go To Their Office To Work With Them
Surprisingly the majority of people in this space work out of their home and do not have an office. Look for those firms that do have an office (See our office), one you can visit. The longer they have done so tells you that the company is legit.
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.
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.
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.
Do They Work Out Of Their Home Or Global
What if you live and work in the UK versus the USA, does it , matter when you conduct your Google search? Yes it does if you are looking for a local Excel consultant or programmer versus working with one on a remote basis. Not saying remote is bad, as it is not, it is the norm in the niche, but still better to look for those companies in both markets. You will quickly find just a few that meet that criteria.
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.
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.
Contact The Top Ranked Company
Now you have the names of the top companies, it is time to reach out to contact them to see if they are the Excel consultant that you want to hire.
How Long Do You Wait?
If you called the company, did they answer the phone or did it go to voicemail? If it went to voicemail how much time did they take to respond to you?
If you used the contact form to submit your needs, or if you emailed them, did they responded to within minutes, hours or days.
How responsive are they are can tell you a lot about the company, and if they should be considered.
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.
Get A Statment Of Work
This is very important, make sure to get what work will be done in writing. Usually called a statement of work (SOW) or project scope. Make sure it includes what you want to have done, and make sure to ask any and all the questions you have. This helps to prevent misunderstandings.
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.
Those 4 items make up the cost of your project. You will want to know what they are.
Who Do You Want To Hire
Okay, so you have taken the time to determine which company to hire, what hiring them will cost, and how long it will take to have the work done. Now your decision has been made and it is time to move forward.
Do You Need A Contract For The Project
Not only is it important to know what the project will cost you it is also important that you have a signed project agreement. This will include details on the project, the statement of work and the costs of the work.
When And How To Make
What payment options do you have? Larger companies will of course have more payment options. They usually include:
In addition to how you may pay, how much will you be asked to pay upfront (Retainer), weekly, on delivery, etc.
Make sure to have these details in your project agreement.
Both, Satisfaction and Bugs
So is there a satisfaction guarantee? What about a guarantee against bugs. If so, what do they cover, and are there limitations.
Typically the company will deliver the application when it is complete, but that does not mean the work is done. Usually the company will ask you to test the work, and let them know if changes/tweaks are needed. There may be several rounds of this before the project id done.
Is there ongoing support
Make sure the company will be there when you need support, be it making changes/additions to your work, or fixing bugs.
How long have they been around, and how long will they be around so that they will be there should you need them.
If You Need Additional Help
Would you work with them again? Hiring them once, and getting the application you were looking for is one thing, wanting to work with them again is a whole different thing.
I often say a company may hire you once, maybe twice, but it is the number of companies that hire you the third time that tells the tell. Microsoft, Red Bull and Staples for example are companies that have worked with us three times or more. Why, because we make sure to deliver. Make sure the company you want to hire has delivered to big name clients again and again.
When you look at their testimonials, do they say they would hire the company again, and do they recommend the company?
Give Us A Call
If you have questions on how to hire a superior Excel consultant, give us a call at 877-392-3539 or use our Contact Form to send a request to discuss your needs live, or to do so via e-mail
Superior Excel Consulting Services
Why should you hire us for our superior Excel consulting services? Because we have been delivering the goods successfully since 1994, that is 22 years and counting. Even more amazing we have been a Microsoft Certified Partner the entire time, out of our Irvine California office, right in the center of Orange County.