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Consult, Consult, Consult

In the last and final chapter, the need to consult is discussed. In our conversations with entrepreneurs, lawyers and service providers, the need to call upon various experts came up strongly. Since there is no one Act or Policy that governs the field, there is a need to consult with very many different subject matter experts and importantly to reach out to experienced social entrepreneurs for advice and guidance. 

What is the need to consult an expert??

 

1. At what stage should the experts be hired?
2. Who are the professionals/experts who can assist the company when facing a hurdle?
3. How do you identify the right consultants?
4. On what basis should one set the budget for hiring a consultant?
5. How does one assess the credibility and competence of a consultant?

Except for a sole proprietorship, establishing all other entities involve certain legal compliances and even complexities. It is nearly impossible for a person to address all the issues without professional help. Furthermore, experts are equipped with the necessary experience, infrastructure and resources to provide answers to any or all queries that an entrepreneur may face during implementing his/her business model.

  1. 1. At what stage should the experts be hired?

The experts should ideally be hired at the stage of exploring structures for the social enterprise. An expert would be able to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of a particular entity in relation to the business model the entrepreneurs are contemplating. After the planning stage, these experts can assist the entrepreneurs in executing the business model. As the enterprise grows, there would be emerging issues, which may require assistance from experts. It would be wise to engage with experts with a long-term association in mind.

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  1. 2. Who are the professionals/experts who can assist the company when facing a hurdle?

The organization can best be assisted by lawyers, company secretaries and chartered accountants. Their collective expertise should be sufficient to tackle any hurdle that the entity might face.

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  1. 3. How do you identify the right consultants?

Most legal queries are not limited to one field of law and touch upon several related areas. Thus, when identifying the right consultant, the entrepreneurs should ensure that the selected consultant is equipped to provide the entrepreneur with a comprehensive and holistic response. The selection of the right consultant can also save resources, since he/she would address the potential issues, before they become a problem. Therefore, one should not hesitate even if the expertise comes at a high price, because the losses that could befall an entrepreneur in the absence of the right advice will be much higher.

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  1. 4. On what basis should one set the budget for hiring a consultant?

The budget should be set based on the risks associated and the availability of funds. Further, the nature of assistance required will also impact the costs of consulting. However, for deserving entrepreneurs, costs do not pose a major hurdle, as the consultants may, depending upon the merit of the case, offer to perform the services on a low bono basis.

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  1. 5. How does one assess the credibility and competence of a consultant?

The credibility and competence of a consultant can be judged best by the reputation of the consultants in the market

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