You are on the brink of signing a contract with a consultancy firm. You have gone over all the details and you have dived deep into the nitty gritty clauses of the agreement that would potentially bind you to the company for a good amount of time. Everything seems fine to you in terms of the contract, and you can sign it with no delays. But then comes the one thing that has raised your reluctance all along: Will your commitment to such an agreement ensure that the consultancy firm will live up to your expectations? Will it actually do what it pledges to do for you? Will the strategists and consultants do the work and target interesting and promising calls that align with your field of work, as they have told you they would?
One of the main things to look for in a consultancy firm is the expertise of the teams that do all the hard work for you. A well-informed staff with thorough knowledge of funding opportunities is key to anyone looking to invest time and trust in a consultant. A firm grasp of all the defining features and structural elements of the numerous funding opportunities that the EU offers is not a given. These are core features of consultants. Moreover, an all-around strategist with proficiency and insight in over a hundred different funding tracks will not only make life easier for you, but it will raise your chances of actually winning a grant!
It is absolutely alright to feel this mistrust. After all, contracts are binding agreements and they entail paying a large chunk of money so it is only natural that you would want to be sure you get your money’s worth. It is hard to overcome the trust barrier when you do not know the company that is going to work with you, even if you wish to trust them wholeheartedly.
For this reason, I have compiled a list of three different ideas for you to keep in mind when you are feeling uneasy before signing a contract:
- Explore the “what would happen if” situation – every coin has two sides, and every choice has different consequences. While we may never find out if a choice we took led us toward the correct path in the long run, we can always consider what is to be gained versus what could be lost.
When considering a consultancy firm, it is best to look at its track record in working for other companies and start-ups. Bear in mind that a hard-working team dedicated solely to your benefit will make it all worthwhile.
- Explore the “success rates” the company has.
Signing the contract is the easiest part of the process. But digging deep into the success rates and the success stories that a company has requires a little more effort on your end. Success rates highly depend on the company’s work model. Make sure that this will be the most thorough and encompassing work method there is. This would ensure higher success rates for the consultancy firm and hence a higher chance that your company would win a grant with them.
- Explore the company’s growth rate.
It is always a good idea to get insight into how many employees a consultancy firm has. And increasing growth rates are always a positive indication. Some companies like to be discreet about their growth rates, however, a company that is increasingly growing will always willingly share this information with its clients.
All of the above being said, trust is a complicated issue, and part of it is actually being able to take a step back and to let the consulting company that you have chosen take the lead and do the work for you!