1. Share Your Communications Preferences
Share how you prefer to be contacted, and how often. Do you prefer emails on non-urgent issues and texts for urgent ones? Do you prefer phone calls so you can have an actual conversation? Some clients want to be kept in the loop on regular developments while others want consultants to work independently. Share you expectations early.
2. Set Clear Expectations on Progress Reports
Speak with your consultant about the types of reports and the format you expect. In turn, the consultant can, explain what info they envision sharing and what best practices have worked with other clients. Do you have a CEO or board of directors that will be interested in periodic updates? Share this with your consultant.
3. Share Important Internal Dates
Agree on key dates from day one. Does your board of directors meet quarterly? Do you have an annual conference? Do you have an investment round coming up? Share these dates with your consultant so they can plan ahead. This makes everyone’s job easier and can drastically improve the quality of information being shared.
4. Prioritize Company Issues
Share your priorities (in writing) and rank them. Consultants are used to juggling different priorities and multiple clients. To help them maintain focus on your top priorities, we recommend sharing your priorities in writing. Do this at the beginning of the contract and revisit annually and after a significant priority change.
5. Use Your Consultant For Schedule Advice
Before you or your CEO plan a DC trip, check with your consultant. The Congressional in-session schedule and federal government schedule massively affect who is in town and who you can meet with. While the official schedules are public, the House and Senate often change votes or schedule UC votes (unanimous consent votes). This is often not public and can lead to members of Congress not being in town during your trip. During extended breaks (Easter recess, August recess, annual retreats, etc.) many members of Congress and staff leave town. Even when they are in town, committee hearings, large fly-ins and important deadlines can make it hard to get a meeting. Your consultant will be able to advise on when the best time is to come.