3 Reasons To Hire a Consultant for E-Rate

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3 Reasons To Hire a Consultant for E-Rate

Simply put,  the application process for  E-rate USA is  a long continuous process  and having the expertise of professional can streamline the experience for you. There are several resources available that highlight forms to file, deadlines to follow and tips to leverage but many will tell you that filing application forms is half of the process. It is the management of  the paperwork,  deadlines and follow up inquiries that get applicants taken aback.  Here we highlight 3 key reasons why hiring a consultant is  a strategic move.

  1.  The paper work can be overwhelming. It is estimated that many schools will spend more than 40 hours understanding the procedures for e-rate and will submit over 11+ forms for processing. The application process for e-rate funds requires careful due diligence and preparation. Once you’ve established an interest in the e-rate program you must determine eligibility, audit current telecommunication services and put together the appropriate forms. Once this pre work is done, you must complete the form correctly and  file  accordingly to  initiate  the  application  process.  At  this  point  you  are  only  a quarter through the application process and already buried deep in file documents.
  2.  Deadlines  are  time  sensitive: At  each  stage  of  the  application  process,deadlines are highly enforced. Forms must be posted for a certain length of time and filed in requested order. Late and/or missed submissions can effect offered rates in the long run. Consultants monitor these key deadlines and alerts to keep you on track.
  3. A Consultant’s  Value Goes Beyond the Obvious: While  application  support and process management are the core value offerings of consultants, many will highlight that  the  added  insight  and  expertise  is  more  valuable.  Consultants  take  time  to understand  your  needs  and  help  you  reach  your  goals.  Furthermore,  they  have  the expertise to ensure that you maximize the full benefits of the e-rate program.

When selecting a consultant make sure you review their tenure with the e-rate program. Seek information on the value they provided previous clients by asking for testimonials. Go a step further and identify whether they can manage all application clients or have a specific niche focus areas like head start programs and adult learning centers. The E-rate program is a great funding opportunity for schools and with discount rates ranging from 20-90%, it is important you find  a strategic partner that can ensure that you undergo the application process efficiently.

 

Sources: http://www.thegravelygroup.com/blog/how-to-hire-a-head-start-consultant/

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