In our line of business , one of the most frequent questions we hear (besides “what do you do more exactly ?”) is “what should I do?”. A good friend of mine brought this up before a football game, pointing out that I usually talk a lot, I do not make too much sense to , yet it seems I take all his problems away and I make them disappear.
Well, considering what my friend told me, business consultants are pretty much like lawyers and accountants, a “must have” for your business because this should lead to value for money, demonstrated through the client’s improved performance. The customer can increase the likelihood of a good outcome by establishing with the consultant what the final report will include and how it will be presented. It is very important to understand the time commitment of the consultancy and who will carry out the work. Here are some main benefits:
- Unique solutions that reflect the circumstances and aspirations of the client.
- Speed, because the consultancy team (unlike the in-house management) isn’t distracted by other tasks.
- Knowledge of ‘best practice’ and effective solutions from within the client’s industrial/commercial sector.
- Exposure to expertise derived from other industries and sectors.
- Provision of specific technical skills that are non-existent or in short supply in-house, and often the transfer of such skills to in-house staff.
- Change management skills enhanced by the consultant’s position as independent and objective.
A funny story I`ve heard says that in a village in darkest Africa a sign hung over a Headhunter’s market stall:
- Ordinary brains $10 /lb
- Engineer brains $8 /lb
- Doctor brains $7 /lb
- Accountant brains $15 /lb
- Consultant brains $114 /lb
Asked to explain the relatively high cost of consultant brains, the Headhunter said: “You don’t appreciate how many Consultants we have to catch to get a pound of brains!”
Good communication and innovative solutions that are specific to your actual needs can come about when liaising with a professional consulting firm. Though a lot of managers would have studied various business concepts in college, the type of planning that is required today is a lot more advanced. At the end of the day, a consulting firm is only interested in one thing, improving your bottom line so that you can see a marked increase in profits.
Bottom line is Business Consultants are there to provide expert support to your business and you should not be afraid to ask for help. It isn’t a sign of weakness, rather a trait of a savvy entrepreneur with a keen eye to future proof and the ability to tap into all available resources to ensure the continued health and wellbeing of their creation.