If you’re the owner or executive of an SMB (or even enterprise), you’ve already faced the challenges of management.
Here’s the great thing though: a lot of other leaders have already struggled too. That’s why business consultants and business consulting as a practice exist. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
The almost overwhelming amount of tasks and duties is just one side of the coin. On the flipside, you have to weave all of that knowledge and information into an actionable strategy. All of that can quickly become hard to balance.
What’s more, you need a comprehensive outlook on things. HR, accounting, IT infrastructure and the current workforce’s potential have to be considered at every step.
That’s the only way to grow & scale in time.
If you’re looking for professional consulting services built around ROI and actually important KPIs, let us know. We’ve helped dozens of businesses in the past, and we’re eager to work with you too.
Eventually, you’ll reach a simple conclusion: you can’t do it alone. Even if you have a board of directors already, you’ll hit a wall every now and then. And that’s where business consultants step in.
Business consultants are experts in their field of choice. They’ve seen it before, and they’ve done it before; successfully. A true business consultant can give you pro pieces of advice, ideas, and even help you plan actions that’ll propel your strategies forward.
We’ll go over all the details in this blog post. However, if you want just the gist of it, here’s the core idea: as an organization, you take advantage of external business consulting.
You bring in professionals that have a fresh set of eyes on your situation.
It’s actually best if you refrain from sharing information that could create a bias in them. Because that can happen even subconsciously.
For example, you might know that your financial problems stem from business teams not hitting their deadlines. As projects get delayed, payments are coming in slower too. Of course, some clients decide to end their contract.
However, let the business consultant(s) reach conclusions on their own.
If you “sow” a bias in them from the start, they might miss something equally important. After all, their job is analyzing all sides of a situation.
When you come in as their client and say “this one thing is 100% the problem”, you’re cutting a tree branch that you’re currently standing on. After all, if you already know the problem, what’s the point of hiring a consultant?
Consulting works best when you let the experts come to their own conclusions.
After that, if you still find the conclusion inadequate (as an insider), come in with the additional info. This is the business consulting definition.
Business consultants are outsiders. They’re external professionals that collaborate with business owners, directors and managers; either short-term or long-term.
Business consultants can offer their input on a variety of topics. Usually though, consultancy is requested for improving SOPs, solving issues, and growing the organization.
Common problems that business consultants often approach are miscommunication and lack of goal alignment. Sounds trivial, right? But, it’s the truth. We’re willing to bet that your own company’s troubles come at least in part from subpar communication.
Goal alignment is just as tricky to solve though.
Many teams, the departmentalization of teams will cause fractured objectives. Overall, your business strategy is aimed at getting more revenue; increasing profit.
However, that doesn’t always translate well to team-specific goals.
Even in cases where the team leader is highly focused on the bigger picture, the other employees might not be. Business consultants also help bridge this gap between team and company objectives through various tactics.
Then, there’s the issue of cooperation; both within teams, and between teams. Cross-team collaboration is probably harder to achieve.
Still, it’s no small feat to get even people with similar specializations to work together well. Business consultants teach you what tools to use to simplify workflows.
And perhaps even more importantly, how to change mindsets for the better.
Basically, business consultants look at what’s dysfunctional, and turn it functional. Some specialize in a specific industry, while others prefer being generalists. Who you want to look for first and foremost is an experienced business consultant.
Consultants who’ve already created solutions before are likely to help you effectively too.
Hire a business consultant today, and let them be the catalyst that sparks your company’s improvement in processes and procedures.
The simple truth is that any company has a lot to gain from collaborating with a business consultant.
However many years of experience you have as a leader, an outside perspective helps.
When you spend a lot of time in the same organization, the same “system”, there’s a downside. Inevitably, you’re going to silo yourself in an internal bubble of information.
If innovation, learning, and evolution aren’t present in your business, you’ll fall into a routine. This routine will quickly become a standard operating procedure. So, in other words, you’ll begin thinking in a very templated fashion.
When issues and problems arise, you’ll be tempted to always solve them the same way. The usual way.
This can easily be a mistake. New challenges need new perspectives & solutions.
And that’s where a business consultant comes in. The biggest benefit they bring is their experience. They’ve seen your problems before, but in different contexts.
They have multiple ways of solving these problems. You surely hadn’t even considered some of those methods. For example, business consultants will:
Business consultants are there to help you streamline standard operating procedures and improve communication. It might sound surprising, but that’s the core of it.
It takes many little things working unison to create a bigger and more complex thing.
In other words, everyday interactions between colleagues will ultimately determine a company’s fate. Whether you’re successful or go bankrupt depends on workflow efficiency.
How information is spread and used. How teams come together to collaborate. The willingness of each staff member to be held accountable for their delays and mistakes. Don’t misunderstand though; everyone makes mistakes. But, we have to learn from them.
If mistakes and process inefficiencies are left unaddressed, they spiral out of control.
And, that’s the moment you call in a business consultant, isn’t it? They’re the experts of getting you back on track, and even improving how you manage your company.
No matter the experience of a business consultant, they’re not spellweavers. You can’t just wave a magic wand and make everything better. A discovery phase is required.
Business consulting is basically a partnership. You want to save your company from your problems in order to be profitable and to stay in business.
Your consultant also wants you to succeed. First of all, because that’s how they get paid. Second, because it always helps to have a CV filled with great case studies.
However, there’s a third reason too. A lot of business consultants are people who truly appreciate collaboration. Creating a cooperative environment where employees work together easily and appreciate each other is a common personal goal.
You have to remember that business consultants usually have a calling. Essentially, they’re teaching you leadership skills. And great leaders want to see their people triumph.
That’s why when you work with a business consultant, you already have common ground. There’s shared knowledge between you, and mutual desire to grow the organization.
The only way for a business consultant to help you do that though is by learning more.
About you, about the organization, your struggles and your successes. We know you probably have confidential information you’re afraid of sharing.
Remember that the business consultant signed a contract with you.
They would be subject to legal actions from your part should they disclose secrets. And, you’d easily win too. So, don’t actively make their job harder. Answer their questions.
We’ve mentioned this before, but you can’t “guide” business consulting. Or in other words, let the business consultant find the issues themselves.
You need to have the real problems fixed, not what you think are the real problems.
Since you’ve decided to hire a consultant, trust in their expertise. Once they have a better understanding of how you operate, they’ll start seeing the downsides without delay.
One thing to remember about business consulting though is that it’s not cherry picking. A consultant does not seek to prove an initial hypothesis. Instead, they look at the whole picture. Your company’s weaknesses first, sure, but also its strengths.
Only after they have this bird’s eye view do they begin evaluating the situation.
Whatever change the business consultant suggests is based on facts. Reality can be difficult to accept sometimes though, so try to keep an open mind.
Identifying all issues and forming an action plan are the first steps. This is how you’ll find the appropriate opportunities to solve them and become profitable (again).
Each case is unique. That’s why business consultants look at the whole picture: sales, marketing, design, development, ITSM, business administration, teamwork, and whatever else.
You have to fully understand what you’re trying to solve before even trying to solve it.
Most company problems start from a lack of quality communication. One of the main goals of business consulting is improving how information and feedback “moves” in the company.
The most important thing for you as a consulting client is maintaining great communication from the start. As soon as the business consultant steps into the organization, provide them all details.
Without open communication, you’re making the process needlessly difficult.
At the same time, business consultants will also focus on company-wide communication. This means how information is passed between management and staff, but also between staff members on the same or similar hierarchical level.
Fact of the matter is, a business only works as long as its people work together.
Feedback is the second crucial aspect in this process. A surprising amount of companies face one-way communication chains. Information gets delivered, and then that’s it.
What’s worse, those information delivery methods might not be efficient to begin with. Add in a lack of feedback, and you’re in for a bad time.
Feedback is so crucial because it confirms that the transmitted knowledge was understood. In business, we often face delays because of misinformation, information silos, or information just not reaching who it was supposed to. Those are clear indications of problematic SOPs.
If you’re stuck in an inefficient communication pattern long enough, you’ll lack the perspective of understanding it’s ineffective. All the more reason to trust the insights of your consultant.
Business consultants will probably have some things to say that you won’t want to hear. And, that’s normal. No one wants to feel criticized. And yet, it’s very important that you are.
Otherwise, there’s no way to improve.
The business consultant’s objectivity will allow you to exchange opinions productively, leading to positive change and growth.
Business consulting is a partnership. Whilst business consultants are going to come up with a plan to improve your company, you have to pitch in.
At the end of the day, you’re the one who’ll be left with the company long after the business consultant leaves. So, the change that you bring about together has to be beneficial.
Once planning and strategizing are finalized, it’s time to put everything in motion. Implementation of new processes, workflows and information chains can be tricky though. The industry you’re in is also going to be a defining factor.
Sometimes, improvements are fast. Other times, it can take a while.
The willingness of managers and employees to follow the new changes plays an important role too. Generally, people are hesitant to change. They avoid the unknown.
That’s just how we function as humans; inside and outside of our jobs. We prefer familiarity.
With that in mind, business consultants are going to allot special time towards change management. The methods will different from consultant to consultant though.
Some business consultants choose to hold team buildings. To create stronger bonds between professionals so they can work together regardless of company policies.
Others will prioritize training sessions about new technologies and ways of working. Lastly, don’t forget that you need to grow as well. As a business owner, or an executive, or a manager, or a member of the board of directors.
Whether you’re doing top-down management or have a decentralized business, adjustments will have to be made. And they have to start from how leadership is handled.
The sooner you agree to change too, the sooner everything can progress.
There are a lot of benefits to getting a business consultant on board. The first among them is objectivity. You can only look at your company with an insider’s view.
It’s easy to become blindsided by issues because after a while, you start ignoring them.
That outside insight that a business consultant brings is crucial to making important changes fast. Otherwise, you risk losing key employees, clients, customers, or even the whole organization.
Of course, you’ll want to pick a business consultant that’s familiar with your industry. While a generalist can still teach you tips & tricks from their own experience, they won’t be bespoke to your niche.
When you work with a consultant that’s already had success in your market before, your odds of getting a better business skyrocket.
Here at Wesrom, our experienced & skilled consultants have helped dozens upon dozens of professionals. We’re pros at analyzing problem situations and turning them around.
Everyone can benefit from business consulting. The most obvious scenario is when your organization is already struggling. Thing is, why even let it reach that point?
By reaching out to a business consultant in time, you’ll avoid having problems to begin with.
Regardless what type of business you’re into, a few elements are always the same. For example: people are the key to success, communication is a must, and goals have to be aligned.
If you’re not respecting at least those 3 things, your chances of success are already slim.
In almost any scenario you might think of, a business consultant can lend their valuable expertise and insights to maximize efficiency.
From optimizing budget use, to improving how teams collaborate with each other, to…whatever else, really. As long as you’re willing to improve, there are always ways to do so.
Business consultants are a lot like project managers in some ways. Both of these professionals are basically trying to ensure that things run smoothly.
Difference is, business consulting has a wider scope than project management. Project managers must oversee more specific goals, deliverables, and adherence to a project schedule.
On the other hand, consultants have to make sure that the whole company works, as a whole. That the practices, processes and procedures are built to advance the company in every way.
That’s why consultants work hand in hand with business owners, execs, or managers.
Since that’s a pretty tall order though, most consultants use helpful software. These tools help them sort ideas, schedule plans, track progress, etc. Again, similar in practice to project management.
One of the key points analyzed in business consulting is how a company interacts with its customers.
Sometimes, the issues don’t lie in internal management and process inefficiencies. Instead, it might just be bad analytics.
If tracking and analysis of customer and client information isn’t accurate, then your offers won’t be attractive either. With CRM software, business consultants verify audience targeting accuracy.
Similarly, consultants will look at how the CRM software is used by your staff (and if it can become better).
Time tracking is used two ways in business consulting.
First, your consultant might recommend implementing such a solution to better understand where time’s being wasted.
From an efficiency standpoint, it’s important that your staff get their tasks done, not that they work 8 hours/day.
Or alternatively, that value is actually being produced in those 8 hours a day.
Time tracking, when used well, can eliminate busy work, delays, work inefficiencies, or outright slacking. It works by simply logging time for projects, meetings, tasks or other activities.
In let’s say 1 months time, the business consultant can look at how time is being used. Then, optimization and suggestions can be brought forward. For example, if a task that should take 30 minutes ended up being logged for 3 hours, the natural question is “ok, why?”.
Through this approach, business consulting moves organizations from stagnation to innovation.
Second, time tracking will likely be used for your collaboration. A lot of consultants charge by the hour.
Business consultants need to look at workflows, processes, how teams collaborate and talk with each other. Similarly, they need insights into your budget, timelines, if you’re hitting deadlines or not.
Are deliverables done on time and to specification? Or, are you lagging behind and still delivering suboptimal results?
Business consultants will also check reports as well. They do this in order to see if they match up with reality and the data is actually useful and true.
Another aspect of analysis is client communication. Is it standardized? Tracked? Are the key points carefully noted down and accessible to all stakeholders?
The same question is then asked for internal communication. After an employee is tagged by a colleague, how long does it take them to offer an answer? Do tasks tend to face blockers? Is everyone actually cooperating?
You must grant consultants access to such tools you’re using so that they can do their job right.
Business consulting isn’t exactly a homogenous practice throughout its subdivisions. The principles stay the same, but it varies on the type of consultancy being offered.
For example, a financial consultant won’t have the same priorities as a marketing consultant.
That’s why choosing a consulting professional is up to you. Do you want a jack of all trades, master of none, or multiple specialists in multiple stages? It depends on how you prefer to operate.
Business ops will make or break your organization. Even in a decentralized company, high level decisions and management must still come from the top.
Furthermore, business ops dictate your SOPs and processes; the company policies and its culture.
Operations consultants specialize in making day-to-day processes simpler. They teach you streamlining methods that help you reach your objectives more simply.
In many ways, this business consulting is about taking a look at what you’re doing right now with your resources. Then, the business consultant will propose better ways to use them.
Essentially, business ops aims to answer these questions: “How do we gain more outputs from the same inputs? If we can’t min-max, what else do we need? How do we fit that in the budget?”.
Then, the business consultant steps in to optimize your productivity.
Once your “house” is in order, you can start strategizing growth and expansion. This means capitalizing on opportunities, acquiring assets, driving revenue, closing deals, adopting new technologies, etc.
Strategic consultants are long-term thinkers. You should really call them in only when you’ve got the basics covered. Otherwise, you won’t be able to actually achieve your plans.
When you work with strategy business consultants, you can expect to:
You don’t have to do HR in-house. A lot of companies nowadays choose to outsource the practice almost completely. Keeping only a handful of in-house employees is viable.
When you work with a human resources business consultant, you let them handle core aspects of your company. They’ll handle recruiting, hiring, onboarding, as well as other HR functions.
Employee retention is also taken over, as are monthly payrolls, admin tasks and performance reviews.
Going this route is a great option whether you’re already in a sizable organization, or an SMB. Thing is, HR is very “process-heavy”. Since it deals with legalities, you can’t just wing it.
Recruiting itself can be more dynamic, sure. You can create great candidate experiences.
Eventually though, it’ll all boil down to background checks, psych evals and signing papers. And that’s where the trusty help of a business consultant can really come in handy.
These types of business consultants go hand-in-hand with your ops and strategy ones. At the end of the day, money will make or break your organization.
That’s the one resource without which you can’t do anything.
Yes, you need great staff. But you have to pay them. Yes, you need assets. But you have to buy them with something. You draw the line, you get to finances. It’s how it is.
So, all the more reason why you should make sure that your books are in order at all times. Financial consultants will give you advice about:
Financial consultants can also delve deep into your expenses. With a comprehensive financial plan, you’ll have transparency about how money is being used.
It’s not enough to just do the traditional “expenses minus income” formula and call it a day. Sure, that’s your profit, but what were those exact expenses?
How much was tax? What’s your overhead cost? How much of the budget was spent on daily expenses? How about salaries, retirement plans, etc?
Moreover, if you continue spending money on assets (including personnel) that don’t
You need to fully understand how you operate in order to improve.
Don’t leave marketing as an afterthought. If you do, you’ll be left without a business to worry about. Fact of the matter is, your services or products must actually be sold.
It doesn’t matter how good they are, if no one’s actually purchasing. Marketing, PR and branding is how you’ll solve that. However, you can’t just go at it blindly.
Just like other fields, marketing has its own tricks and best practices. You have to know how to identify your company’s strengths. How to get them in front of leads and convert them into customers or clients.
From brand awareness, to building lead funnels, to performing SEO and CRO optimization, it can be quite a lot to manage. So, why not not just hire a consultant instead?
The business consultant will be the expert driving your audience targeting, brand awareness campaigns and marketing funnels.
Working with an independent business consultant isn’t your only option. There are a lot of firms out there (like ours!) that offer bespoke consulting packages.
It’s actually a better option than looking for your own consultant. Firms have a portfolio of past consulting services, and their business consultants are generally experienced.
A consulting firm can also create a custom package for you at an affordable price.
So, whether you’re in a smaller business or a larger corporation, there’s a solution that can fit your needs. Whenever you’re making a list of possible consulting providers though, make sure to check their reviews and past projects. Those are the 2 direct indicators of quality.
Even if you’d rather work with an individual business consultant, consider this: you’re still going to! Going to a consulting firm just means you get an extra layer of professionalism.
They’re going to handpick a consultant for you. But, you’ll still work 1-on-1 with that consultant.
There are additional benefits to working with a business consulting firm too. For example:
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the consultant. They can make or break the collaboration you’ll have throughout the process.
These next pieces of advice apply regardless of the type of professional you’re looking for. The ideas are the same whether you want a PPC consultant, or an HR consultant (and so on).
A consultant is a person who you’ll rely on. You need to be able to trust their judgment implicitly. When they give you a suggestion, you should be comfortable with applying it.
In other words, you need someone reliable.
Your business consulting partner should be genuinely passionate about their work. Instead of seeing you as just a client, they should be able to invest themselves in your success.
It’s also crucial the consultant is skilled at organizing, management, and has an eye for detail. After all, they’ll be in charge of improving how you run your business.
After you make your shortlist, you should schedule a call with each consultant/firm. When you meet with them, you’ll get a better idea if they’re the right one for the job.
Go into details during these conversations, to make sure that your pain points would be addressed correctly.
Similarly, check if the style and work ethics of those business consultant professionals match up with your own.
At Wesrom, we handled everything from executive coaching, to team training, digital transformation and any other requirements you might have.
Get in touch at your earliest convenience, and we’ll help you overcome your business challenges.
We’ve helped over 300 organizations; tackling action plans, long-term strategies, roadblocks and SOP revamps. We’ll get you back on track too in no time.