Business Consulting: what it is, types and how to apply

In good or bad times in a business, business consulting is a service that offers solutions.

We are talking about a useful proposal to lead a company to sustainable growth and better results.

And that goes for businesses of all sizes and in diverse areas.

Yes, business consultancy for small businesses is just as valuable as it is for multinationals.

The truth is that, no matter what the size of the business, there are always opportunities to evolve in management – and that is the starting point for seeking the service.

If you want to know more about it, understand how to do or how to hire a business consulting company, this is the article where you will find the answers you are looking for.

Check out a summary of what you’ll check out from now on:

From now on, you will see:

  • What is business consulting?
  • How does a business consultancy work?
  • How to implement a business consultancy?
  • Main advantages of business consulting
  • Main types and areas of expertise of business consulting
  • 7 reasons to hire a business consultancy
  • How to choose a business consulting company

Interested? Good reading!

Business Consulting is an aid to improve the management of a company

What is Business Consulting?

Business consultancy is a problem diagnosis and data analysis service for the company, which aims to help entrepreneurs improve their management.

With it, it is possible to reduce costs, make processes more efficient , optimize finances , plan business expansions and improve the work of the human resources sector, among other approaches.

This type of help, coming from a specialist, serves to solve different obstacles related to the business.

It may be, for example, that business management is inefficient, sales are down, or that the business owner needs to create a strategic plan for their projects.

Thus, business consultancy involves an exchange of experiences and knowledge between a specialist and a company.

The consultant is a qualified professional with market knowledge and experience.

He then works closely with business managers to help them solve problems – or even identify them.

The consultancy’s role, therefore, is to collect information about the company, develop a strategic action plan to put it into practice and, finally, analyze results.

It is during this exchange of knowledge that the consultant is able to bring insights and proposals to the company’s leadership , who may or may not accept the suggestions.

The main objective is to verify challenges and opportunities for growth in the company and assist in decision making.

But where can the entrepreneur seek this service?

Who does?

Business consultancy can be carried out either by independent professionals or by companies specialized in the activity.

But this is not a fully outsourced demand, since the involvement of managers is fundamental to the success of the initiative.

This work must be carried out in partnership with the leaders of the company , who need to be open-minded to receive suggestions and exchange ideas.

Bull market

We are talking about an increasingly recurring service.

In the United States, for example, the consulting market grew 7% in 2016 , reaching a value of more than 58 billion dollars , according to Source Global Research.

But when to hire a business consultancy?

Who needs consulting?

Hiring a consultancy is a valid measure if you have an inefficiency problem that you want to solve or if you have an opportunity in mind that you are not sure how to take advantage of.

In practice, any company can benefit from a consultancy, as this outside perspective brings important insights for the future of the business .

And this can be related to several areas of the company : financial management, sales, human resources , accounting, taxes, among others.

If you identify that you need an action guide, it is worth the investment.

In addition, consulting can be very advantageous for companies that need to create a growth strategy for the future.

Thus, the consultant assists in the diagnosis of the business, identifying what can be improved and what should change.

And if you are thinking that, in a small company, this service is not suitable, review your concepts.

In fact, this market has been increasingly explored by consultants.

Keep in mind that consulting brings benefits to businesses of all sizes and market segments.

How does a Business Consultancy work?

Business consulting can work in many ways.

The most common has the following steps :

1. The manager identifies the validity of hiring a consultancy

2. The company chooses a consultancy

3. The consultancy meets with the company to understand the objectives of the contract

4. The consultancy analyzes the company’s data

5. The consultancy meets with the company to present insights and show routes for solving problems and taking advantage of opportunities

6. The company begins to implement changes based on the solutions indicated by the consultancy.

The step by step does not always happen in the same way, but this is a simplification that serves to illustrate the dynamics of hiring a business consultancy.

First of all, it is important to emphasize that the consultant, even working with the company, is not responsible for decision making .

This remains the duty of business managers, who cannot abdicate their role for the effectiveness of the strategy.

Consultancy, therefore, only assists in this process.

That said, the entrepreneur needs to keep in mind that consulting work takes time.

This is because frequent meetings are held with the consultant, in person or online .

It is during these moments that both will be able to exchange information and make discoveries about the business.

For this, it is essential to gather a series of data, as they will be requested by the consultant.

Reports, information and analysis are useful for the professional to gain a more in-depth view of the business.

Another point is worth highlighting: the results appear over time.

After all, business consultancy work is gradual, as changes are not implemented overnight.

Therefore, patience and dedication are essential to the manager.

Trust is basic and necessary in the relationship between the consultancy and the company

How to implement a Business Consultancy?

To implement a business consultancy, it is necessary, first, to identify the reasons why the entrepreneur is making this decision.

What are the objectives or problems that lead you to contemplate this possibility?

When these answers are very clear, it is easier to decide the type of consultancy that the business owner needs.

As you can imagine, the qualification of the consultant is the most important factor to be considered when choosing.

At this time, it is worth remembering that there are two ways to implement the service: hiring a consultant or outsourced consulting company or creating an internal team in the company to perform the function.

In both cases, you need to make sure that the professionals assigned to the function have knowledge of the area in which they will work, as this will be essential for the development of an efficient action plan.

So, let’s resume:

1. If the entrepreneur decided to implant a consultancy in his company, first, he must identify which objective led him to this investment

2. Then, it is necessary to seek consultants with extensive experience in the segment that needs to pay more attention.

Remember that this is an activity that requires harmony between the company and the consultant, therefore, there needs to be confidence in the work of the professional .

Main advantages of Business Consulting

There are countless advantages of resorting to a business consultancy.

But if we were to elect a principal, we can say that the consultant acts as a catalyst for business growth .

Through a thorough analysis of company information and obtaining insights from those with great experience in the area, a new horizon opens up for them.

It is possible for the entrepreneur to make his project grow faster and in a sustainable way.

In this way, a consultancy can be a key part in the business transformation process.

Without it, evolution may happen, but it will take much longer.

We know that change, however small, is the first step in leveraging business.

Therefore, having a professional capable of encouraging this process, engaging the rest of the team , is essential.

Another advantage worth mentioning is the constant updating that the company achieves from consultancy.

According to Abdul Rimaaz, this occurs when looking for best practices, promoting changes and creating innovation in the company.

All of these are factors that can be achieved through business consultancy.

However, the benefits do not end there .

To make it clear, let’s mention a few more of them:

  • Make a diagnosis of the company
  • Create strategic planning
  • Get an outside view on the business
  • Have more knowledge about a specific aspect related to management.

Later on, you will see the main reasons for an entrepreneur to convince himself to invest in the service.

Before, however, get to know the different types of consultancy and their peculiarities.

Main types and areas of expertise of Business Consulting

There are several types of consultancies in different areas of expertise.

Each company or individual consultant will have a specific proposal for action – therefore, the need to have well defined objectives from the consultancy.

There is no pattern of frequency of meetings, members of the process and duration of the action plan.

Therefore, it is necessary to look for several alternatives in the market.

The business owner must analyze the proposals of each one and choose the one that seems most appropriate to the reality of his company.

In general, however, we can define two types of consultancy:

  • Internal consultancy: is one developed by a professional hired by the company. This consultant is part of the team and is dedicated exclusively to the business. Therefore, he is completely involved in the daily processes. It can be advantageous for companies seeking long-term consultancy.
  • External consultancy: this is when the company uses outsourced services. In this case, the professional is not an employee of the company, but a service provider. Generally, the external consultant has more experience, since he works in the market with several companies at the same time. In addition, he is able to look at the business more neutrally.

Understanding the differences, now, let’s talk about the main areas of activity of business consultancies.

Check out!

Business management

This area is dedicated to the company’s management strategy.

Therefore, the activity is directly linked to the performance of the entrepreneur , who is in charge of the business.

The option is interesting for companies that need to identify growth opportunities or even solve errors in the direction of business.

Human Resources

A consultancy focused on human resources helps the leadership to identify the team’s demands and difficulties, as well as the necessary improvements in people management .

It can be beneficial, for example, when the company has high turnover rates , but does not know what problem has given rise to employee dissatisfaction.

Digital marketing

Nowadays, investing in digital marketing is one of the main strategic pillars of companies.

With a good online business plan and media boost, it is possible to prospect leads, engage customers and build a brand reputation.

The marketing consultancy helps to build a strategic plan for the company to gain visibility in the market and get even closer to customers.

Sales

Are sales low ?

Or is there a satisfactory volume, but the entrepreneur wants to grow more?

In both cases, it is possible to hire a sales consultancy.

The professional, having experience, can help the manager to create strategies, evaluate indicators and enhance the attraction of sales leads .

Finance

working capital, investments and spending.

All of this requires strategic planning for the company to have financial health .

However, dealing with finance is often a headache for entrepreneurs.

A consultancy is the appropriate alternative to solve problems with finances, readjust expenses and invest more safely.

There are many reasons to at least consider hiring a consultancy

7 reasons to hire a Business Consultancy

For those who are still not convinced that hiring a business consultancy is a good choice, the seven reasons listed below are capable of making anyone change their mind.

Just take a look:

1. It is an investment for the business

It is essential to keep in mind that business consulting is an investment that the entrepreneur makes in the business, not an expense .

It is a service that will improve the company’s performance, generating more financial return and also management security.

2. Brings an external view of the company

It is natural that the leadership does not see clearly the problems of the company, precisely because it is very close to it.

This happens even because many of the difficulties are directly linked to management.

In this sense, the consultancy provides an external look, which comes from a professional capable of neutrally analyzing what is happening in the company.

Makes sense, doesn’t it?

3. Add knowledge

As the consultant has experience in the market from working together with several companies, he can add knowledge to the business.

This is a way for the entrepreneur to be aware of what other companies in the same industry do as his.

You see: the consultant can bring new methodologies, practices and strategies so that the business remains updated and competitive.

4. Improves decision making

The guidance of experienced consultants is an opportunity to make more assertive decisions .

This is even more useful for start-up entrepreneurs , who run companies alone, with great willpower, although without much experience.

Remember that any wrong decision can damage the business, so betting on business consulting is a way to be more secure at that time.

5. Stay focused on results

With the whirlwind of tasks throughout the day, it is common for managers to put actions aimed at results in the background.

Keeping in touch with a consultant is a way to have a commitment to growth , since the entrepreneur will be constantly reflecting on his performance.

6. Creates strategic planning

We have already mentioned in the article the importance of strategic planning that leads to growth, but it is worth resuming this point.

Often, entrepreneurs know what aspects they need to leverage in the company, but they don’t know where to start .

The business consultant then comes on the scene.

He can guide the actions, guide and evaluate the performance of the planned plan.

7. Has excellent value for money

Hiring an outside consultant may seem like a high investment, but it is not .

If the business owner does the calculations properly, he will realize the value of a service that can not only increase his revenue and reduce his costs , but also favor all his decision-making in the future.

Business consulting how to choose

Before hiring the consultancy, you must be very methodical in the selection process

How to choose a Business Consulting Company?

Before concluding this article, it is worth bringing valuable tips for the entrepreneur to choose the most appropriate business consultancy for his business.

If that’s what you’re looking for, follow these recommendations:

  • Investigate the consultancy : analyze past work, your experience and reputation and, if possible, talk to some of your clients
  • Prioritize added value : the solutions that the consultancy can offer must come ahead of a possible low price
  • Look for a solid service : those who already have a story behind tend to offer more accurate diagnoses
  • Be clear on your need : the goal is to ensure that the consultancy can provide a specific solution to the company’s problem
  • Align expectations and values : it is important that the consultancy fits into the company’s culture.

Conclusion

A business consultancy is able to offer the company the solution it needs to grow sustainably or even reverse a negative situation.

As we saw in this article, it is a service that applies well to both the best and the worst moments of a business.

It is a neutral look at internal processes and the way they are carried out.

Thus, it is also a unique learning opportunity for the company’s management to be qualified.

Convinced of its advantages? Have any questions on the subject?

Meet the Abdul Rimaaz and contact the FIA to learn more about it.

Published by Abdul Rimaaz

Abdul Rimaaz business consultant is trained to advise your marketing plan. It can advise, for example, improvements in terms of your company's Internet presence, position one of its brands or implement new strategies to win customers. Being a business consultant is not an easy task and I have thought to summarize, for this entry in Business United Kingdom.

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