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What Does a Good Business Consultant Do for a Company?

Understanding Business Consultants & the Business Consulting Process

Business Consultant

Are you thinking about hiring a Business Consultant and wondering why you need one? Or wondering what a Business Consultant does? Or looking for someone to write a good Business Plan for your company or venture? We will answer these questions and more about business consulting.

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A Good Business Consultant Has Extensive Experience

A good Business Consultant has experience working in and working with a broad range of businesses. It is the accumulated business history of a Business Consultant which makes the consultant valuable. A good Business Consultant is experienced in a lot of different types of businesses and industries, while also having very specific experience in running companies, in the financing of a company and most importantly in the marketing and sales of a company. Experienced Consultants have experience with companies in all stages of Growth: Existence, Survival, Success, Take-off and Maturity. The business consultant may also have a specialty as a Business Turnaround Consultant, helping struggling companies to turnaround and succeed again. In other words, a good Business Consultant has broad and narrow stroke experience and typically, 20 years or more of accumulated business experience. Having an MBA from a good business school isn’t enough. The Business Consultant must have solid real world experience with many types of companies in order to be an effective consultant.

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Exactly What Does a Business Consultant Do?

Gets To Know Your Business

So what does a Business Consultant do? First and foremost, a Business Consultant gets to know and understand your business. As the business owner, you know more about your business than anyone else. For this reason, a good business consultant will take the time to learn from you, your department heads and key employees what the ins and outs of your business entails. It is only until complete understanding of your business that a Business Consultant can begin to help you.

Identifies Problems and Opportunities

After a Business Consultant has learned the details of your business, the consultant goes to work identifying problems and opportunities. Those may be certain problems and opportunities you point out to the consultant, but also a good Business Consultant will have a process to identify problems and opportunities which a business owner has not identified. A Business Consultant brings fresh eyes, fresh experience and an open mind to your business enterprise, providing a completely different perspective than that of someone who has been running the company for some time or someone looking to start a new venture.

Business Analysis

After identifying the problems and opportunities of the business a Business Consultant will then analyze this gathered information in order to provide solid solutions and plans for the future. The consultant takes a micro view at the business and provides solutions for the macro outlook, strategizing for the future success of your business. Often times, business ownership is so focused on working “in” the business that short term and long term outlooks and strategies are overlooked and neglected. The Business Consultant re-focuses a company’s strategies in order to solve immediate problems, while taking advantage of future opportunities. In short, a Business Consultant will minimize expenses and maximize profits through a proven process.

A Proven Business Consulting Process

Steps taken in a good Business Consulting process include…

  1. Learn about the business
  2. Identify problems
  3. Identify future opportunities
  4. Perform analysis
  5. Provide solutions through a concrete plan
  6. Listen to feedback and adjust plan
  7. Implement and track the plan

Step One – Learning About the Business

  • Tour the Company’s facilities
  • Read all the company materials
  • Meet with the Board of Directors, all executive heads, founders and owners, Department Heads and Key Employees.
  • Understand the product or service
  • History of the business
  • Business track record
  • How the business is run
  • How decisions are made
  • How problems and opportunities are handled
  • Company process, trade marks
  • Company’s competitive advantages
  • Financial track record
  • Banking and finance connections
  • How the company is organized quality control
  • Employee incentives, benefits, and wages
  • Meeting the company’s advisors and consultants

Step Two – Identifying Problems

  • Problems seen by ownership and management
  • Problems/ issues identified by the business consultant
  • Business consultant given unrestricted access to the company so that problems can be identified
  • Identify revenue points and expense ratios for all products and services
  • Understand tax implications
  • Important: Open, clear communications between the consultant and the company’s people. Trust is vital.

Step Three – Identifying Opportunities

  • For every problem/issue, there is a hidden opportunity
  • Opportunities seen by ownership, management, and key employees
  • Opportunities discovered through the business consultant’s process
  • Understanding margins, sales history, and sales growth
  • Understanding and identifying new products and services

Step Four – Analysis

  • Business consultant analyzes the identified problems and opportunities while keeping in mind, a clear understanding of the business
  • Business consultant decides which problems and opportunities are important and which are not
  • Identify potential future problems
  • Identify symptoms of problems provide certain conclusions and facts based on the analysis
  • Provide certain conclusions and facts based on the analysis

Step Five – Solutions

  • Business consultant provides a plan which provides solutions and identifies opportunities
  • Business consultant illustrates how certain expenses can be reduced and how certain profit areas can be maximized

Step Six – Receive Feedback and Adjust Plan

  • Business Consultant receives feedback from the business and its advisers on the proposed Business Plan
  • Business Consultant oversees implementation of the business plan
  • Business Consultant tracks progress of the plan
  • Plan is readjusted as necessary moving forward
  • Business Consultant ensures plan is integral to the Company and intertwined into the fabric of the company.

This article is an excerpt of a Chapter from our Business Success Guide. For the rest of the Chapter, please visit:  The Business Success Guide

The remaining major sections of the book’s Chapter have been left below as an outline so you can get an idea of what else is contained in this Chapter of the Business Success Guide.


 

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  • Analyze and Evaluate the Opportunity:
  • Develop a Business Strategy & Model:
  • Resource Audit:
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  • Products & Services Analysis
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