“Why do people hire management consultants?” is a question management consultants hear often from potential clients. The occupation has mushroomed in recent years, and as a result, people are used to seeing management consultants everywhere. But these “consultants” offer services in varying quality, so entrepreneurs are not quite sure exactly what services a management consultant could offer a business.
Veteran management consultants are highly educated and experienced in various business sectors. While the services they offer can vary, most are experts in offering advice to companies on conducting the “business of the business,” as John Burgess, a sought-after management consultant in Chicago, puts it. It’s usually the big companies that spend money on consultants, though it’s usually small to medium-sized businesses that reap the most benefits.
So, why do businesses bother to hire management consultants? The primary reason is that these professionals can offer tailor-made third-party strategic advice to businesses. Even though consultants typically work in different sectors, some of their advice is common and overlaps vastly different companies. Here is a list of the most common advice management consultants offer that any business can benefit from:
Break Down Large Problems into Small, Simple Parts
Businesses often come to management consultants with complex and seemingly unsolvable problems. But the solution is often overlooked: break it down into simple parts that are easy to act upon. This is usually the first step consultants use when approaching problems. No matter how confounding a problem is, it can always be reduced to a collection of subcomponents. Then, it suddenly becomes solvable.
Data is Only Good as the Interpretation
Some businesses think that collecting massive amounts of data would magically lead to better business practices. In reality, data is only as good as how the company interprets it. For example, a business could accumulate a trove of data about customers. But this data doesn’t result in a good marketing campaign if the company doesn’t interpret it. Hire good statisticians who can crunch the numbers and offer insights based on data the company collects. Spending money just on collecting data is not enough.
It’s Not the Employee, It’s the Team
Is a project behind schedule or are employees struggling to get things done? Instead of looking at individual employees, look at the team. How do the team dynamics work out? Is the team leaderless and struggling? Modern businesses are the result of teamwork. Therefore, if the teams are not well put together and optimized, then the company overall will struggle to achieve ideal levels of productivity.
Yes, the Efficiency Level Can be Better
Think your business is highly efficient? The secret to efficiency is that it can always be better. Small businesses should routinely assess overall efficiency levels to see what can be improved on. And there’s no one better to run an assessment like this than a management consultant.
Management consultants can offer enormous benefits for businesses, but only as long as the company hires the right person or firm. Learn about what actual management consultants do, seek recommendations, and find a great consultant to make your small or medium-sized business even better.