By Erin Hoffman
Consultants at Collaboration have strong instincts — after all, that is what makes them ideal for this career. However, instincts are only one aspect of a great consultant’s toolbox. Our senior-level consultants have more than 75 years of combined management experience in developing effective business leaders and building the necessary management infrastructure for sustainable, profitable, and scalable growth. We are distinctively qualified to identify, address, and implement necessary changes within an organization.
The best consulting firms employ senior-level consultants who use proven techniques to get results for their clients. The primary working goals of a consultant are to establish a collaborative relationship with their client; solve problems for the client now so they learn how to later; and ensure attention to developing the project and relationship.
Yet, clients need to follow a list of assumptions to ensure the relationship builds to a high level of trust. Clients must realize that problem solving requires accurate information; that effective decision-making requires free and open choice among participants; and that effective implementation requires the internal commitment of the team. Our clients who have the most success are the ones who never stop learning! Always open to new perspectives and be willing — and humble — to admit that you don’t have all the answers. When you become a relentless learner, your viewpoint widens to help you find new solutions to your challenges.
Whenever I’m asked about the value of a business consultant, I always go back to these points:
Outside Perspectives are Valuable
Business consultants bring an outside eye to a business’ internal processes, and help to identify areas of concern and challenges, while also providing solid strategies and tactics to overcome these obstacles. Business owners are the experts within their own industries, while business consultants are experts in management. While I don’t know how to install a sonar panel or how to write code, I do know how to structure an effective management team. Instead of focusing on your industry, focus on the problem you are trying to solve. If the problem is specific to your industry, then find a business consultant that is an expert in your industry. But what we see more often than not is a business needing help with finances, sales, management, succession planning, and leadership development — which are skills that are standard among all industries. Find a firm that is an expert in the issue at hand, rather than one that is an expert in your industry. You may find that the consultant with experiences in industries outside of your own can prove to be an advantage, as these consultants can give you a new perspective on your challenges and teach you how to expertly manage the business side of your company.
Consultants Bring Extra Horsepower
Businesses don’t need to be failing to need the advice from a consultant. A thriving business may seek to determine ways to get to the next level, and a consultant can help them develop strategic goals and a five-year plan to get them to where they want to be. Owners with their finger on their organization’s pulse have the ability to recognize potential problems, and consultants can come in to advise on how to avoid any challenges before it becomes a major issue.
Consultants Will Become Trusted Advisors for the Long-Run
Businesses that reach out to consultants want to make sure they’re getting what they need to thrive. Many fear that a consultant will come in and give cookie cutter advice that simply doesn’t fit in with their situation. A good consultant will not only point businesses to solutions and best practices, but will also help them implement and embed them. Consultants want to see your business succeed, and they will not leave you to do it on your own.
I recognize that it’s not easy for business owners to ask for help. Keep in mind that business consulting comes in many shapes and sizes. Ask yourself: “Where do I want my business to be?” If you’re unsure of how to answer that, or are unsure of how to implement a plan to reach a goal, a business consultant can help. Being open to learning new skills and strategies, along with hiring an outside business consultant, will help you thrive and achieve the next level.