Business Consultants Compared – What Makes Firms Different?

When inviting a business consulting firm to get to know your business and its weaknesses, it is a delicate dance to find the best corporate qualifications, experience, and ability to navigate the inevitable invisible issues that will come up. It is also important to make sure your own corporate culture and on-going business do not get lost in the process.

In the marketplace of Business Management Consulting or Management Consulting, competitors generally fall into just a few categories:

-Sole proprietor consultants, who are generally niched and geographically based

-Larger consulting firms, who have multi-niched teams and the ability to reach out to other cities or regions

-Small consulting firms, regionally based and team oriented

Sole Proprietors: Personal Touch

Smaller and sole proprietor consultant competitors, like Jannelle Buzzell, Jim Grew, Will Moore, Mannus O’Donnell and others, get to know the client and their needs very personally. They start from exceptional business acumen, and make sure to create buy-in within the company. The client company is trusted to know their core business and its people very, very well. There is often not a pre-conceived corporate formula other than profitability, efficiency, and better managerial controls through feedback. To these folks, it is common to receive a fearful call where a business owner shares that they ‘aren’t even sure what the problem is or where it started’.

Large Consulting Firms: depth and breadth

Larger competitors, like Boly Welch Consulting, CBS Consulting, Georgia S. May, Point B and PeopleFirm, all offer fresh eyes, strong business acumen, and an understanding that all business evolution comes from the people within the firm. To make any consulting project stick, it has to come from within, which starts from leadership. Once leadership has aligned the goals and strategies, the consulting firm assists in rolling out change. This change management happens from setting measurable goals, checking in with ROI, and staying in regular touch with the feedback loop.

Small Consulting Firms: Personal touch and depth

What makes the smaller consultancy different is the unique blend of these styles. With a small firm, you are likely to meet the owner, but not work with them regularly. You will have a small, personal team, but enough distance to call their supervisor if necessary. A small firm has 8-30 employees, and is generally based in a single city office. Conversely, the consulting firm is big enough to have scheduling and launching flexibility more like a larger consultancy. Small consulting firms cannot do everything involved for a larger project, so they are forced to rely on (and train) the employee team. This strategy keeps the consulting team in alignment with owners, in order to organize which work is done by which team. Smaller consulting teams do not take over a floor of your building and set up shop. It is necessary to work along side the employee team constantly in order to on board change at a pace owners and employees can handle.

How Much Do They Cost?

When we compare business to business consulting, price is an unavoidable topic. If you don’t care how much the consulting firm costs, you are not in the market. Clients care, even if they aren’t sure they can afford it (or have plenty of money to afford it). Small firm prices lie in the middle, just as you might expect. Many sole proprietors charge a lower rate, especially if they aren’t busy. However, if they are busy, they simply cannot take the work, or quickly bump up to the rates of larger firms. Larger firms have additional overhead for travel, benched employees and significant benefit packages at all levels. These higher prices are significant and consistent. With a smaller firm, you are unlikely to receive enormous perks as a part of your purchase. They focus on the work done, and building the relationship on the job.

In general terms, a client can expect:

Team Size Typical Hourly Rate

Sole Proprietor 1 $40-$150

Small Firm 2-30 $75-300

Large Firm 30+ $200-750+

These rates are a generalized survey in Portland, OR, based on surveys of a small handful of varying small and medium businesses.

Conclusion

When you are considering outside consulting for your operations, spend some time considering the depth and breadth of the project, the budget you expect, and then consider requesting proposals or conversations from varying firms. Some projects are clearly one size or another, but medium scale projects that can take some time to evolve are a likely fit for a blended small consulting firm. If you go that route, you will save significant money and train your staff along the way.

Small Business Consulting – Putting a Plan Into Action

Small Business Consulting – A Very Crucial Element in Business

Small business consulting companies offer a wide variety of services. These services can be utilized before a company begins to operate. In order for a business to be successful, there are many things that should be done from the start.

The small business consulting, research, planning and training can be done in any area of the business. A consultant is considered an expert in the area they specialize in. The services and advice they offer are based on experience and knowledge. It is important for a company to work with a consultant that knows what they are doing.

Customer service is probably one of the most important areas of a business. If a company doesn’t have customers, then the business ceases to exist. One of the small business consulting services that can be offered focuses on the customer. A consultant can offer customer service training and customer loyalty training. Some people may think there isn’t a difference between the two, but the truth is, there is a huge difference. Customer service helps get a business off the ground, and customer loyalty helps keep it that way. To put it bluntly, a customer will pay their payment, but a loyal customer will make their payment on time.

Another important small business consulting service is branding. A consultant can help with the branding of a company, which will create public awareness of the business and their product. When branding is done properly, it can provide consistency in advertising and marketing. Branding can also help a company’s product standout against their competition.

Every business needs an excellent leader. Developing good leadership can be obtained with the use of small business consulting. The consultant can provide leadership training, management team development and employee training. All of these things go hand in hand when it comes to having great efficiency. When a company is run by a person with great leadership, this can allow the company to stay ahead of the competition.

Even after small business consulting services have been used and results are obtained, they can still be used as a method of prevention. For example, a company used small business consulting for employee training and leadership development. By continuing to use these services, the company can increase their chances of profitability and growth.

Procurement is another area that can be handled with small business consulting. A company needs to make sure that they are getting the product they asked for at the right price and in the time they need it. Procurement is practically handled on a daily basis. A consultant can help with things such as developing a procurement strategy, cost reduction, and value purchasing. By assessing procurement, a company be assured that they can provide their customers with the product they offer, at a fair price and have it there when they want it.

Small business consulting involves problem solving. Consultants are often referred to as problem solvers. When a company has a problem that arises, it needs to be handled as efficiently and as quickly as possible. Many problems may go unnoticed because the person in charge has a lack of time. A small problem can turn into a huge one very quickly. It is wise for a company to have someone on hand that can address problems as they occur to keep this from happening. If a company has someone to help with potential problems before they even open, this could help them in the future. A business needs to start out with as few problems as possible. A consultant can help with the problematic areas of the company, giving the manager or owner the time they need to focus on other areas of the business.

Small business consulting services can be used either short-term or long-term. It really depends on the nature of the business and how many issues exist. Either way, having a consultant as a right hand man can be very beneficial for any business. Many business fail because due to lack of knowledge and experience. These are two key components that a consultant has. Small business consulting can help a company rise to the top. It can ensure that the company has all of their ducks in a row, so to speak. If a person owns a company that is having issues or if a person is looking to open their business, it would be a wise investment to seek assistance from a small business consultant. By having a consultant on their side, it is sort of like having their own little insurance policy. A consultant can ensure the company that they will do everything to reach the goals the company has set. The company’s mission then becomes that of the consultant.

If you would like to learn more on small business management consulting, you can click the link below.

Signs That You’ve Hired the Right Business Consultant

Looking for the right expert to help you develop our business can be tricky, but once you have found the right person the benefits for your company are numerous. Not only can hiring an independent business consultant help you streamline your business for greater efficiency and competitiveness, but they can also offer access to new technology and the bigger picture of global business trends.

There are many criteria that people use to choose the right business consultant, ranging from choosing those with vast experience right through to those with qualifications from certain schools. Here are a few major signs that you have hired the right business consultant for you and your business.

Firstly, one of the major signs of hiring the right expert is that they understand your company aims and what you want to achieve in the short, medium and long term. Although you would hope that this would be a normal quality of your business consultant of choice, one who expresses a deep understanding of your company will really stand out in the right way.

An expert offering their services in this area should have taken note of all your objectives in a meeting together, and have a very clear outline of what you can do to meet those goals. Where you differ in opinion, the consultant should be able to explain their reasoning and listen to and address your concerns.

In all cases, the consultant should be absolutely attentive to what you want to achieve, rather than what they think you should achieve based on their experience. This will set apart a great expert who can truly help you from one who is not adapting himself or herself fully to your business.

The next sign of a great consultant is one who also understands the market for your particular services or products, and has proven experience in it. Although many consultants have great business skills, there is a great difference between various sectors and industries, and your consultant should be aware of that and be able to take it into account.

The right expert for you will be able to address the unique concerns and goals of your business as well as see the larger picture in your industry. As mentioned above, a proven track record of working with businesses like yours in the same industry is the best choice here.

Another thing to look out for in a business consultant is one who is up to date with the technological trends that are transforming the international marketplace, such as Google for work migration services, cloud solutions, online marketing, SEO and more. Although the provider does not need to be an expert in Google for work migration services, they should at least be able to guide you.

Technology plays a huge role in modern day business, and a consultant who is able to offer perspective and knowledge in this area – about what technological changes you should be implementing and when – will be extremely valuable in helping you remain as competitive as possible. Some business consultants are also IT consultants too, which is very helpful.

Lastly, make sure that the consultant that you choose to work with is reliable, and is always available to answer your questions and queries when you need something in a short time frame. If you are paying for business support solutions, it is imperative that they do actually support you in the everyday running of your business.

A consultant who is always there to offer the benefit of his or her advice when you need it is extremely valuable. On top of this, knowledge of your industry, knowledge of cutting edge technological solutions like Google for work migration services, and a deep understanding of your business objectives are signs that you have found a great consultant to work with.

Services Offered By Business Consultancy Firms

Every businessperson must make new strategies to run business processes smoothly. They hire business consultants, as that perspective outside the box can be useful. Many businesses today hire companies providing services like small business management consulting to improve internal management and operations.

As not all entrepreneurs have the needed educational background to know exactly how the business runs, advice from an experienced and knowledgeable party expert can be useful. If you look at websites offering consulting services, you can find many professionals who can help with specific aspects of your business.

If you are a small business proprietor, hiring the services of a third party may pose a challenge. You may not have enough funds to spend for outside help. This applies even more if you are just getting started with your business. It is a good thing there are business consultancy firms that focus on small businesses. With their expertise and guidance, you can save a good amount of funds and be sure you get specialized counsel.

What kind of Business Consultant Should You Get?

Before getting a company offering small business management consulting, think about the tenure of the company. This can reflect how long they have been practicing their expertise. Most consultants have degrees from prestigious business schools. Some may even be business executives themselves. If you want to make sure about your consultant’s expertise, find one with a consulting company.

Another factor you should think about when looking for a business consulting company is experience. While it is true a degree from a top business school may be impressive, nothing beats firsthand experience. Some successful business executives and entrepreneurs provide consultation on the side.

Business consultancy firms may have a specialized niche of business scale or industry. Some business strategies may work well in defined industries for companies with a certain size. If it is possible, look for a consultant with expertise of at least experience handling a business with the same model as yours.

Look at your consultants’ record of accomplishment. See if their business consulting services were effective in the past. Look for an advisor or consultant with a high success rate. This might be the only thing you need for your business to take off.

One thing you should look into is the kind of field your consultant is in. There are those who are efficient in organizing systems and improving employee productivity while other consultants are better off proposing ideas for expansion and other ways of implementation. Hire a consultant who specializes on the aspect in your business you need improvement on.

Consultants will still refer to other companies. Though this may give a general viewpoint and help you understand your business, there might be cases where there is conflict of interest. They may not be as focused to your case as they are with other clients. Make sure you get a loyal consultant.

Small business management consulting does not reduce the risk of launching your own business. They also do not help eliminate your competitors. The best thing they can do is provide noteworthy counsel. In the end, tough business decisions still depend on you.