Management Consulting: What it is & what it can do for your Business

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There comes a point in every business when the owner realizes they need advice and when they wonders, “Should I hire a consultant?”.  The answer is “It depends …”!  

Whether you’re starting a new company or growing an existing business, hiring the right consultant can be a cost-effective way for your small business to leverage specialized knowledge. So, let’s dive right in and see if hiring a business consultant is the right decision for you! 

What is management Management Consulting?

Consulting is the business of providing expert advice to a specific group of people. The definition is that simple. In practice, however, there are many types of consulting services, and you need to select the one that applies to the needs of your business. 

Management consultants work in five major areas: Management, Operations, HR, IT and Marketing. Consultants help companies by assessing their weaknesses  and recommending solutions based on their specialized knowledge and experience. For many companies, it doesn’t make sense to hire a full-time person if there’s only a short-term need. Business Consultants can fill that need in a more cost-effective way than a permanent employee. 

While many Consultants focus on one area of specific expertise, Management Consultants are focused on helping leadership of an organization improve overall performance and operations. Management Consultants are often engaging with C-Suite level executives and working on complex issues. 

Some Consulting firms focus on a single industry like Healthcare, IT or Marketing, while others take a broad approach or focus on a handful of business issues, like employee engagement or regulatory compliance.  

What does a Management Consultant do?

Management Consultants help organizations solve problems, improve business performance, create value and maximize growth. They identify solutions for business troubles and make suggestions for changes to implement. To achieve these goals, the Consultant may recommend a variety of strategies to alter the organization’s structure or operation methods, in ways that result in increased profits, better systems, and improved efficiency. Here are some of the responsibilities of a management consultant: 

Learn about the client’s business challenges, operating procedures, computer systems &  technologies to understand their business needs; interview company personnel. 
Review and analyze internal client company data such as financial information, operations & performance data, payroll information, or other data. 
Set goals and Outline the scope of work. 
Identify and map out schedules, milestones, and required resources to meet the project objectives. 
Determine and communicate the work product or results that will be delivered to the client upon project completion. 
Develop and carry out Change Management and project update communications to the company’s senior stakeholders, company staff, and internal and external project teams. 
Conduct required trainings for employees at a variety of levels. 
Provide feedback to company management. 
Work tactfully to inspire faster adoption to the change, greater utilization, and higher proficiency by employees regarding new ways of operating as a result of the consulting project outcomes. 
Meet with client to ensure the provided solution is working. 

Who can benefit from Management Consulting?

Despite the benefits of Business Consulting Services, some Business Owners may be wary of engaging them. Researcher Lance Lindon has complained that Consultants “would borrow our watch to tell us what time it is.” That is, some Business Owners may feel that consultants cannot tell them anything that they don’t already know. Other Business Owners and Managers may reject Consultants out of a discomfort with sharing the business’s problems and insights with an outsider.

However, both concerns can be alleviated by choosing the right consultant for your business, one whose expertise will make a real difference to your firm’s growth. Here are some key areas where you can benefit from management Management Consulting Services:

Expertise – There are times when the skills needed for growth are not available inside the company. The main values of Consultants include their knowledge, expert skills, and influence. Because Consultants work with a variety of businesses, they may have a much broader and deeper knowledge of business trends, industry challenges, and new technologies and processes, than internal employees.

Saving Time & Resources – The experience of Consultants means that they know best practices already. For example, a lean Lean Consultant can look at a client’s manufacturing process and very quickly identify inefficiencies. With a Consultant, there is no need for business Business Owners to reinvent the wheel or lose valuable time to something that can be completed by an expert contractor.

Cost Savings – When you hire a consultant, you pay only for the services that you need, when you need them. This can provide substantial savings over hiring a salaried employee, with the same level of expertise, to complete similar tasks.

Further, consultants in multiple areas—lean manufacturing, proactive funding, financial planning, etc. — can identify areas where you are currently spending more than you need to, and help you cut costs. The ROI (return on investment) of the money you spend on Consulting Services is therefore often significant.

Unbiased opinions – When conflicts or problems arise, it’s good to get an impartial opinion. Business Consultants, being experts on strategies, can add perspective that might be missing with stakeholder too close to a problem. They can help think things through, navigate internal politics, get down to the root causes of the problems – and offer sensible solutions.

Creating a Roadmap – Strategic planning is one of the key services provided by Management Consultants, and it essential especially for Start-Ups. Strategizing is the key for any Business, but it’s especially crucial for Start-Ups. Most Start-Ups don’t have a concrete roadmap or even objectives to begin things, hence this remains one of the major hurdles for a Start-Up rolling out. A Start-Up Consultant will put in place a strategic plan and create a roadmap for your business – and also helps to make adjustment if needed due to the dynamics.

How much does a Management Consultant cost?

Small Business Consultants offer many different skillsets. They provide Accountancy, Bookkeeping, Marketing, Security, and Technology expertise. Upwork’s average hourly rate for business consultants ranges from about 25€ to 200€ an hour for staff level Consultants. Management Consultants who provide Strategic Consulting Services to the Executive Tteam will cost more. These services are generally billed at a monthly rate with contracts running 6 to 12 months.

High-level Consultants usually charge per project due to the demands of the job that includes strategic planning and management advisory.

The rate is determined by estimating how much time will be spent on a project. This can range from 4.000€/month to 100.000€+ depending on the complexity and challenges of your project.

A good way to determine the right budget for hiring a Consultant is to set it as a fixed percentage of your total costs and/or sales. For example, if your monthly sales are 10,000€, it is not wise to pay 5,000€ per month to a Consultant. On the other hand, if your monthly sales are 200,000€, and you want that number to grow to 500,000€, then 5,000€ per month for a 6-month contract with a Consultant sounds a lot more reasonable.

Here is the good news, though. The advantage is that you only pay for services when you need them, there are less formalities and more convenience!

Along with the increase of Digital Business Models that offer digitalized services, came also new, more affordable ways of benefiting from Business Consulting Services, like our programs, which are tailored specifically to small businesses and sole traders who cannot invest thousands in hiring a Consultant. Here are some of your benefits, if you decide to opt for an online program like the ones we offer:

Benefit from Consulting & Coaching to enable strategic decision making, increase of operational efficiency & performance, people management as well as learn how to better balance your personal life and your business duties and how to regain clarity & confidence.

Areas we cover: Digital Business Transformation in terms of digital Product or Service Development, Social Media Marketing & Content Creation, Change Management , Process Improvement, Leadership & People Management , Work Organization Improvement vs. Personal Wellbeing and altogether , How to work smarter – not harder!

Chose between online programs, that you can enjoy and follow at your own pace., or, get a 1:1 business consultant & coach if you prefer to work in a personal and exclusive live environment on a business & life related topic. If you feel that your topic needs a distinct approach, special attention and focused guidance click here to learn more!

We help you push to achieve your greatest goals and meet your personal or your organization’s specific needs. With our coaching in combination with consulting you will become clear to reflect on options and solutions in order to be able to decide and take actions that bring you forward. On top, you will get the “know how” you are looking for, in order to experience greater success. Click here to learn more about us!

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