ARTICLE - HOW CAN A CONSULTANT KNOW MORE ABOUT MY BUSINESS THAN ME?

Posted May 8, 2019 3:22:41 PM

Belinda Watson, finance director at Auxesia, outlines some common misconceptions about hiring management consultants and how they can help improve your bottom line.  

It is often the case that senior figures and decision-makers within a business, particularly those who have been there a long time or were involved with setting the business up, will feel they know their organisation inside and out.

They are absolutely right, they do! However, this can also the problem. Because they know the history of the business, are heavily involved in the day-to-day goings on and have personal relationships with staff – naturally, their perspective is highly subjective. I can’t stress enough that this is in no way a criticism, it’s human nature and would be almost impossible to know a company so well and be truly objective.

That’s just one of many reasons why a management consultant can be helpful. A good consultant will never claim to know your business as well as you do, instead, they’ll take time to understand what the company does, how it works, what the processes are and what the competitive market looks like, in order to get a full and in-depth understanding. They won’t just look at the present either, they’ll consider external influences such as market and industry trends and approaching political, legal and environmental factors that may affect your business.

Most importantly, a business consultant can be seen as a ‘critical friend’, with the ability to view things as they really are. By being on the outside looking in they are in a position to determine where issues lie, without bias, and advise on how progress can be made to improve internal processes, business efficiencies and so on.

When hiring a consultant it is imperative to choose the right fit for your business. Although many skills are transferrable and it isn’t necessary for them to have worked for a competitor or in your market specifically, it is important to choose the right skill set and relevant experience.

A good management consultancy won’t have a ‘one size fits all’ approach either, sending the same advisor or group of advisors to every client. Instead, they will have a network of specialists and business professionals who represent individual business areas or activities, each with specific knowledge and experience to tap into. This ensures you benefit from real-world knowledge and can access expertise across many functions and sectors, plugging gaps and supplementing your own knowledge.

As the saying goes, no one is a master of all trades. That’s why it is important to choose a business consultancy with the skills and resources to stand back and assess your company overall, pinpoint areas of improvement, select the most suitable expert to assist with those gaps and for that expert to become your trusted partner, the one to hone in on the gaps and make suggestions for improvements. 

A common misconception is that as soon as a project is initiated by a consultant, an invoice is sent, you receive a thesis-worthy report with a long list of suggestions, some rather grand, and you never hear from them again. Certainly for us this is simply not the case, and not what you’ll find with a good consultant. A good consultant will help you every step of the way, make suggestions, help you implement them and then review progress, to a point where you are satisfied and the success of a project is evident, measurable and of value.

Douglas-based business and management consultancy Auxesia helps businesses to grow and flourish. Its panel of highly qualified experts can help companies at all stages of development, to find those incremental changes in performance which ultimately add up to a profound improvement in success.

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