How a Consultant Can Help in Improving the Performance of a Business

A key contribution to a third party consultant is the ability to draw upon divergent experience affecting change.
Entrepreneurial small businesses and corporations alike often hire the services of third party consultants for improving the performance of their businesses.

This could be a challenging decision for a business because employees often consider this a warning of upcoming change and impacts to the business model they are accustomed to. However, consultants offer value through analyzing the state of a business, creating a management by fact approach, and alleviating any emotional investments in the business.  Therefore, the value creation/generation of an outside consult rests in their ability to derive a fact-based strategy to implement change and enhance profitability.

Given the change this will create, and the invariable hardships to adoption to change, one may ask if the value creation outweighs the hard dollar cost.  To answer this question, please consider the following:

Operational leverage for change

A key contribution to a third party consultant is the ability to draw upon divergent experience affecting change.  Through this history of change management, a principal consultant may navigate this complex situation to create a desired business outcome.  Due to their nature as an outside entity, the consultant is removed from the undertones of the company culture, and aims to maximize the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) agreed upon.

Resolving cross-departmental conflicts

Organizations often fail to address the issues pertaining to the conflicts between two separate functions or departments. Such communication lapses or conflicts may lead to serious operational risks, which could deteriorate product output and the customer experience. As a consultant is not a formal employee, they may traverse the issue in a more sterile environment focusing only on the data surrounding the issue.  This management by fact approach can set the foundation for other consensus building activities by the management team, but with a strong foundation on data and analytics.

Methodical and systematic analysis

The value of a consultant rests in the ability to understand a methodology of problem solving, rather than the particular industry knowledge.  A consultant is not usually a “super user” of a particular platform or software a firm may use, but rather an asset that can see the strategic direction of the firm and determine where and how to break the components into smaller more manageable issues to solve. This value-add experience with various management environments is what creates the framework for the company employing their services. Furthermore, they take a methodical approach to their analysis, which ensures that the problems are approached in an orderly and productive fashion.

Unbiased and focused problem solving

One of the greatest advantages of third party consultants is that they offer you a fresh perspective and unbiased fact based reporting on the business. The ability to follow a prescribed strategy coupled with a problem solving methodology as well as the history of implementation in previous firms provides the benchmark for success.  

Furthermore, a consultant will often request a letter of services rendered.  Their ability to remain unbiased, and data-centric in their approach directly impacts their ability to gain an additional long-term client as well as potential future clients through vendor recommendations.  

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