Business Consultants explained
Business consulting is bigger business than you might think. On a global scale, spend amounts total around $250 billion, of which more than $58 billion is spent in the US. You will find business consulting in every sector and every business sphere.
Effectively, consultants are advisors to those in need. A business might know it wants to get from A to B but has failed in its many attempts. Cue, a consultant specializing in strategy. Business consultants work directly with businesses to develop a plan, identify marketing needs and develop a strategy to increase lead generation and promote brand awareness.
But that doesn’t mean that business owners who hire consultants are bad at their jobs. The reality is that consultants are often called in to lend a fresh perspective on a common problem or when they are known to have solved similar problems for companies in the past.
At Take the Stairs, we focus on both marketing consulting & operations consulting at a strategy and tactical level. We help businesses to reach more clients and improve their profitability. If this sounds like the kind of assistance your business could use, why not give us a call at (615) 219-9181?
Identify the problem(s)
Whatever problem or challenge it is that your small business suffers from, a business consultant will need to understand the ins and outs, in order to fulfill their brief. From their past experience across industries, they will identify problems through their research into your business, the market and the target audience. They may visit you in your office premises and choose to meet various members of the staff and your management team. The business problem is often hard to grasp and can take several meetings to uncover.
It’s important to be patient and try to think as honestly and thoughtfully as possible about the goals of your business before engaging with a consultant. At the end of the day, the problem is whatever is keeping you from reaching your goals. Common problems are often a lack of time to complete new work and a need for more sales to keep operations running. No matter the problem a business management consultancy like Take the Stairs can set you on a new path to success.
Develop a solution
Have you ever heard the phrase, identifying the problem is the first step to success? Well developing a solution is always step number two.
Once the problem has been properly vetted and identified it’s time to start deciding what activities, processes, tools, and even employees might be affecting the problem at hand. It’s the job of the consultant to come up with an educated plan of attack that will work to solve the defined problem and create a path towards reaching the client’s goals.
It’s important that the consultant presents the plan to the client before implementation as both parties must agree upon the scope of the solution and the potential positive and negative consequences of each solution. Once agree upon the consultant works to develop a plan for implementation.
Implement the solution
While some consultants only come into your business to diagnose the problem before leaving, most take on a new project with the full intention of implementing the improvements they propose. At Take the Stairs, we believe in working the solution through with the team involved, so that any bumps in the road can be experienced by both parties, and worked through together.
A realistic plan is developed around the actions that the collective team must complete overtime to work towards the defined goal. All actions must be tangible. For example, if the goal is to bring in more sales. The activity can’t be defined merely as business development. It must be, we will attend 3 health care industry conferences in Q1. It’s best if you can attach milestone goals to your activities. In our 3 health care conferences we are looking to make 25 new business contacts and close 4 new deals by the end of Q2.
Once activities have been completed, you must review the data to determine if the activities you completed reached your ended milestone goals.
Measure and adapt
The measurement of any activity is absolutely critical. If you don’t measure what you’ve done, how do you know if you’ve succeeded? While it’s great to have an idea in mind of what success looks like, metrics are not vulnerable to personal subjectivity or an executive’s whim. At Take the Stairs, we apply key performance indicator (KPI) metrics to every piece of activity, research or promotion that we put in place. These might take the form of return on investment (ROI), cost per sale, cost per lead or conversion rate (among many others). Once the action is complete, we measure the reality against our KPIs, and depending on the outcomes, we adapt the activity and go again.
Regardless of the defined metrics, it’s important to set ongoing time to evaluate them. Not only if the numbers are in line with what your goals are before completion, but are your metrics the right ones? The goal here is constant review and communication.
Rinse, Wash, and Repeat. Your job of evaluating your plan, progress and goals is never over. Continue to evaluate and discuss your progress to find the best possible results for your business.