Is A Business Consultant Right For You?

Business Consulting Services can help improve the strength of a company by offering a variety of insights and recommendations - but when is the best time for you to hire one, and how do you know what to expect?

For any company, business consulting services can generate a dramatic boost to a company’s strategic value, financial situation, and future roadmap. The services often focus on specific company goals or questions and can assist in boosting a company’s overall performance. Better yet, it is often a much faster option than trying to accomplish similar initiatives with in-house talent or resources.

Consulting service engagements often provide multiple recommendations that an owner or manager can utilize to drive significant change within their organization. Consulting services work best with companies when the two parties are able to collaborate and interact constructively. Overall, business consulting services can help improve the strength of a company by offering industry-specific recommendations, quickly implementing agreed-upon recommendations, and rapidly evaluating project successes against predetermined KPIs.

So, What Are Business Consulting Services?

Business consulting services often vary depending on specific areas of expertise. For example, there are business strategy, HR, operations, and financial advisory consultants that all operate under the umbrella of business consulting services. In general, business consultants spend time rapidly getting to know a company before identifying areas that could use improvement. Consultants often spend time examining and researching a company and interviewing its employees at the onset of the project to properly address the company’s previously proposed needs or questions.

It’s relatively common for boutique business consulting services to specialize in specific skill sets, so it is always best to prepare for the project you are tackling and rely on trusted colleagues and partners to find the top business consulting services that closely match your company's needs. For example, at Exitwise we offer guidance and expertise into the mergers and acquisitions (“M&A”) process in an effort to drive exceptional outcomes for our clients.

Overall, if selected properly consulting services can be a shot of adrenaline into a difficult or complex project, drive significant change within an organization, and help provide a clearer sense of direction for any company willing to partner with the right business consultant. Here’s how it typically works:

1) Examine the Needs and Goals of the Company

Business consulting services assist a company by first becoming familiar with the company’s specific needs and goals. This process allows consultants to get to know the company to better understand unique challenges and opportunities of the company, industry, its employees, and the owner.

2) Find Obstacles Blocking Company Growth

In some situations, a business consulting service allows a company to resolve long-standing obstacles by providing an outside perspective. In addition, consultants should be able to recognize currently implemented strategies or procedures that hinder a company’s ability to grow.

3) Locate Solutions Outside of the Company to Fulfill Such Goals

The business consulting services often search outside of the company to address needs that the current pool of company talent cannot fill. For example, the consultants can identify new technology solutions or valuable partnerships that elevate core elements of the company and its strategic vision.

4) Offer Recommendations to Company

A business consulting service often provides well-designed recommendations within the term provided in the consulting agreement. The recommendations offer companies insight and options designed to bring about improvements based on the previously mentioned goals, challenges, and solutions.

5) Provide Suggestions on How the Company Can Implement Findings

One of the final steps in a successful business consulting agreement is to present the company with a detailed implementation plan - these project deliverables will be the final work product of any successful consulting engagement and should give the company flexibility in how they move forward with the presented suggestions.

Who Should Hire a Business Consultant?

In general, businesses of any size and complexity can stand to benefit from a well-planned business consulting project. A fresh set of eyes and specialized expertise can more easily identify the driving force behind company failures or misaligned strategies. Hiring a business consultant can be viewed as a way to obtain additional assistance when a company cannot resolve a concern or goal on its own in a timely or cost-effective manner.

For How Long Should You Retain a Business Consultant?

For many mid-sized companies, it is common for consultants to work on projects for 3 to 6 months. However, the length of time that a business consultant should be retained depends on the size of the company, the depth of the project requirements, the number of requested resources, and the available budget allocated to the project.

Overall, business consultants work on pre-defined project scopes that are agreed upon within a contract. Before entering into an agreement, examine the anticipated depth, proposed timeline, and credentials of the selected business consultant to ensure alignment and increase the project's likelihood of success. It's also a best practice to hold back payment on fees until the successful completion of any engagement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Business Consultants Have Operational Control?

No. Business consultants should never have operational control of the hiring company. Business consultants are contracted to work with company leadership and project teams to identify, document, and implement change - but, should never be empowered to make unilateral changes or act as an Agent of the company.

What Type of Business Consulting Team Should I Partner With?

When using a business consulting service, the service will often include assistance in terms of addressing goals and troubleshooting problems within the hired company or organization. For example, a business owner considering a sale of his or her business should come to Exitwise.com to help build the best team of industry-specific M&A Experts who focus exclusively on their industry to help maximize their exit.

What do business consultants charge?

Business consultants charge fees that can vary widely depending on the company goals and the length of the project defined in the consulting agreement. For example, certain business consultants charge hourly or monthly, while others will charge based on project success fees or business value contracts. For hourly work, smaller firms can charge between $50 and $250, depending on their experience level and the complexity of the project. More specialized consultants such as management consultants can charge around $500 or more per hour.

Brian Dukes.
Brian Dukes

Brian graduated from Michigan Technological University with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and as Captain of the Men's Basketball Team. After a four-year stint at Deloitte Consulting, Brian returned to school to get his MBA at the University of Michigan. Brian went on to join his first startup, a Ford Motor Company Joint Venture, and cofound a technology and digital marketing services agency. Through those experiences, Brian embraced the opportunity to provide M&A education and support to his fellow business owners as they navigated their own entrepreneurial journeys.

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