While the specific tasks of a business consultant depend on his job role, his core responsibility remains the same: Assess weaknesses and recommend solutions.
Whether you’re a veteran entrepreneur or a startup company, it makes sense to have an outsider’s perspective to assess any weakness and gap in your business, and then recommend solutions to address them. This is where the role of business consultants comes into play.
In a nutshell, a business consultant is responsible for improving your company’s operation by pointing out its weaknesses to create long-term solutions. They are generally involved in a specific department or operation like marketing, general management, finance, human resource, purchase, etc.
Oftentimes, business consultants are independent contractors who handle multiple clients, although they can also work as an in-house employee. Regardless of their work arrangement, they provide valuable information and guidance that will benefit the upper management in making their operation more cost-effective, productive, and competitive.
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Most business consultants are independent professionals who possess a specific set of knowledge and skills to improve business operation, especially during “disruptive events” like rising local and global competition, the advent of new technology, and public health crisis (e.g., COVID-19 pandemic).
While almost all industries can benefit from hiring a business consultant, the practice is most common in the following sectors:
(Note: Some consultants also work for government agencies handling defense, environment, and criminal justice.)
Business Consultant's Responsibilities
The list below explains the “general” responsibilities of a business consultant. Depending on the nature of the industry he works in, he may provide other services not included on the list.
A business consultant with valuable knowledge and experience is one of the most significant investments you can make in today’s cutthroat, saturated market.
Nowadays, most business consultant work as independent contractors; thus, they are paid based on the project completed rather than on an hourly basis.
Because business consultants have a more objective insight, the management is most likely receptive to their critiques. Also, their unique position makes it easier for them to be meritocratic; thus, their recommendations occasionally lead to “positive” disruption such as promoting high-performing employees, demoting inept ones, or even trimming staff to address redundancy and ballooning overhead cost.
Contrary to popular belief, hiring a business consultant is not just for startups and growth companies. Some old iconic brands also need an “outsider’s perspective” to make sure that they continuously adapt to the changing business landscape and the shifting customer sentiment and behavior, especially during “disruptive events.”
Some well-established companies just chug along and rely on their products and services that have allowed them to stay afloat for decades. However, this complacent mentality has caused the death of iconic brands such as Toys R Us, Blockbuster, Nokia, Compaq, and Tower Records.
Valuable Knowledge and Resource
The core responsibility of all business consultants is to ensure that the business stays relevant. This means that your product and service should adapt to people’s growing and changing needs, lest other companies will fill in the gap and make you “obsolete” in the market.
To put this in perspective, in the early 2000s Lego was in huge debt, with sales down by 30% due to growing competition from other toymakers. But in 2004, the family-owned company hired an “outsider” from management firm McKinsey & Company who made the greatest revival in corporate history.
Vig Knudstorp has prevented the iconic Danish toymaker from becoming a history through these drastic, disruptive measures:
Types of Business Consultants
The list below shows the most common types of business consultants.
What LOJO Can Offer
At LOJO, we can help your company remain competitive and efficient through a wide range of services that include payroll and bookkeeping services, IT solutions, management, digital marketing, etc. Read our business consulting services to know more about how we can help you.
We also offer a free 30-minute business counseling session to our clients. Contact lojomarketing.com or call us at (916) 303-4080.