Business consultants serve as professional advisors helping companies in achieving their goals and streamlining various operations viz. sales, finance, IT, supply chain management, marketing, engineering, and human resources to name a few.
Starting a business consulting services firm has could be great fun and surprising, and at times frustrating, but rewarding and fulfilling experience. In this blog post. Below are 10 things you didn’t know about business consulting:
- You won’t have two identical workdays
In business consulting you will seldom have two similar workdays. The broad range of activities which goes into business consulting requires coming up with solutions that are creative and tailor-made on a case-by-case basis for the need of different clients, one would end up with a wide range of day-to-day activities. If you get bored easily, business consulting is definitely the field you should look into. However, if you are more of a structured person requiring a level of routine, it might be not your cup of tea.
- Be ready for tons of responsibilities
You will have tons of responsibilities early on which would translate into an incredible experience in a short span of time. Business consulting is a great option for those looking to beef up their CV but not for the ones who are squeamish about putting in long hours and being available 24/7.
Also, when you are a busy business consultant, it is easier to fall into the trap of working long hours for clients instead of focusing to grow your business. Even if you have worked on an identical project, every new project brings a new set of challenges. You would need to have a plan and set up your own priorities and a schedule with specific deadlines at the inception of each project. Develop and use productivity strategies for monitoring your time. You would also require project management tools for ensuring you deliver on time.
- Access and exposure to senior management
Business consulting will enable you access to senior management to start a business in Thailand and even in a well-established organisation. It’s one of the things most business consultants love about their job—high-level exposure to senior-level management. One-on-one meetings with the C-suite executives are a major perk of this job which other professions may not offer.
- If you play your cards right, you can make a bank.
Business consulting is a very competitive niche, but if one can get in with the top firms, there’s no bar on the pay scale. Firms want to hire and retain the best and the brightest talent available, and they are obviously willing to pay handsomely to get them. As a business consultant, you are offering our expert skills and valuable advice. Like large consulting firms, if you play your cards right, you could charge heftily for your expertise. Know your worth. As a business consultant, you should charge for the problems that you solve and the value you bring to your clients.
- You don’t need to be an MBA
You don’t necessarily need an MBA to be a business consultant—but you would make more bucks if you do. However, you should be wary that not all MBA programs are equal, and if you don’t do your homework, an MBA might end up actually costing you.
- Communication is the key problem
Generally, clients are good at what they’re doing – they know all about their business and industry. Their profession or industry-related work is not why they’re seeking the help of a business consultant. Instead, it is the challenge of managing a growing organisation which creates the problem. Most of the clients are remote-only or remote-first organisations, so lack of communication is a pervasive challenge. Helping a client in solving these such problems doesn’t require you to have in-depth knowledge of their industry. Though, it helps in understanding the mechanics of the client’s business model quickly.
- Deliver the right value, the price point doesn’t matter
It could seem obvious, but particularly when starting newly into business consulting, it is beneficial to resist the temptation of competing by price. If you deliver quality work and value to your clients, you will be able to charge premium rates.
You could charge premium rates as the value you deliver to your client is worth more than what you’re paid for your services. So, eventually, it is a classical ROI calculation. The relation between the cost and the value created is what counts for your clients.
For delivering great results and value, there are a few crucial things:
- Constantly learn and hone your skills and abilities.
- Listen to your client and don’t try to apply a prebuilt model used fr4or other clients, instead stay focused on solving the peculiar problems of your clients and provide them solutions and models as per their needs.
- Especially for smaller organisations, always keep one eye on implementation and the other on adoption.
- The world becomes simpler if you break it down
Business consultants love defining problems and breaking them down. At the start of an assignment, they will spend a lot of time figuring out what the real problem is, and how it could be split up into small subcomponents. If it is profitability, look at the revenues and costs; if it is revenues, look at the sales in the US or Europe; if it is the US, look at price or product quantity; if it is quantity, look at new customers and existing customers; and so, on and so forth.
This approach makes the problem much more tangible and therefore makes it easy for them to find a solution within the limited time and resources. As soon as the problem’s subcomponents are defined, business consultants could work out where the issue lies and what they need to know for figuring out a roadmap.
- If you feel have understood the problem, ask more questions
Humans tend to prematurely jump to conclusions. And in doing so, we find it difficult to see the problem as it is since we try phrasing it as a possible solution at the initial stage.
A similar thing happens when thinking of a probable business solution. This would prevent you as a business consultant from viewing the actual problem as the initial layer of symptoms, you stop digging enough trying to come up with an immediate solution. It is both tremendously hard and necessary to stick to learning longer than you might have intuitively thought. Particularly in the first few projects.
- It’s all about the relationships
Your own success primarily depends on the quality of relationships you have with your clients. And while it makes it more difficult to scale a business consulting firm than a product business, it’s also one of the most rewarding parts of what a business consultant does.
A business consultant loves working with clients, helping them in finding scalable and sustainable solutions to their business problems. A business consultant finds most satisfaction seeing the adoption of his solutions which deliver great results. Also, a good business consultant stays in contact with their clients even after completing the assignment. When you’re in any service industry, the people are what really matters. Honestly care about your clienteles, and you would be a successful business consultant.