To state simply, consulting is sharing of knowledge, wisdom and experience. Business consulting firms exist to provide companies with an outside opinion and fresh insight that can help companies adapt for the future. They posses both broad and specialized skill sets that allow them to assist business owners in a variety of industries and settings. For instance, most of the leading IT companies in the world have consulting groups. They provide technology enabled solutions across various verticals such as financial services, healthcare, telecom and consumer goods and many more. Global Consulting Practice (GCP) owned by TCS, Infosys Consulting, and ETS Group owned by HCL are few major Indian players in this business. Business consultants are not only good at helping those who own and operate established businesses, but can also provide valuable information to those looking to start a new business from the ground up.
Role of a Business Consultant
Understanding the role of a business consultant is imperative to get a good view about the consulting business. A consultant’s role is to identify, analyze and solve client’s problems. Even though it looks simple in words, the job requires lot of skills and expertise. They bring their knowledge, skill set and their domain competence developed over the years to help solve client’s problems. Now anyone can become a consultant. However, what separates a good consultant from a bad consultant is the passion and drive for excellence. The role of business consultant can be different for different companies. Therefore, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what a business consultant can do.
Why Consultants for a Better Business?
While an individual can help one client in any of their specific need, the formation of a business-consulting firm allows it to employ individuals that can meet the any needs of almost any client in need of help. For example, a business-consulting firm could have one employee who specializes in commodity resource management and operations, while another specializes in automotive marketing and sales. Business consulting firms perform three major tasks for clients that differ depending upon the need of each client that approaches the company. These three main services include:
- Helping a business reinvent itself or revamp its image
- Assisting businesses with acquisitions and takeovers of other businesses
- Helping small business develop a business plan
Even though, each of these services requires different approaches, some constants can be found in all three services. These include:
- Getting to know the business
- Assessing problems and highlighting opportunities
- Developing a plan of action
Business consulting firms cannot help their clients unless they get to know everything about their client’s business. After this phase, consultant can use their special knowledge and experience to work and provide an important service, by sharing their wisdom and expertise with the clients.
Engaging a consultant will be an added advantage for any company, especially when it is not feasible to accomplish a particular goal through in-house experts. In many cases, it is cost effective as the client can purchase as much service from the consultant as is necessary to meet the need.