Everyone is familiar with the concept of a business consultant, but not everyone is clear on what a business consultant does. Most people believe that business consultants are “outsiders” who come in to give your company advice on areas the company needs assistance. This is correct, but there’s so much more to what a business consultant does.
A business consultant can also be considered a business advisor. They are hired to help a business by giving them advice — they assess business weaknesses and then recommend solutions.
Business consultants tend to specialize in one area. For example, a business consultant working for hospitals or other healthcare services must be knowledgeable about health systems and budgeting. In contrast, a business consultant who consults for the restaurant industry must know things such as food costs, labour rights, and restaurant marketing.
These are the main areas a business consultant provides a business with advice in:
- Human Resources
- Risk Management
Business consultants are trained to help you identify your marketing needs and work with you to develop a strategy that increases potential customers’ awareness of your company, as well as their interest in doing business with you.
Business advisors can help you with:
- Picking the right marketing techniques to increase your brand recognition. They don’t pick techniques just because they’re hot and trendy – they work to find the right marketing technique for your business.
- Designing strategies to help ensure sales and marketing success.
- Compiling sales reports.
- Learning about the latest trends in online marketing.
Another area that business advisors can help you with is helping you hire and retain qualified candidates. Finding the right candidates is key, but it’s time-consuming and expensive to have high staff turnover. A business consultant will help you with all of the following:
- Designing efficient hiring and training practices
- Ensuring your employees have access to the necessary tools and support they need to do their jobs well
- Keeping your staff motivated and loyal, which has benefits in numerous areas from keeping costs lower to better client relations
Another huge thing that all successful businesses must deal with properly is risk management. Business consultants can help you plan for 5 major kinds of risks:
This is the risk that your company may fail due to a decision your directors make about your company’s objectives. Strategic risks can come from a variety of sources: anything from a new competitor to a change in customer demand is a risk. They can help you plan for these kinds of risks and what to do if you encounter them.
It’s essential that your company is in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. If your company expands to a new location (e.g. Europe), you must comply with all the new rules that apply to it. This includes everything from labelling rules to accounting and tax rules.
Dealing with new regulatory requirements could end up being expensive for your company. They can help you plan for how to deal with these risks – from what it may cost to how to make sure you comply.
An operational risk occurs when something goes wrong during your day to day operations. It could be human error, e.g. someone writes the wrong amount on a check and overpays a supplier. Or, it could be a technical issue, like one or more of your servers going down.
A business consultant can help you plan for these risks and determine the best way to mitigate them – whether it’s a process in place for double-checking every cheque that is written or having regularly scheduled maintenance on your servers.
This refers to all of the money flowing both in and out of your business, as well as the risk of a substantial financial loss. An excellent example of this would be the recent pandemic: businesses had to shut down without warning. And while the government did step in to help, it took time to access that financial assistance. Planning to mitigate financial risk can make all the difference between your business surviving and it going under.
This can happen when your reputation is damaged: for example, if you have a data breach. This will make current and potential customers less interested in doing business with you. It can also impact your employees, and you can even end up dealing with lawsuits or product recalls. A consultant can help you plan for how to recover from this if it does happen.
A business advisor can help you in several ways with all the financial aspects of your company by:
- Setting measurable goals for your business finances
- Identifying potential funding or loans you may be eligible for
- Reviewing your current accounting and budgeting practices and then making recommendations for improvement
- Establishing tools and processes to help sustain business growth
- Helping you access and analyze data to make sound business decisions
A business consultant can be a key person to help you better understand your company’s financial state and how you can help your company grow.
What can a business consultant do for you?
Business consultants are here to help you and your business. Business advisors can help you decrease risk and improve sustainability, and work with you to ensure long-term success. They can give you the information and tools you need to make you one of your industry’s key players.
To learn more about what a business consultant does, call startMyplan at +1-888-831-6716 or contact us here.