The decision to hire a business consultant may not seem like an easy one to make. However, once a business owner learns what they can expect from a business consultant, many realize the decision is actually easier than they thought.
Whether your business is struggling and in need of serious help or you’re healthy and established but want to think of new ways to keep growing, hiring a business consultant is for you.
Aaron Eichler of Minnetonka, Minnesota, has provided advice for company owners and business managers for the past twenty-five years and currently as the founder and Managing Partner of Strategic Consulting. During this time, he has worked with myriad businesses assisting them with strategy, new business development, financing optimization and operational improvement.
He describes exactly what business owners can expect when they hire a business consultant, from knowledge about your specific business to acting as a guiding hand rather than a boss.
Expertise in Your Industry
First and foremost, Aaron Eichler claims that when you hire a business consultant, you can expect them to have experience in your industry or business. Many management consulting firms, especially the larger ones, have been in business for so long that they have team members who have worked in nearly every industry in America. So, if you go with a big firm, they will be sending you someone who knows the ins and outs of your industry.
Alternatively, there are also many smaller consulting firms that specialize in specific industries. If this is the route you choose to go, do some research in advance and hire someone from a smaller firm that specializes in your particular business.
No matter what, consultants come with expertise, which means they’ll have a much greater chance of helping your business succeed.
Knowledge About Your Specific Business
In addition to having expertise in the industry your business is in, Aaron Eichler asserts that business consultants should also have knowledge about your specific company. It is up to the business consultant to conduct their own research into your company, reviewing your brand’s website, social media pages, and overall presence.
In addition, consultants will often have informal discussions with you and your team and will also conduct various assessments. Based on the research, conversations, and assessments, a good business consultant should analyze this information and come up with a list of your company’s strengths and weaknesses. From there, the consultant can make some preliminary recommendations regarding growth strategies.
Aaron Eichler states that the above process is what you can expect from your business consultant as the relationship officially begins. Any business consultant you hire should always be kicking things off by discussing everything they’ve learned about your company and how what they’ve learned has informed their proposed growth strategies.
A Guide, Not a Boss
When you hire a business consultant, you can expect them to act as a guide rather than a boss. A good business consultant will guide you and your leaders to make the right decisions rather than simply telling them what to do. This not only makes for a more positive work environment, but it will help your leaders learn more, which means they will know what to do and how to do it long after the consultant has left.
It is the job of the consultant to come up with growth strategies that are specific to your industry but also to your company and the leaders in it. That is why understanding the personal strengths of the management team and knowing when to push and when to stay silent is important. Business consultants should always guide businesses to make the best decisions for their company without pressuring or bullying anyone into going along with something they’re not entirely comfortable with.
Ultimately, a good business consultant should be able to bring out the leadership skills in your senior management team instead of only as a leader themselves.
A Quality Plan
According to Aaron Eichler, one thing you can always count on when hiring a business consultant is to receive a quality plan. Consultants are experts at evaluating your business, as well as the wider market, and coming up with a plan of action. Eichler shares that any plan of quality should include concrete, measurable goals that can be easily monitored by all those involved.
One of the main purposes of a business consultant is to help businesses achieve success and the way to do this is by creating barometers for success that can be measured tangibly. Examples of goals could be reaching a specific sales target or growing your customer base by a specific number of people.
Aaron Eichler on Quantifiable Results
One of the main jobs of business consulting firms is to deliver quantifiable results to a company. What do quantifiable results translate to? Higher revenue growth and/or increased profitability, shares Aaron Eichler. A primary role of a strategic business consultant is to effectively position your company to increase its revenue. Additionally, a management consultant may offer advice on how a business may improve profit margins, regardless of revenues.
While it can take time, an increase in revenue growth is one of the greatest perks of working with a business consultant. However, Aaron Eichler notes that the degree to which your revenue grows does depend on your company’s willingness to go along with the strategies proposed by the consultant and to keep up some of the practices that the consultant helps implement in your business.