Companies want knowledge and to manage risks. A good idea can be worth $1 million and more. That’s why companies hire thought leaders.
It’s also why you see many consultants position themselves as thought leaders and give away free information in how-to articles or studies, which lead to books, seminars and being quoted in the media.
Successful consultants know that’s the road to take — to become an in-demand consultant by companies and in the public sector.
In managing change, many businesses have unique challenges that are not easily solved. Such special projects typically require exceptional talents by outside participants accustomed to delivering high performance.
Challenges include but aren’t limited to the following:
Branding, financial turnarounds, globalization, marketplace competition, organization change, people skills, public affairs and policy, regulatory issues, taxes, technology, socioeconomic concerns, strategic planning, and white papers.
The trick is to hire the right consultant to help you improve your company.
Hiring an information technology consultant can be costly in time and money, if the wrong consultant is retained. Due diligence is required. Sophisticated tech vendors and consultants of all sizes have been known for cost over-runs. (See the six tips to save time and money by hiring the right tech consultant.)
More on the reasons why companies hire consultants:
Lack of staffing — Whether the cause is downsizing or explosive growth, consultants can provide hybrid management services for short to medium-term staffing. That saves time and money.
Expertise — When companies have serious challenges, such as strategic planning or operational issues, they hire consultants.
Sometimes it’s for company political reasons.
A CEO can tell the board the right management consultant was hired to provide the needed expertise to save the company time and money while increasing revenue.
In managing change, many businesses have unique challenges that are not easily solved.
Objectivity — Companies might need objectivity to help solve issues and to execute strategies. That’s really true if the companies’ employees don’t have the necessary knowledge and skillsets for an accurate perspective of the big picture.
Company employees are too close to the problems.
A fresh perspective is usually needed because employees develop habits and routines, which means they don’t critically view issues requiring analysis, improvement and measurement.
Time and cost savings — In saving the company time, consultants’ services will accelerate the improvement process resulting in cost savings for the short term.
Savings are extended long term if the consultants are retained to provide training for the necessary knowledge and skills.
The company must be able to incorporate and maintain the recommended changes. In this way, the companies’ human capital become even more valuable as assets.
Confidentiality — Many times, confidentiality is needed for sensitive situations. By turning to outside participants, the companies benefit from confidentiality.
From the Coach’s Corner, here are key strategies for consultants:
Consultants – 5 Strategies to Build Trust with Clients — The five strategies that enhance relationships between consultants and clients.
Performance Gap Solutions for Consultants in Income and Image — How’s business? Is it time for a little biz coaching? If there’s a disparity between your income goals and your current financial situation, it would appear that you have a performance-gap issue.
Consultants – Helping Clients Deal with an Emotional Crisis — No matter what kind of a consulting practice you have, it’s sometimes necessary to help clients deal emotionally with a business crisis. If you’re a management consultant and you’ve branded yourself well, the clients see you as a trusted confidante and visionary. The key is to deliver on your image.
Consultants / Service Firms: Why Hourly Billing Isn’t Best — One of the first lessons I learned in business-performance consulting was to sell results, not my time. During the tail end of the 1990 recession, I had purchased a five-year-old print-marketing firm. Quickly, I realized I was overlooking opportunities for growth.
Your Dream is to be a Consultant? Here’s How to Develop Your Vision Plan — So you’ve got the entrepreneurial bug. You have nothing against your boss, but it’s time for you to run the show. Here’s how to develop a vision plan.
“Change is certain. Progress is not.”
– E.H. Carr