Management consultants are business consultants that specialise in providing companies and start-ups with expertise in setup and development, operations, finance, economics, market analysis, marketing, and branding. Effective management consultancy requires forward thinking tempered by pragmatism and real world business experience.
The modern business requires reliable feasibility appraisal and multi-disciplinary consultation and solutions. Management consultation can range from one consultant donning many hats in a small scenario to a diverse team in a large one. The difference between a management consultant and any other form of business expert is the focus on developing strategies and fine-tuning them both for the needs of the business and the individual needs of the team.
What is Management Consulting?
A cornerstone of management consultation is the preparation and delivery of business planning services. These services are wide-ranging and often combine expertise in a number of areas into a singular solution for the business that requires impartial, realistic, and market-focused advice. The services can range from providing for the needs of a small business start-up to meeting the requirements of a global company expanding into a new market. Common business planning services include feasibility studies, financial planning, market analysis, options appraisal, operational planning, and due diligence.
Post planning the consultants work with the business to put the plan into action and meet goals. This means working closely alongside the management team and filling a host of roles not limited to writer, speaker, trainer, analyzer, and client liaison. Another important aspect of the consultant’s role at this stage is the evolution of the plan as the business adapts to unforeseen circumstances, such as changes in the market.
High-level management consultants generally specialize in one form of industry, such as environmental, manufacturing, or finance. This field is usually the one in which they earned their expertise. In addition to this extensive personal experience, they usually have a background in business administration, business finance, and personnel management. Independent contractors tend to be jacks-of-all-trades while members of consulting teams are often highly specialized.
Their primary responsibilities include determining the risk levels of business ventures and making educated projections concerning the long-term benefit of policies and practices. They also have the skills needed to implement the necessary changes. This often involves providing written material and the direct participation in training and education of the business’ employees on the new practices and procedures. However, a skilled management consultant’s greatest asset to a business is often his or her fresh and unique perspective coupled with the honesty that the business cannot always obtain from traditional employees.