Why Consulting? Step by Step Business Consulting Objectives

The traditional consulting approach is to look at the process of consulting as series of phases. Like it usually involves, approach, agreement, identification, collection of data, feedback, results, and implementation.

Business consultant works with number of clients, consulting on different aspects with an intention of improving, growing, or maintaining a business.

Which Businesses Require Consultants?

Almost all types of businesses can take benefits of consultants. But, some of the businesses experience the most remarkable benefits.

  • New startup businesses can have the expertise of consultants to get a proper planning and have a solid beginning
  • Running businesses can have the expertise of consultants to take advantage of fresh ideas and views
  • Businesses launching new campaigns can have the expertise of consultant for better research, planning and reach
  • Businesses that looking for growth, can have the expertise of consultant to take an advantage of their strategic skill set
  • Businesses that are unable to meet their financial targets can have the expertise of consultant for better financial planning
  • Businesses that are going for adding a new department can have the expertise of consultant for better planning, structuring and staffing of the department
  • Businesses that are unable to meet their sales targets can have the expertise of consultant for better pitching and sale strategies
Which Businesses Require Consultants?

Step by Step Business Consulting Objectives

It is important to consider the purpose of the study in analyzing its process. Clarity about goals and objectives to achieve has a positive impact on client’s success.

There are basic eight step by step objectives of consulting;

1. Deliver necessary information to clients

The main purpose of getting assistance of a consultant is to get the necessary information by consulting them. Information consists of surveys, analysis, feasibility reports, market surveys, competitive analysis, and many others.

Businesses are look for consultant’s information, skills, knowledge, and expertise. Businesses are usually unable to develop information internally, because of limited time and resources. That is why they look for acquiring external services of a consultant.

But information is all businesses want. Sometimes there are differences and gaps between what businesses want and what consultants provide.

Consultants need to understand what business demand from them and satisfy their clients by providing them their desired information.

2. Providing solutions to client’s problems

Consultant’s job is never easy. Businesses often acquire consultant’s service for difficult tasks. Like, they might hire a consultant to;

  • Suggest them whether to invest, divest, in a line of business,
  • Produce or buy a new component,
  • Ask for a training to adapt for changes in organization,
  • Which sales and marketing strategy to adopt for better profitability,
  • Which financial strategies to adopt,
  • How to manage people?

Oftenly, client seek help for defining the real problem, and identifying the root cause of the problems. Alternatively, businesses don’t need consultants if they already identify answer to these questions by themselves.

Consultant’s need to identify the problem and its root cause, for that purpose they can ask;

  • Have you encountered the similar problem in the past?
  • Which solutions you opted for this problem?
  • What were the results of the solution?
  • What un-attempted solutions or steps do client have in mind for the problem?
  • Which particular part of business is not doing well?
  • How solutions will be implemented?
  • Will the solutions whatever it may be, be acceptable in the organization?

Consultant shouldn’t accept or reject the initially provided client’s information regarding problem.

The consultant who quickly accepts the client’s offer might spend a lot of time in studying the symptoms of the problem rather than reaching to the root cause of it.

On the other hand, consultant who quickly rejects the client’s offer might miss out on a useful consulting project.

Client might not be comfortable initially to discuss the problem with an outsider. This may cause difficulty in identifying the real problem and its root cause. Client might be aware of it, but he will hide it as caution.

So, it is better for both to sit, discuss and work together.

3. Identifying the problems

Many of the business consultants job is to diagnose the problem. The right diagnosis is very important, but sometimes it creates a tension between client and the manager relationship. Because managers are fearful to uncover unsuccessful things for which they can be blamed.

Consultants are required to examine internal and external environment of the business. They need to inspect the technologies, systems and processes used by the organization. Consultant must inspect why managers took certain steps and decisions.

Outside consultation helps in independent diagnosis of the problem and identification of its root cause. It helps in involving more and more employees of Client Company and making diagnostic process effective and efficient.

When client and its employees are more involved in diagnostic process, they will admit their role. They will also help and show acceptance in redefining the consultant’s objectives.

Many organizations make consultant-client task force, to work on diagnosis of the problems. They eventually start taking actions without waiting for recommendations.

4. Recommend solutions against problems identified

After identifying the problems, consultants are required to prepare a document in the form of written report or oral presentations. This document outlines what consultant has assessed, and gives recommendations to the client.

Firms put a lot of efforts in designing and summarizing their reports. So the information and analysis conducted are stored, and recommendations must match with the identified problems. The consultant’s job is to present the recommendations.

There are number of reports submitted, prepared after spending huge money, but they failed to make any impact. It is because of limitations that lied outside of the consultant’s jurisdiction, and ultimately irrelevant recommendations that can’t be applied.

Sometimes consultant’s reports ends up as a part of bookshelf with other reports. This type of things happens in all sorts of countries more oftenly and consultant-client ends up blaming each other.

5. Help in implementing recommended solutions

Consultant’s role in implementation of solutions is debatable. Some people argue that consultant is the one who helps in identifying the problem and put forward recommendations. So, it exceeds his/ her role as a manager and breaks his/ her boundaries.

While some argue that implementing the solutions is client’s responsibility. Solutions that are not implemented are waste of money and time and lacking of a professional attitude.

Clients can participate in consultant job similarly consultant can also help managers in implementing solutions without reducing each other role.

Consultants can ask for second engagement to assist in implementing solutions, but it up to manager to accept or reject. Implementing solutions requires cooperation and trust between client and consultant.

Consultant must assess throughout the process that which solutions organization will be ready to implement. Similarly, consultant must assess that whether employees are ready to their jobs differently.

In this way, recommendations will be limited to those which are easier to implement and practice. So, consultants fall into a dilemma between what is right and what will be accepted. 

In this regard, consultants can do one thing, that when a client asks for recommendations. Consultant can ask how these recommendations will be used and what steps have been taken to adopt it. Then he will know what steps company is ready to take.

6. Consensus & Commitment Development

The functionality of arrangement depends upon, degree to which employees gets to understand problem, opportunities and solutions. If this not happens, problem diagnosis will not be accepted and recommendations will not be implemented.

To give good and valid recommendations, consultant must have analytical skills. But it is more important to have an agreement on steps that are necessary to take. Set up a drive to have these steps make through.

Consultants can ask following questions to scale and evolve their readiness and dedication towards change;

  • What type of details client accept or reject?
  • What implicit or hidden objectives are there to acquiring our consult?
  • What kind of data does this client hides? & Why?
  • Are employees willing to work with us in identifying problems and solving them?
  • This organization’s management is ready to learn new management methods and ways or not?
  • Higher management listen or not?
  • Higher management will affected by suggestions of lower levels of employees?
  • How can we shape the organization’s overall processes?
  • How can we motivate client for corrective actions?

Consultants can ask these questions through interviews and gather information. At the same time they can build trust and their willingness to accept change in overall organization.

Consultant should conduct interview to find innovative ideas for improvements rather than to blame someone for the problem. Relationship between client and consultant helps in development of consensus and commitment to change.

This relationship between client and consultant is two way. Sharing reports on what has been and what needs to be accomplished next. With this, mutual cooperation will develop between client and consultant.

Client and consultant’s relationship should move from mere work to collaborating with each other.

7. Educating the client

Consultants like to leave behind a thing of value in the organization. They try to increase client’s ability to deal with different types of problems. They also help them in learning innovative ways to deal with problems.

Consultants are required to give their best and satisfy their clients with recommendations and appropriate solutions. Satisfied clients will help the consultants to grow their client base by suggesting them to other clients.

Consultants should include clients and employees of the organization in the tasks, to make them learn how to deal with problems. But still, they need some time to acquire skills, learn and gain experience over a period of time.

Client involvement during the consulting process will help client in learning new skills, knowledge and expertise. But learning should two ways. Consultant should learn to be more productive in managing projects.

The best is two way learning where both parties experience and explore with each other to learn new things.

8. Improving organizational strength on permanent basis

Successful implementation of solutions involves changes in management functions, techniques, concepts, and attitudes, and basic objectives of the organization are redefined. Organizational effectiveness is used to adapt future changes and strategies.

Consultant is concerned about the whole organization even after completing the consulting process. Consultants help organizations by including this section by assisting them in maintaining their position in constantly changing world.

Consultants should be concerned about overall organizational effectiveness, aligning all the departments with each other.  While resolving current problems of the organization, consultant should have an eye on future problems and needs.

Consultants should ask managers what problems they usually face and their growth barriers. They should give solutions to the current and potential barriers organizations may face.

Step by Step Business Consulting Objectives