Friday, 18 January 2013

Five Flaws Of Management and Business Consultancy To Avoid

Management consultants are used by businesses of all sizes and in all areas of industry and commerce. It is true that a good business consultant can be worth his or her weight in gold; developing implementable business strategies, streamlining processes and essentially steering a company towards a more profitable future.

There are, however, certain pitfalls that are essential to avoid if your company is to truly benefit from the services of  business consultants.

1. Pre-Packaged Solutions
Too many businesses settle for ‘one size fits all’ consultancy. Your firm is unique; it has its own unique problems and therefore requires unique solutions. Any consultancy firm that fails to recognise this is ultimately going to provide a substandard level of consultancy and fail to reach the best results for your firm.

Of course, any good consultancy firm will have a set of tried and tested techniques it uses but this is very different to proposing bland, non-bespoke strategies and plans for its clients.

2. Inexperience in Your Field
Small business consultancy firms typically begin targeting a niche area of industry. As they grow, however, they may begin to diversify into other areas that perhaps their consultants do not fully appreciate or understand.

For any consultancy firm to produce real, deliverable results for your company it is essential their consultants are experts in your field. Always ask for evidence of their experience before signing any consultancy contract.

3. Lack Of Sustainability
A common complaint from businesses that have hired consultants in the past is that once the contract has come to an end or a project has finished, the results that they were enjoying suddenly disappear.
Always check a business consultancy firm has a sustainability plan. The best will offer a period of audit following a consultancy project to ensure their work is sustainable.

4. Report Only Based Consultancy
Some consultancy firms offer purely only report based consultancy. This means the consultants spend a period working in a company, auditing their books and processes, before writing an extensive report on what the firm could do better. This is the end of their involvement.

For a company to get the most out of a consultancy project the consultants need to be hands on and work alongside the firm to ensure their plans and proposals are implemented. It is very rare the implementation of a proposal will go exactly to plan and the best consultants will be dynamic and able to adapt to problems as they arise.

5. Non-Relevant Consultancy
Finally, there are so many different types of consultant it is important for a company to enlist the services of one relevant to their needs.

For example, an IT consultant may well be fantastic at setting up technology infrastructure but completely out of his or her depth in terms of website development. Both tasks fall under the category of IT but require very different skill sets and it is important the company fully understands what they require from the consultant.

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