It’s a new year, and that often means a reinvigorated approach to your business. New plans, new ambitions, and a refreshed desire to see them followed through properly. One thing that can mean is making more and better use of consultants.
Consultants can be expensive, but they can also deliver a return on that investment that makes the expense worthwhile. The key is to identify the useful ones, and recognise that what’s useful to other businesses may not be useful to you, so today, that’s what we’re looking at.
What Do You Need?
The most important thing for you to do first is crystallise what you’re looking for. If you don’t have clear aims then you can’t get a good return on any investment because there’s no way for you to say if or when your aims have been achieved. It becomes too easy to pour good money after bad, looking for a solution that’s not coming.
To ensure your consulting spends are investments, not gambling, take the time first to set down in a document what you want out of the process and how to quantify it. Not merely growth, but what kind of growth, how much and in what time scale.
This also helps you have a good relationship with your consultants: without clear goals it’s easy to come to differences of opinion over fundamental things like how much they’ve delivered for you and if they’ve finished the job. A good consulting relationship, like all relationships, is based on trust and mutual respect, so lay the foundations early.
Types of Consultant
If you’ve not researched the field already, you might be surprised at the sheer variety of different kinds of consultant practising in the world of business. Consultants have many different specialisms – often built over an initial career in business – so you can get support for any project or aim you have in mind. The key to the decision making isn’t ‘does a consultant for this exist?’, because they undoubtedly do, it’s ‘do I have access to this expertise in any other way?’. The value of consultants is that they provide a dose of talent that it doesn’t make sense for you to hire in full time.
For example, even if your goal for the year is to grow your business but you don’t have the expertise to crystallise the best way to grow, you can start by talking with London strategy consulting firms, who have the expertise to help you decide what kind of growth plan is the healthiest for your business and your aims.
Think about what you’re missing in your business, whether it’s financial forecasting, advanced HR techniques or consumer research expertise – the right consulting relationship can fill this hole and push you to greater success.