Small Business Consulting
When most small business owners hear the term ‘management consulting’ they think one of two things:
- What is management consulting and what does a management consultant do?
- Management consulting is expensive and not for start-ups and small businesses.
In this article we will attempt to shed some light on these questions and notions about management consulting.
It is understandable why small business owners would not be familiar with the management consulting profession. These individuals often go into business to do what they love and to pursue their dreams and passion and are not necessarily savvy business people, at least when they first start out. As such, they often don’t have a business education or training and are not familiar with much of the world of business and the various services and activities within it. Even though these individuals are often in need of business advice they are not aware of the existence of professional business advice through management consultants.
Management consultants provide a variety of invaluable services to businesses. They provide advice and guidance to businesses in areas such as business strategy, human resources management, financial planning and accounting, operations, marketing, business planning and other unique services. Qualified management consultants often have advanced degrees in business administration or other relevant disciplines and usually have years of experience in industry that they use to help businesses with their objectives. In addition, management consultants add a fresh perspective to a business when they engage it. Since management consultants are not internal members of the businesses they help they have not gotten used to and are not limited in their thinking by ‘the way things are done’. Consequently, they are able to envision and recommend new ways of doing things that can materially improve a business’s prospects. Therefore, they bring a wealth of business knowledge and skill, experience and perspective together to help businesses plan business activities, find solutions to challenges and make improvements to achieve their goals.
Most of the members of the other group of small business owners – those who have heard of management consulting – believe these are very expensive services for large corporations and that all management consultants cater to that segment of the market. The fact is all businesses of all sizes and budgets can enlist the services of and benefit greatly from management consultants. There are management consulting firms that specialize in working with start-ups and small businesses and have tailored all (or some) of their services to this segment of the business community.
In fact, due to their limited internal resources start-ups and small businesses need external expertise and advice more than larger companies; this is because larger companies have more expert employees and intellectual property and other resources to help them succeed, resources that smaller businesses lack. Therefore, start-ups and small businesses would do well to seek out management consultants who specialize in serving them and use their help to navigate the risky waters of the business world. A relatively small investment in an expert partner can save many times that investment in costly mistakes or create many times the investment in incremental revenues.