What Can a Consultant Do For Your Business?


This series of articles provides some perspective on business consultants and their value to your business by focusing on the abilities of a good consultant and what he can bring to your business.

The following is a list of the abilities that are required by a good consultant:

  • Can provide an objective perspective to the client’s business
  • Can accurately analyze the client’s situation
  • Can help the client focus
  • Can provide the client with techniques to solve business issues
  • Can assist the client in the decision making process
  • Can help the client reach greater levels of efficiency
  • Can help the client improve products and services

Providing an Objective Perspective

Studies have repeatedly shown that people have an overly-optimistic view of their current circumstances. In addition, ‘wishing will make it so’ appears to be a philosophy shared, if unconsciously, by many. This approach to a business is often expressed in unrealistic forecasts for sales, expenses, costs, time to market, and, of course, profit and loss.

A good consultant can look beyond the client’s eagerness and assurances, and provide the client with a set of conservative (or pessimistic) forecasts. This may dismay the client at first, but it allows the client to adjust his business strategy. In the ‘worst’ case, i.e. where the optimistic forecasts were correct, the client will be delighted at the ‘better than expected’ business results.

The consultant has this ability, because he has very little vested interest in his client’s success to date. And although being hired by successful clients boosts the image and reputation of a consultant, this is of minor import when compared to the client’s interest in his own success.

In many ways, I consider this objectivity to be one of the greatest assets that a consultant offers his clients.

The articles that follow in this series will address the other aspects listed above.