How Small Businesses Can Benefit From Strategic Consultancy

No matter how big or small your business, you need to have a plan. The problem is, unless you’ve done a business degree at university (and the majority of business owners haven’t), it’s difficult to know what makes the difference between a successful enterprise and one that folds in its first year.

In exactly the same way that you would take your car to an expert mechanic to get it fixed, sometimes your business can benefit from expert strategic advice. And that’s where business consultants come in.

How can a business consultant help me?

Business consultants are, by their very nature, experts in business. But what exactly does that mean? Well, it means that they apply their training, personal experience and expertise to develop strategic plans for businesses, taking into account a few fundamental principles. Most businesses follow a fairly standard template model – the differences really depend on the details and perhaps a few outside influencing factors, depending on what industry you’re in. Business plans don’t have to be complex – in fact an overly complicated business plan can trip a new enterprise up before it’s even got off the ground.

A consultant who is expert in business strategy can take an objective look at your business and help you pinpoint both your strengths and your weaknesses. Do you know what your USP is? Do you realise what makes you more or less successful than your competitors? A business consultant does, and they can not only give you a report on where you’re going wrong, but how to fix it too. A good consultant should be able to:

• Give you a clear overview of the current state of your business
• Produce accurate predictions of the projected path of the business over a designated period (for example – a five-year plan)
• Look at what your competitors are doing and suggest best practice methods you can employ in your own business
• Create both long and short-term goals that are achievable and realistic
• Help you to develop new products or services
• Create an effective marketing strategy that incorporates both ‘real world’ and virtual (online) platforms

Promoting your business

Business strategy consultants really come into their own when it comes to marketing strategies, and any consultant worth their salt should be able to develop a cohesive and effective marketing strategy for your business. This includes using techniques that really showcase your business, including utilising online platforms.

A business strategy consultant takes an holistic approach to successful business development. It’s not all ‘fluffy’ stuff like marketing and advertising – it includes the grass-roots stuff too, such as ensuring you’re not overspending in some areas to the detriment of the entire business model. But they should always remember that consultancy isn’t about preaching – it’s about working with the client to achieve the best results.

Good consultants develop a symbiotic relationship with their clients, whereby both parties are working for towards the same outcome, a successful and growing business. For the consultant, it adds to their reputation. For the business owner, it’s a chance to get a ‘fresh pair of eyes’ to look over the business and help them develop a workable strategy that will encourage future growth.