From CyberNerdz Consulting Wiki
A Good Business Consultant Has Extensive Experience
A good Business Consultant has experience working in and working with a broad range of businesses. It is the accumulated business history of a Business Consultant which makes the consultant valuable. A good Business Consultant is experienced in a lot of different types of businesses and industries, while also having very specific experience in running companies, in the financing of a company and most importantly in the marketing and sales of a company. Experienced Consultants have experience with companies in all stages of Growth: Existence, Survival, Success, Take-off and Maturity. The business consultant may also have a specialty as a Business Turnaround Consultant, helping struggling companies to turnaround and succeed again. In other words, a good Business Consultant has broad and narrow stroke experience and typically. Having an MBA from a good business school isn’t enough. The Business Consultant must have solid real world experience with many types of companies in order to be an effective consultant.
Exactly What Does a Business Consultant Do?
Gets To Know Your Business
So what does a Business Consultant do? First and foremost, a Business Consultant gets to know and understand your business. As the business owner, you know more about your business than anyone else. For this reason, a good business consultant will take the time to learn from you, your department heads and key employees what the ins and outs of your business entails. It is only until complete understanding of your business that a Business Consultant can begin to help you.
Identifies Problems and Opportunities
After a Business Consultant has learned the details of your business, the consultant goes to work identifying problems and opportunities. Those may be certain problems and opportunities you point out to the consultant, but also a good Business Consultant will have a process to identify problems and opportunities which a business owner has not identified. A Business Consultant brings fresh eyes, fresh experience and an open mind to your business enterprise, providing a completely different perspective than that of someone who has been running the company for some time or someone looking to start a new venture.
After identifying the problems and opportunities of the business a Business Consultant will then analyze this gathered information in order to provide solid solutions and plans for the future. The consultant takes a micro view at the business and provides solutions for the macro outlook, strategizing for the future success of your business. Often times, business ownership is so focused on working “in” the business that short term and long term outlooks and strategies are overlooked and neglected. The Business Consultant re-focuses a company’s strategies in order to solve immediate problems, while taking advantage of future opportunities. In short, a Business Consultant will minimize expenses and maximize profits through a proven process.
A Proven Business Consulting Process
- Learn about the business
- Identify problems
- Identify future opportunities
- Perform analysis
- Provide solutions through a concrete plan
- Listen to feedback and adjust plan Implement and track the plan
Step One - Learn About The Business
- Tour the Company’s facilities
- Read all the company materials
- Meet with the Board of Directors, all executive heads, founders and owners, Department Heads and Key Employees.
- Understand the product or service
- History of the business
- Business track record
- How the business is run
- How decisions are made
- How problems and opportunities are handled
- Company process, trade marks
- Company’s competitive advantages
- Financial track record
- Banking and finance connections
- How the company is organized quality control
- Employee incentives, benefits, and wages
- Meeting the company’s advisors and consultants
Step Two - Identifying Problems
- Problems seen by ownership and management
- Problems/ issues identified by the business consultant
- Business consultant given unrestricted access to the company so that problems can be identified
- Identify revenue points and expense ratios for all products and services
- Understand tax implications
- Important: Open, clear communications between the consultant and the company’s people. Trust is vital.
Step Three - Identifying Opportunities
- For every problem/issue, there is a hidden opportunity
- Opportunities seen by ownership, management, and key employees
- Opportunities discovered through the business consultant’s process
- Understanding margins, sales history, and sales growth
- Understanding and identifying new products and services
Step Four - Analysis
- Business consultant analyzes the identified problems and opportunities while keeping in mind, a clear understanding of the business
- Business consultant decides which problems and opportunities are important and which are not
- Identify potential future problems
- Identify symptoms of problems provide certain conclusions and facts based on the analysis
- Provide certain conclusions and facts based on the analysis
Step Five - Solutions
- Business consultant provides a plan which provides solutions and identifies opportunities
- Business consultant illustrates how certain expenses can be reduced and how certain profit areas can be maximized
Step Six - Receive Feedback and Adjust Plan
- Business Consultant receives feedback from the business and its advisers on the proposed Business Plan
- Business Consultant oversees implementation of the business plan
- Business Consultant tracks progress of the plan
- Plan is readjusted as necessary moving forward
- Business Consultant ensures plan is integral to the Company and intertwined into the fabric of the company.
The Business Consultant Listens and Interacts with the Company
The Consultant utilizes many different outlooks to develop a Business Planthat will be effective for the Company. The Consultant gets the opinions of the Company’s Professionals (accountants, lawyers, bankers and other advisers). The consultant can utilize Delphi Sessions and Red Teams which contain industry experts and competitive viewpoints. And the Consultant relates carefully to the view points of the Company’s Ownership, Founders, Board, Top Management and Key Employees. A final Business Plan is agreed upon and signed off on by the Company.
The Consultant Helps a Company to Renew
A Business Consultant can help an old company re-new itself and find itself again. A business consultant can help founders start and develop new venture or project. A business consultant can turn-around a company fraught with problems. A Business Consultant can help a company identify new opportunities to exploit.
Business Start Up Analysis
When an Entrepreneur is thinking about starting up a new business, A Business Consultant can apply a given Start-Up Process Analysis to determine if it is a feasible opportunity:
Analyze and Evaluate the Opportunity:
- Opportunity timing window
- Profit potential for an adequate return?
- Can the opportunity be expanded? Diversification options?
- Market needs
Develop a Business Strategy & Model:
- Effective Barriers to Entry
- Identify and Define Customers
- Supplier Relationships and Buyer Conditions
- Skills and Resources Existing
- Resource Gap Management Plan
- Internal Skills and Resources Needed
- Lacking Resources to be Out sourced
- Unique Aspects of Business Model
- Cost minimization Strategies for Resources
- Regulatory Compliance
- Critical Milestones which will minimize the Ventures overall Risk
- Contingency Resources
Acquiring & Leveraging Needed Resources:
- Control Mechanisms
- Motivations of Resource Providers
- Will opportunity produce an adequate return?
- Venture Deployment
- Management Systems
- Attracting and Retaining good Employees
- Role of Entrepreneur
- Management Delegation
Getting and Distributing Value
- Harvesting Options: Be Acquired, Merger, IPO, Secondary Offerings, Sell Company, Liquidate or Distribute
- After Tax Yield Considerations
- Factors triggering a Harvest
- Factors preventing Harvest
- Consideration of Company Participants: Creditors, Investors, Partners, Owners, Founders, Key Management & Employees, The Entrepreneur