Consultants can be an invaluable asset to any company. Not only do they provide expertise and impartiality, but they also free up valuable time allowing you to focus on your own areas of strength within the business. Whether you require support for a specific task or project, or on an on-going basis, consultants can provide a wide range of services with varying areas of expertise. Here, we take a look at the six most in-demand types of consulting services available.
- Business consulting
Business consultants are essentially responsible for improving a company’s performance and efficiency by assessing strengths and weaknesses, as well as recommending operations solutions. They may charge by the project or by the hour, or require daily or monthly retainers. During the discovery phase, business consultants make it their mission to learn everything there is to know about a client’s business through touring facilities, meeting with directors and employees, analysing finances, and reading all company materials. This allows them to identify current and foreseeable problems, including issues that may be otherwise overlooked and only arise due to a business consultant’s objectivity.
Furthermore, business consultants can pick out opportunities for growth and are often held to be catalysts for change. They offer a wide range of services, including providing expertise in a client’s specific market, identifying best practices, promoting efficiency and cost-effectiveness, implementing business process re-engineering, teaching and training existing staff, and taking charge of unpopular changes such as reducing headcount. When growth has stagnated or difficult decisions need to be made, business consultants can make that all important change.
- Marketing & PR consulting
Marketing and PR consultants work together, aligning their goals and collaborating on strategic messaging, to ensure businesses are able to build a solid reputation and ultimately drive more sales. Consultants begin by determining a client’s marketing message and identifying the appropriate approach to gain the attention of a target audience. They are then able to help monitor results and tweak campaigns to guarantee companies get the best results from their efforts. For example, PR tactics such as organic social media presence increases brand awareness with consumers, while marketing strategies, such as Facebook ads convert such awareness into sales.
By managing a business’s reputation and market presence, marketing and PR consultants free up their clients to focus on product development and overall operations. They further add value to businesses by curating creative strategies for reaching wider audiences through email newsletters, review responses, website and blog copy and engagement with social media followers. They also handle media relations and are experts in crisis management, as well as media training and event planning. Valuable throughout all stages of a company life-cycle, marketing & PR consultants are particularly beneficial for growing businesses.
- Financial consulting
With their personalised services tailored to meet individual client needs, financial consultants provide expert advice to help investors build wealth and guarantee a profitable future. They possess extensive knowledge across a wide range of financial fields, including budgeting, taxation, forecasting, allocation of assets, tools and products. Financial consultants will always assess the viability of a client’s business model before compiling strategies and accurate timelines for both growth and efficiency.
Financial consultants are key to helping businesses make educated financial decisions, and their skills have been particularly important during these unprecedented times—ensuring companies stay on course and deal with arising problems both quickly and effectively. By providing organised data, financial consultants help to simplify the process of brainstorming investment solutions. They further ensure they remain objective during all decision-making stages, making them essential partners during times of crisis. Financial consultants typically pair up with a client on a long-term basis, offering services in managing cash flow, business planning, investment, insurance, tax, and risk management.
- Technology consulting
Technology consultants provide a unique, objective and specialised approach to technology and how to best leverage it for business success. Experts in the field typically work in partnership with a business’s executive, leaders and senior managers to provide clients with an end-to-end service, ranging from designing to implementing and managing systems and processes on a company’s behalf. Specialists further deliver tangible results without disrupting a business’s day-to-day operations, ensuring all transitions are incredibly smooth.
Technology consultants are vital to making sure companies keep pace with the everchanging world of technology. As technology continues to become increasingly important in the digital age and the shift to remote working, so do services that support businesses and organisations in remaining secure, operating efficiently and becoming more profitable. Technology consultants are dedicated to helping clients meet their objectives by accelerating growth, mitigating risk, reducing costs, implementing security measures, streamlining important processes, and designing disaster recovery plans.
- Compliance consulting
Compliance consultants are vital to assisting clients in navigating the rapidly changing regulatory landscape. They work hard to ensure a business or organisation follows government regulations and standards, typically directing their advice to senior management. The compliance experts analyse current company practices before helping clients develop various processes and programmes that guarantee organisation-wide compliance with applicable legislation and initiatives. Practical support can be provided during the initial stages of a business’s launch, as well as throughout the company life cycle.
By offering guidance and implementing the required practices and changes, compliance consultants allow their clients to focus their efforts on ‘big picture’ matters. They further ensure growth within a business, ensuring clients expand their responsibilities regarding their employees, covering areas such as hiring, firing, discrimination, harassment, safety and wages. Compliance consultants offer an extensive range of services, including identifying compliance issues, developing methods to mitigate risks, training employees, and completing paperwork and reports for a regulatory agency.
- Legal consulting
Legal consultants are often hired on a short-term or contract basis to assist a company or organisation with strategic planning, research and analysis, and employee training. While large corporations typically employ in-house counsel, they often benefit from additional support during peak workload periods and during projects that require specialised expertise, which they lack internally. With their wide range of experience within the legal industry, consultants can provide a fresh perspective on any company issues and come up with the best strategies to not only overcome problems but ensure they do not arise again in the future.
Legal consultants are ideal for businesses with a short-term objective that does not require a long-term hire. Legal consultants can assist clients on a wide range of matters, including legal strategy development and implementation, employee misconduct, unlawful termination, compliance infractions, mergers and restructuring, productivity maximisation, and liability minimisation.
The main benefits of hiring a consultant
Cost saving: By using a consultant rather than hiring a salaried employee you will only pay for the services you need, when you need them.
Impartiality: Because consultants are not as emotionally invested as the business owners or as fearful about speaking out as employees might be, they are able to look at things objectively. This allows them to identify and address challenges more easily.
Expertise: As consultants work with various businesses across countless industries, they have developed incredible skills and deep knowledge of business trends, industry challenges, and new technologies and processes.
Time saving: The wide-ranging experience of consultants further means that they are able to identify problems, present the best practices and implement solutions with increasing efficiency.
Personalisation: Consultants do not offer a one-size-fits-all solution but rather design effective strategies based on individual client issues, needs and goals.
Networking: Often consultants will introduce clients to new networks of individuals and companies, establishing additional sources of trusted advice and support.