Do you know what business consulting is?  Consulting is a professional activity of diagnosis and formulation of solutions about a subject or specialty. But there is a little more to this work than just diagnosing and formulating.

Nowadays, mainly due to the immense volume of information available and the speed at which markets evolve, a business consultancy needs to know how to train, monitor and, most importantly, prove that its service is generating ROI (Return on Investment).

Quite a responsibility, right? Therefore, in this text I will teach you everything you need to know before hiring a consultancy – even if you really need one.

Who can work in a consultancy?

First, let’s talk about the results. Regardless of the type of consultancy provided, the consultant’s work requires an understanding of a business as a whole, organization, methods, strategic thinking and outside the box.

The professionals who are most in line with this profile are those in the exact sciences area. However, this is not an obstacle for professionals from other areas to try their place in the sun in this endeavor.

Generally, anyone who has good analytical skills and likes to work hard will, sooner or later, have some success.

Even if you are not in the most suitable area, nothing prevents you from entering the business consulting field.

So, if you are taking a course in engineering, economics, business and the like, this path is very close. But if you’re studying life sciences, for example, the path may be a little longer, but not impossible. Everything depends and will always depend, most of the time, on the old hard work and passion for what you do.

Here at OTB, for example, most consultants came from engineering. 🙂

Are all consultancies the same?

Consulting companies are firms that help other firms with people and processes, so that the gears of their engines are in perfect synchrony and functioning.

But there are a lot of companies out there, right?

Is it also possible that there should not be different consultancies to meet the different needs of different companies? Yes and no.

Although the scenario is changing, the truth is that consultancies are generalist companies at their core. They need to have a set of methods and tools and, with some degree of reformulation and adaptation, they serve the different industries in the market.

However, due to the demand of the market, nowadays there are consultancies aimed at solving all kinds of problems. They are financial consultancy, strategic consultancy, labor consultancy, tax consultancy, consultancy in production processes, etc. I think you got an idea, right?

In addition, consultancies can be divided according to their type and according to the service they provide: there are internal and external consultancies and, the last one, can be divided into three types: package consulting, case-by-case consulting (or artisanal) and collective (or multi-client) consultancy.

The internal consultants are those installed within a specific company. The company decided, for some strategic reason, that it would be important to have an industry or a person who played that role.

The good thing is that such a consultant will be immersed in the company’s culture and will have greater access to information.

The downside, however, for both the consultant and the company, is that that person will be closed to their company’s problems, and will not have any kind of external experience, which makes them limited. Also, your ideas will not always be well accepted by your superiors.

The external or independent consultants, in turn, are those who work by contract and must make clear that will generate value for your customer. Precisely because they need to show strong results and achieve leadership, they often take more risks, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

Furthermore, the main advantage of this type of business consultancy is that they have a lot of experience, as they work with different clients in their daily lives.

An important point that must be raised here is that an external consultancy does not replace an internal consultancy and vice versa.

The union is strength – or several heads are better than one

One business consultancy ends up complementing the other. While the external consultant brings boldness and experience, the internal consultant serves as a support point for projects, making the connection between the parties.

Business consulting by package

Business consulting by package, as the name implies, provides a package of pre-established solutions, different from something customized, which seeks to model a script based on the client’s needs.

It has advantages such as ease and speed of implementation, but not everything is flowery. Over time, customers and the market began to demand more and more personalized solutions, making this type of practice very uncommon nowadays.

Personalized business consulting

As the name says, here everything is customized. Business consulting, in this case, is very specific and seeks to address a problem by analyzing and adapting its tools and methodologies to the needs of that specific client.

Despite being a process that may require a little more time to be built, the results obtained may surprise.

They also tend to be a little more expensive, as it is not a “product sold in scale”. The advantages are greater contact with the customer and a deep understanding of the problem encountered, generating an even more effective solution and taking the customer to the forefront.

Collective (or multi-client) Consulting

We finally arrived in the crowd! Well, I’m kidding, okay? In this case, collective meetings are held for companies that have the same problems, desires or needs.

As it is something more generic and superficial, this type of consultancy serves more to align thoughts so that future problems are prevented.

A big benefit of this type of consulting is that there is a common environment for feedback and information sharing. If there is a need for a more punctual solution, however, a personalized consultancy is usually the best way forward.

What values ​​a business consultancy can bring to your company

We will start the subject with the following sentence:

Computers are useless. They can only give us answers.

– Pablo Picasso

Pretty dramatic, isn’t it? Unlike a computer, consultants are the people who are there to ask questions after questions, to understand the core of the problem that a company is facing. It is only through a thorough analysis of a business, its market and its objectives that it is possible to design strategies and solutions that will really bring a sustainable and applicable solution.

Here at smart city , for example, we offer consultancy in Outbound Marketing and Inbound (including Outbound Sales, Outbound Marketing, Inbound Sales and Inbound Marketing).

The process is the same as you find in good market consulting and we have divided it into three steps:

1. Diagnosis

In the diagnostic stage, our team performs a complete immersion in your company’s processes and in the market in which it operates. We try to understand what they are doing correctly and what needs to be improved.

For this, we spend time with you and your team, following the day-to-day processes and, at the end, we deliver a complete report on everything that was found.

From there, the second stage begins:

2. Implementation

With the problems and opportunities raised in the Diagnosis, we started building and optimizing processes. All done together with your team, through training and follow-up meetings.

It is the most laborious stage, as it impacts the client’s day-to-day, implementing the team’s results culture and the processes carried out.

However, the main results vary according to the customer’s sales cycle and the seasonality of their market. So there is the third step:

3. Follow up

To ensure the project’s ROI, our team helps your C-level executive (or top executives) to monitor the indicators and carry out necessary optimizations, ensuring that there will be no misaligned changes to the process.

The duration of the follow-up should vary according to the average sales cycle, as it indicates the initial result of the process, starting from the end of the implementation. This is because, as Jason Lemkin says, it only takes one sales cycle for you to see the result of a hiring.

Do I need a business consultancy?

Every company, when deciding whether to hire a consultancy or not and what type of consultancy to hire, should look at some basic questions:

  1. How serious is my problem?
  2. Do we have the know-how and time to solve the problem I need to solve?
  3. What type of consultancy will solve my problem?
  4. Should we hire consultants who are from the region or my problem doesn’t need physical presence to be solved?

Answered the questions? Are you in need of a business consultancy?

Now that you know a little more about the consultancy process, it’s easier to understand if you have the right profile for an Outbound and Inbound Marketing consultancy.

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