A famous phrase claims that “by the counsel of many, plans are established.” No general would ever go into battle without planning a strategy, and in the highly competitive world of business, a strategic approach is vital to success. Regardless of your business size, a strategy consultant can help you develop practical business solutions and focus on your goals.
You might be asking yourself why your business even needs a strategy consultant. It’s an honest question. After all, why should you trust an outsider who hasn’t invested in your business the way that you have?
The simple answer is that a strategy consultant is an expert in the industry. They know the ins and outs, the ebb and flow of the enterprise and consumer trends, and can accurately project where things are heading. While they may not have invested personally in your company, they have spent years in the industry (sometimes their entire lives). This experience can give them an entirely new perspective and an extremely beneficial vision for your company.Strategy consultants can offer something that no one at your company can: a fresh perspective. Sometimes in business, we can become myopic, simply because we are too close to the situation. An independent business consultant can provide an outside perspective that will often see things that company insiders can’t see.
Strategy consultants are often hired temporarily for large projects or assist with large-scale changes. Though in rare cases, they may be brought on permanently via a retainer.
While strategy consultants are not technically employees of the company they are advising, they are often the team’s most valuable members. Strategy consultants can work in specific areas of a company, or on individual projects only, giving them a singular focus and mission.
Let’s explore seven critical ways that strategy consulting can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your business.
Strategy Development and Execution
As the name implies, a strategy consultant will guide you in creating a comprehensive plan of action for your company. A business strategy is similar to chess. A piece may move, but that one piece is part of a much larger plan. In the same way, a business strategy consists of many small objectives that accomplish a much larger unified goal. Your strategy consultant is someone who understands the broader vision, and also how to achieve it effectively.
Of course, creating a business strategy is only part of the requirement. The strategy consultant will also help you execute that plan and make it successful, and execution is more important than you may anticipate. Much like chess, a player cannot only sit there and plan but also actually move the piece. You might be surprised how many corporations fail at this step. Corporations may develop amazing plans, ideas, and methods to proceed, yet fail miserably at execution. A good strategy consultant will develop a solid plan and see it through to the finish line.
This execution element makes a strategy consultant one of the most valuable assets to your company’s health and growth. A company that is not moving forward is stagnating, and a company that is not growing is dying. Strategy consulting will ensure that your business is continuously moving forward and evolving to meet your current and future clients’ changing demands.
The reason consultants can operate so effectively is that they can focus exclusively on this. Strategy consultants are free from the minutia of running the entire company; they are focused on business strategy and efficient strategy execution methods. When you need to quickly solve a problem, these are precisely the kind of people you want in your corner.
Knowledge and Expertise
Some of the most remarkable strategy consulting benefits are the consultant’s knowledge, experience, and expertise. A strategy consultant is an expert in the particular field of business in which your company operates. They bring with them years or perhaps decades of experience to the consulting table.
Knowledge is power, and expertise is extraordinarily valuable. A strategy consultant brings a one-two-punch both to help problem-solve potential issues in your company and reliably predict its future. There’s no substitute for business savvy and know-how. A knowledgeable and experienced consultant will help you know your customers and adapt to their needs and demands. A company that does not adapt to its customer base will soon find their customers gone.
Consultants can address areas for improvement, such as company branding and brand recognition, effective marketing, customer support and interaction, and overall quality issues. These issues can have a massive impact on the health of your company as a whole. Customers are everything to a business, and if your customers are having problems understanding your brand or interacting with you, that can be disastrous. For this reason, the knowledge and experience of a strategy consultant can be indispensable.
Leadership and Management
Ultimately, management is responsible for the smooth and successful operation of procedures and plans. A company will live or die by its leadership. Therefore, an essential part of successful strategy development is analyzing the interaction between management departments. Clear and concise communication between management, leaders, and staff is crucial to implementing any plan. Even the best-laid plans will fail if communication breaks down throughout the chain of command. All of these are essential questions that can affect leadership and the ability to stay on task.
That’s why examining and addressing internal messaging is crucial. Are instructions and guidelines clear? Does each team understand their roles? Finally, is there a communication standard? These are all questions worth addressing from a management standpoint to eliminate unnecessary steps and procedures, enhancing clarity.
Leadership assessment is a critical aspect of any strategy consultant. It is vital to know each leader’s strengths and weaknesses and understand the “why” behind their leadership style. Why do your leaders make the decisions that they make? Understanding these reasons can help identify issues and avoid particular problems before they happen.
Once you identify these issues, your strategy consultant can coach the leaders into their role and help them navigate the management’s hurdles. Leaders can learn proper communication, decision-making skills, and conflict resolution, all vital skills for any leader.
A strategy consultant may also examine the decision-making process to ensure that the methodologies meet the necessary expectation, are expeditious, without sacrificing quality. Even though you may already have a process in place, there still could be ways to streamline your existing procedure.
The more efficient and focused management is, the better it is for the entire company. Things tend to filter from the top down, so as quality changes get implemented in leadership, efficiency will trickle down throughout the company. New policies and procedures can be adopted to improve logistics so that your entire company runs as smoothly as possible, and things get done quickly and accurately.
New Ideas and Perspectives
Sometimes, a fresh pair of eyes can help see things in a new way, and that’s what a strategy consultant brings to your company. Along with their extensive knowledge, experience, and singular focus, a strategy consultant can also bring a unique perspective to solve problems.
An outsider’s perspective can be tremendously helpful for diagnosing and solving particular issues, both internally and externally. A fresh perspective also creates a climate more open to exploring new ideas. Things that regulars may never even think of can come to light by looking at the situation differently.
The new perspective and ideas brought by a strategy consultant will shed much-needed light on any issues and help develop business solutions. Whether the problems are related to products, customers, or finance, with proper consulting, you will be able to navigate it successfully.
Additionally, a strategy consultant can help you implement new analysis methods to spark creativity and see different perspectives. This valuable skill will benefit you perpetually, which is a priceless benefit.
Efficient Decision Making
Most people think they are good decision-makers, but when they need to make crucial decisions, they realize how difficult it can be. Many businesses are suffering from analysis paralysis, so burdened by a decision that they fail to act. Efficient decision making is a vital skill for fluid business operations. Being able to analyze a circumstance, respond rapidly, and correctly is critical.
One of the main reasons why people have trouble making decisions is failing to recognize the value of those choices accurately. In business, everything always comes down to “the bottom line,” which is value and money. To make a proper decision, one needs to see the value of the options correctly. A wrong decision can happen when choices are not recognized in connection with their actual value. These are the stumbling blocks of decision making in business.
Strategy consulting can help you identify stumbling blocks in decision making and develop procedures for efficient decision-making processes. A strategy consultant can advise you on good decision-making practices to avoid the pitfall of over-analyzing a situation or focusing on the wrong things.
The consultant works with you to examine what issues are present, organize data, and create a set of best practices to handle any situation. As you adopt these new methodologies, they will greatly aid your ability to quickly assess a situation and respond accordingly.
Efficient decision making is a valuable technique that can completely transform a company from a sluggish, unresponsive dinosaur to a quick, active, and smart machine.
Effective Short-Term Goals
The bane of many businesses, both big and small, is called “goal creep.” Companies can sometimes bog themselves down with many unfocused short-term goals. The resulting paralysis inhibits any forward motion. This situation is more common than you might imagine, and it’s okay to admit that you need some help. Your strategy consultant will help you cut through the fog of unfocused goals and bring clarity and order. You and your consultant will collaborate to set reasonable, purposeful goals that your company will be able to meet.
Rather than aiming in a myriad of different directions, you will have a directed set of short-term agenda-driven objectives that will collectively help you achieve your end goals. You typically hire a strategy consultant for this task if you find short-term projects taking longer than expected, or targets aren’t hit on time.
When dealing with large projects, you may feel like you are trying to scale Mount Everest - it may seem like an impossible task. Your strategy consultant will help you break the task down into manageable bite-sized pieces, and before you know it, you will be on the mountaintop!
Your business may have carved out a niche market that is working well. However, there are plenty of other untapped markets out there waiting to be your next customers. What you need is diversification. If you have customers you aren’t reaching, a strategy consultant can assist you with this too.
Through strategy development, you will be able to determine which markets are under-served, and how to tweak your brand messaging for broader appeal. You need to understand what you are offering to your customers and how your customers see you. What are these new markets looking for? What do they need? And, most importantly, how can your products or services meet the needs of those customers?
Your strategy consultant will help you wade through the metrics, make sense of the data, and devise a comprehensive solution to tap into the market potential. Most businesses never recognize the potential for growth that is right in front of them nor realize the customers that are all around them.
Armed with a proper business strategy for opening up new markets, you will mine those resources and grow your business to new heights.
A Good Strategy is a Prelude to Success
Most people aren’t bad at business; they just need some assistance. Bring your dreams to life by gaining the competitive edge you need. Let a professional strategy consultant put their years of knowledge and experience to work for you.
Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us show you the many ways we can help you bring your business goals to fruition.