What Does a Consultant Do? An Expert's Perspective

Consultants are problem solvers who provide expert opinions, analysis and recommendations to organizations or individuals. They are hired as outside contractors to address specific business challenges and use their experience in relevant fields to provide strategies to prevent problems and improve performance. Consulting projects can focus on a variety of areas, including strategy and technology implementations. Independent consultants and those working for consultancies like McKinsey offer services in all areas, the most famous being management consulting.

They are responsible for using their skill set to identify solutions and outline recommendations for their clients. Consulting projects can range from expanding or improving a specific element of a business to needing the expertise to grow a business in emerging markets. At consulting firms, people typically enter as an analyst, then become a senior analyst, and then an associate consultant. After two years, they may leave to work at a startup or work internally in a large organization on the client side.

Consultants may also be asked to support their CEOs or partners in drafting proposals to sell new projects. When hiring a consultant, companies can save money while benefiting from the consultant's labor and experience. However, according to The Predictive Index, 27% of companies surveyed chose not to hire a consultant because the consultant could not demonstrate ROI. A general consulting firm offers a wide range of skills and services, from strategy to IT consulting and working in a variety of industries and projects. Most consultants are not lawyers, so the legal departments of the consultancy and the client would help complete the technical aspects of this process.

A consultant will provide you with the answers by evaluating the data, while a consulting advisor will help you develop the skill set you already have. To better understand what a consultant's day-to-day work looks like, we've broken down 9 things that are common in strategic consulting projects. These include providing analysis, ideas and recommendations for clients; helping determine the scope and budget of projects; training current staff in online marketing tasks; drafting proposals; using big data to demonstrate past ROI; evaluating data; developing skill sets; representing companies comprised of one or more consultants; and completing technical aspects of processes.

Dylan Nemecek
Dylan Nemecek

Typical social media ninja. Professional pop culture nerd. Unapologetic bacon advocate. Proud pop culture guru. Incurable social media nerd.

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