Consultants usually specialize in a specific area, and those who are not independent contractors may work for larger consulting firms that contract their services. Yes, consulting is more than just business strategy advice or accounting, which are a couple of niches in which large consulting firms specialize. In reality, you can and should find consultants for your specific business problem. There's no doubt that generalists can do their jobs, too, but why not hire a consultant who has solved the same problems in the same niche before? Management consultants like to leave behind something of lasting value.
This means not only improving customers' ability to deal with immediate problems, but also helping them learn the methods needed to deal with future challenges. This doesn't mean that effective professionals are out of work. Satisfied customers will recommend them to others and invite them to come back the next time it's needed. The proper role of the consultant in implementation is a topic of considerable debate in the profession.
By hiring a consulting firm, you have access to a group of professionals with skills that range from Lean Six Sigma process design to financial organizational structures. Increasingly, the best management consultants define their objective not only as recommending solutions, but also as helping to institutionalize more effective management processes. This interaction can also help you test things out and determine if the consultant is right for your company's needs. When a client requests information, the consultant asks how it will be used and what steps have already been taken to obtain it.
Since most clients, like people in general, are ambivalent about their need for help with their most important problems, the consultant must respond skillfully to the client's implicit needs.
A business consultantis a professional with a wide range of skills who helps business owners in their efforts. Some argue that whoever helps implement the recommendations assumes the role of manager and, therefore, exceeds the legitimate limits of consulting. Similarly, if you want to run ads on Facebook for your next annual sale, it's recommended that you hire a Facebook ad consultant instead of a generalist marketing consultant who “more or less” knows about social media ads but doesn't have much experience.
Frohman, “An Organization Development Approach to Consulting”, Sloan Management Review, Fall 1970, p. In every hiring, consultants must learn to be more effective in designing and implementing projects. In a nutshell, consultants provide expert opinions, analyses, and recommendations to organizations or individuals, based on their own experience. Client managers must understand the consultant's need to explore a problem before starting to solve it and should realize that the definition of the most important problem may change as the study progresses.
However, the consultant also has a professional responsibility to ask himself if the problem posed is what most needs to be resolved.