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Consultancy

Consultancy

Companies often make use of a business consultant to help solve problems. There are many companies that attempt to do this with their own employees but it most cases it is better to bring an outside consultant in.

The main advantage of using an external consultant to help you with your business problems rather than using your own team is that they bring objectivity, a fresh perspective matched with a skill-set and attributes desired that you can’t get from your own staff. It can be challenging for companies to see where the problems are because they are too close to the situation. In some cases it may be that since something has always been done that way they may not realize that it is actually what is causing the problem. Having somebody from outside the company look at things can really help you to spot problem areas. A skilled consultant will also ensure that the created buy-in from the individuals and team involved.

The perception is that Consultants are costly, but if you choose the “right” Consultant, set agreed goals upfront and align expectations along the way, it is the best investment you can make.

Reasons why businesses need an outside consultant:
Almost all companies use consultants these days, they do it for a lot of reasons. There are, however, 3 main reasons that they do. In most cases it is about making the company as efficient as possible.

  1. You may not be able to get all of the information that you need from your employees. Most employees are very uncomfortable with criticizing the boss for example. In other cases it may be that employees are looking to protect their own jobs or those of their coworkers. Whatever the reason it can be hard to get employees to give you the full facts on issues that the company is facing. A consultant, being an outsider, will find this much easier to do.

  2. Using an internal team, especially if you have a small company is that you may not actually have any employees with the required skills. There are a lot of skills that a company needs to have but may not have enough use for them to justify using a full time employee at the job, in this case it often makes sense to bring in a consultant. Often you will find that you encounter issues when you run a company that requires skills that are far removed from those that are required for the day to day operation of your business. As a result you may find that there is nobody there who has those skills. When you bring in a consultant this is not an issue since you will presumably bring in one who has precisely the skills that you are looking for.

  3. Certainly the use of a consultant is high but so is the cost of having employees. If you put your employees to work trying to solve business problems then they are not doing their regular job. This is going to cost you a great deal of money. If you have employees who have free time to work on these issues that may well be the source of the problem. A consultant can help you to address your business problems while at the same time allowing you continue to operate your business.

  4. Any project needs a fresh perspective as managers and leaders often get too closely involved with the situation and issues and a new perspective will challenge and develop not just the people involved, but give the project the best possible chance for success. One of the hardest things for most people who run businesses is to objectively look at their business. It is often hard to recognize where things are not going well so it often makes sense to bring in somebody from the outside that can help to find the problems. In a lot of cases you can get a free business consultation for your small business and the consultant will be able to come in and diagnose a problem that you have been struggling with for months. When this happens it makes it pretty obvious how a business can benefit from a consultant. Having fresh eyes on the problem is often the best way to solve it.

  5. The modern business environment is very risk adverse, there are few executives who are prepared to take a risk because if it turns out badly they will likely end up losing their job. This is why most businesses are so slow to make changes; nobody wants to take responsibility for those changes in case they don’t work out. Unfortunately for business executives sometimes changes have to be made. When this happens the executives often bring in consultants, not because they particularly want their advice but so there is somebody to blame if things don’t work out. A lot of consultants are hired specifically to be scapegoats so if you run a business where risk is rarely rewarded a consultant may end up being your best friend.

Antoinette and her team will add a fresh perspective and insight into any project, due to the fact that they have been successful at all levels of sales and marketing, leadership development, coaching, mentoring, facilitation etc.

consultancy-team

Human Mirror’s Consultants help you achieve goals through:

  • Using tailored models to increase loyalty of internal and external stakeholders
  • Consulting, advising, and designing programs to fill the gaps between the actual situation and the desired one
  • Develop sales and marketing effectiveness
  • Coaching, guiding, training (different levels)
  • Increasing employee motivation
  • Raising the levels of organizational performance and achievements
  • Achieving Customer satisfaction and customer loyalty
  • Enlarging the company’s customer base and market segment
  • Developing management and supervisory skills and know-how
  • Defining the company’s mission, goals, and objectives
  • Assessing the actual situation ( reality)
  • Identifying training and operational needs
  • Improving organizational communications
  • Improving work performance
  • Develop individual and team Emotional and Cultural Intelligence

What to look out for when choosing a consultant
Managers cannot expect a Consultant to provide consulting services, offer guidance and advice free of charge. Yet, how can they make sure this is the right Consultant for their company before making a commitment? If you are a Manager interviewing a Consultant, ask probing questions and listen to what is being said and what is not said:

  • Does the Consultant display the knowledge and know-how you want of him?
  • Does he/she show sensitivity to the company’s needs and to what you want?
  • Does he/she give examples for problem solving?
  • Does he/she speak proudly of specific achievements?
  • Does he/she guard his other Clients’ confidentiality?
  • Does he/she speak of others with respect?
  • Does he/she give direct clear answers to specific questions?
  • Does he/she ask you probing questions?
  • Does he/she ask you for what you wish to achieve for his company?
  • Does he/she ask about your company’s performance today?
  • Does he/she pretend to solve all problems by himself or does he speak of team effort?
  • Does he/she only propose facilitating a session or giving a lecture?
  • Does he/she ask about your human resources?
  • Does he/she demonstrate genuine interest in the well-being of your company?
  • Does he/she propose to conduct a needs assessment?
  • Does he/she ask about your company’s past performance?
  • Does he/she come through as someone who can custom-design the proper remedy?
  • Does he/she impress you as being a knowledgeable, caring, creative person?
  • Did he/she offer printed literature and testimonials regarding his services?

OR

  • Does he/she speak only of himself and how many clients he has?
  • Does he/she speak mostly of money and the cost to you?
  • Does he/she propose only “generic” or “off-the-shelf” programs?

Consultants are costly, but if you choose the right Consultant, it is the best investment you can make. Actually, if you have a problem, instead of spending more on advertising, you should take the time to select the right Consultant and work with him/her to plan a company strategy that will raise it to the level you desire and that your Customers expect.