How Does Business Consultation Enable Your Business to Flourish? Imagine for a moment that you are a key shareholder in the only thriving airline in your country. X Airways has had a series of misfortunes from massive customer complaints of neglect and inefficiency to the unfortunate crash that recently occurred, all fingers pointing to a possible pilot error. The media, eager to report such harrowing incidents, are true to their element, and churning story after story in the form of news, opinions and analyses as to what exactly is wrong with your airline.
You have the option of sending your CEO to a press conference and try to clear the air or simply hiring a consultant Public Relations (PR) firm. Getting the CEO on air is like sending you into an enclosed area full of wild, unforgiving, marauding predators. PR practitioners are trained, and are the unquestionable experts when it comes to matters of a favorable public image. Their job is to create public interest and acceptance of your company. So how will consultation enable your business to grow?
1. By capitalizing on Expertise
You may be the expert in your mega import and export business but you do not know it all. There are many faucets of the business world that are deeply intertwined with yours. You may know the ropes to pull in sourcing for products but be lacking in knowledge in evading those little traps when it comes to customs and duty.
2. Through Problem Solving
No venture is immune to challenges, challenges that may very well threaten the well-being of the company. Take an example of an institution that seems to lose revenue through unexplained means. This is the perfect opportunity to call in that renowned auditor, who will not only identify the gaps and possible causes, but will also help in drawing up workable solutions.
3. Creation of a new business
A business ought to be like a stairway, one step leading to another. Flourishing businesses are those that not only record mammoth profits, but those that inject fresh ideas that lead to expansion. If a business now boasts of 20 branches spread across the city, that is growth. The opposite is very real: businesses that are now considered history. Often, due to overcrowding, with everybody smothered by work, very little space and time is spared for imagination. However, a consultant who has passion for his job will easily see through an obstacle to an opportunity and enable you capitalize on it to create vast financial empires.
An example would be the simple innovation of mobile money transfer that started without much pomp and fanfare but whose services are fast spreading like the tentacles of an octopus to many countries.
4. Rebuild and restore confidence
In the analogy above, the public would understandably be wary of an airline that is careless enough to get such low ratings from the public as a result of inefficiency. When the public develops hostility towards your business, you are on a free fall to doom. Calling in a professional to restore your image is the first step towards rebuilding confidence in the airline. The professional would obviously consider developing a cozy relationship with the media, whose power to build and destroy is well documented. Next, the professional will devise ways and means or strategies that will endear the public towards your airline, be they promotions, effective marketing gimmicks and the like. The results may not be immediate but a proper campaign ought to turn things around for your business. Remember human beings tend to forget quickly and they like free things too, so a good consultant ought to take advantage of this.
5. Doing what must be done
There comes a time when tough decisions must be made but because of familiarity, it becomes difficult. For example, the current human resource set-up is responsible for your losses. You need to downsize before you can realize any profits and surge in growth. Now, you are advised to cut the tea girl, your secretary and the data entry clerk. The idea is that the remaining staff will multi-task. While it’s not impossible for you to call them to your office and fire them one by one, having an HR consultant do an extensive project on your company and come up with recommendations may well save you face and goodwill among the remaining employees, and by extension, the larger public.
6. Injecting objectivity
Brooke Gladstone says that objectivity works to repel the attacks of critics, like a kind of ethical pepper spray. No virtue is as priceless as objectivity when it comes to business. That’s why it’s never advisable to put your kin in key financial and influential positions because you do not trust your employees. When things work in an ordinary way, chances are that everybody gets comfortable. It becomes impossible to believe that your most trusted brother is actually the one siphoning your cash from the office coffers. Thus consultancy injects into the system a new drug (objectivity) that lays all the assets and liabilities on the table, together with a surgical knife to cut short that hindrance to growth and prosperity.
7. Training staff
Eating fish is wonderful but teaching me how to fish is phenomenal. Equally, consulting is good, but teaching your employees a thing or two will significantly cut on cost. If for example a company hires a financial consultant to clean up the accounts office, the regular accountant should sit by his side to learn the tricks of the trade. Of course this may not augur well for the consultant, but he (consultant) needs to understand that he will easily get more business if his fame spreads as a result of a job well-done.
Every other business is in competition. Others are consulting, why not be among them? Usually, consultants see what others don’t and this will give your business that competitive advantage and boost your sales. Often we shy away from consultation citing cost but we must understand that money can only beget money: spend to earn.