The Basics of Business Consulting: What You Need to Know

According to the profile compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job of a management consultant is to suggest ways that a company can improve its efficiency, revenue, expense controls, and profitability. In short, a management consultant, sometimes called a business consultant or management analyst, helps an organization become more competitive.

A management consultant may specialize in a particular industry, such as healthcare, manufacturing, or education. Alternatively, a management consultant may focus on a particular function—for example, human resources, marketing, or logistics.

 

But What Does a Management Consultant Do?

A management consultant gathers information, identifies problems with structures, processes, or personnel, and implements solutions in conjunction with one or more teams assigned by their client.

According to active employers, as revealed by their relevant job listings on Indeed.com, management consultants are responsible for:

  • Quickly becoming familiar with client business challenges and technologies and identifying opportunities for change

  • Interviewing personnel and conducting onsite observations to determine the methods, equipment, and resources needed

  • Analyzing financial and other data, including revenue, expenditure, and employment reports

  • Recommending new systems, procedures, or organizational changes

  • Creating a plan to achieve them

  • Negotiating schedules, milestones, and resources required

  • Building trust and acting as an advisor to relevant stakeholders

  • Conducting training classes as needed for a variety of audiences

  • Providing respectful but honest feedback

Read the full BLS profile.

 

What Skills Should My Management Consultant Have?

In addition to technical acumen, management consultants are expected to excel at so-called “soft skills:”

  • Self-motivation & Self-discipline

  • Organization

  • Analytical Thinking

  • Listening & Verbal Communication

  • Technical & Persuasive Writing

  • Problem Solving & Critical Thinking

  • Time Management

  • Creativity

  • Vision

  • Leadership

They are the paradigmatic “out-of-the-box” thinkers, paid to bring a skilled and fresh perspective to every client’s unique situation.

 

How do I find the consultant that’s right for me?

Talk to one!

Any good consultant will be more interested in matching you with the right resource than in taking on work that may jeopardize both parties’ long-term success. If they are not sure they’re right for you, they will put you in touch with someone who might be.

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