There’s little debate about whether businesses need an effective strategy to succeed. But do businesses need strategy consultants to help get them where they want to be, or can businesses achieve their strategic goals with nothing but their own internal resources? Thanks to some information from recent studies, which were conducted using scientific research methods, business experts can now say with a level of certainty that consultants work. Strategy consulting firms add value to businesses that they wouldn’t be able to foster on their own in most cases. In fact, most businesses see returns on their investment within a year of procuring the services of a strategy consulting firm. Of course, it all depends on whether you find an effective firm to deliver these valuable services to you, and whether your team is willing to put the work in to achieve the goals laid out before you. With the right consultancy and a positive effort from your team, however, there is much that a firm can do for your enterprise.
Reviewing and Adapting Management Practices
One of the most important things your company can do together with a consulting firm is review your current management practices to see what is working and what isn’t. Without an outside perspective, it can be easy to miss important practices that would benefit your business, such as putting customer orders before other activities or even just ensuring that workspaces are clean. It can also be easy to overlook the management practices that are working, which are important to continue focusing on even as new practices and policies are implemented. A good strategy consultant will have seen countless other businesses’ management practices, and will have plenty of insight into what works and what doesn’t. For this reason, it’s preferable to work with a consulting firm that specializes in businesses from your specific industry.
Prioritizing Tasks to Achieve Strategic Goals
Chances are that owners, executives, board members, managers and other senior-level professionals have a plethora of goals they’d like their business to achieve, and even more ideas about which strategies will help achieve those goals. Weeding through all these ideas and competing voices can lead your strategy team into a quagmire of ineffectiveness and futility. With a business strategy consulting firm leading the way, though, there should be no argument about what’s best. Aside from extreme situations, there should be little debate as to whether the consultant’s suggested plan is the right way to go. They will have listened to what everyone has to say and considered this information with their own knowledge and experience in mind, and developed a plan that has your company’s best interests at its heart.
Implementing Improvements the Right Way
There are right and wrong ways to implement new processes into your business operations, to invest in new business management software, to streamline tasks and to train employees on these new initiatives. Oftentimes, business leaders automatically rely on the absolute worst possible methods of developing and implementing new strategies and systems because that is what they’ve seen and experienced in the past. It’s necessary to provide thorough information, keep lines of communication open, inform employees of the benefits of new initiatives (both to the company and to them individually) and train every team member on the new initiatives. Unfortunately, some managers, executives and team leaders assume that people understand new strategic initiatives after one brief presentation or email. Some even think that shaming or bullying people is the right way to get them onboard with new initiatives. This can never have positive results in the long run. Strategy consulting experts will know differently, and will keep managers and other leaders in your company from implementing your new strategies ineffectively. Then, it should only be a matter of time before your enterprise begins seeing the value of strategy consulting firms, both in terms of profitability and company morale.
Erik Raper is the Senior Vice President, Marketing & Advisory Services for Paragon Solutions. Paragon Solutions is an advisory consulting and systems integration firm across various industries. For more information on Paragon’s business strategy consulting services, contact [email protected]