To succeed in business, you need a strategy. But unfortunately, this isn’t something all companies have. Whether they’ve coasted along with nothing more than a great idea since the beginning, or they got bogged down with the day to day and stopped prioritizing their business strategy, there are plenty of companies in desperate need of some help. That is where strategic business consulting comes in.
Jon Parrish is a former management information consultant from Naples, Florida. Currently, he acts as the COO of a maintenance and restoration company called Coastal Maintenance & Restoration. Mr. Parrish provides his insight into what strategy consulting is and why it’s so important.
What is Strategy Consulting?
Strategy consulting is the practice of advising businesses on important business decisions in an unbiased fashion. In other words, strategy consultants help business owners or managers choose the right tactics for success.
When Jon Parrish worked as a management information consultant at Arthur Andersen (now Accenture), he always approached his job from the perspective that it was up to him to figure out what the company’s goals were, how he could help the company achieve these goals, and how the company could measure their success.
It is also worth noting that strategy consultants work across every industry, consulting with both private and public organizations, as well as organizations of all sizes. People are often surprised to learn that even large, well-established companies hire outside strategy consultants. This brings us to our next point: why do companies use strategy consultants?
Why Do Companies Hire Strategy Consultants?
The answer to this question is two-prong. First, we’re going to consider what particular instances might push a company to decide they need to hire a strategy consultant. Second, we’re going to dive into why so many companies prefer to hire a third-party strategy consultant, rather than hire a permanent one in-house.
What pushes a company to hire a consultant? Jon Parris claims almost all companies are in need of a consultant at some point. However, this is especially true nowadays when there are so many startups. Parrish has seen time and time again how entrepreneurs found startups with strong visions but very weak (possibly even nonexistent) strategies.
These kinds of companies run into issues quite quickly and are often the ones looking for help. Ultimately, no matter the size or success of the company, almost every organization can benefit from a little unbiased expertise once in a while.
A few examples of situations when a company might hire a strategy consultant include: When a company is looking to save money, so they decide to close one of their manufacturing plants. A strategy consultant may be brought in to advise on which plant should close, how much money it will both save but also potentially cost the company, and how the company should restructure their supply chain to make up for the loss of this plant.
Other examples include if a company is merging with another company if a company is launching a new product and wants advice on not only how to launch it but how to prevent their competitors from creating a knockoff version, or if a company is looking to collaborate with other companies in their industry but aren’t sure where to start.
Second, there are three key reasons why companies choose to hire a strategy consultant from a consulting firm rather than hiring someone permanently for the role. First, consultants are specialists in their field. Whatever it is you’re seeking their help with, they have helped plenty of other companies in your industry do the exact same thing.
They are experts that can be trusted to give you advice based on years of experience and success. Further, consultants can be objective. This is one benefit that would be nearly impossible if your strategy consultant worked within your company. Hiring an objective third party guarantees that you will get a truthful opinion in the best interests of the company.
This method ensures that every angle of the situation will be examined. Finally, from a monetary point of view, hiring a strategy consultant for certain rare situations is much more cost-effective than paying someone a full-time salary to do a job that you only require a part of the time, asserts Jon Parrish.
Jon Parrish Explains Why Strategy Consulting is Important
As you can see, strategy consulting is an extremely valuable asset for companies. As strategy consultants are experts in such a wide range of fields, the help they can offer is endless, says Jon Parrish. Not only can they help companies make important business decisions, but they have the ability to turn an unsuccessful company into a successful one.