What types of consultants are out there?

There are several types of business consultants that you can get to help you with your company. The challenge for any business owner is to select the best consultant for their challenge. Let’s take a look at some of the different types of business consultant there are in the marketplace and understand the difference:

Strategy consultant

Strategy consultants normally operate on the foundation of a business. Their expertise is to understand where the business wants to get to and to use their experience and knowledge to design programs and implement processes alongside the business owner in order to deliver the business goals.

Generally this type of consultancy is done at the start of a business or at the beginning of every business year in order to align the operation to the commercial goals in order to ensure the business achieves what it is trying to, over the coming period of time.

Operations consultant

Operations consultants are more focused on the day-to-day processes that a business uses and the departments within that business. Typically these individuals have come from a specific sector of industry and are experts in one or two disciplines. Their role is to work with functions such as finance, human resources, legal and supply chain to build processes and strategies that work alongside the overarching business strategy to deliver sales and commercial performance.

Finance consultant

Whilst an operational consultant might have an experience or background in finance the use of a dedicated financial advisor allows there to be a greater depth of knowledge in this area. For most companies having an operations consultant involved with the finance side of the business will be sufficient in most circumstances. However for more complex matters potentially involving further business purchases, restructuring or the sale of the business, it is preferable to have a dedicated financial consultant support in business decision making.

Human Resource Consultant

As with finance, for companies with people or training challenges an operations consultant may be an adequate support mechanism for the business. However, for companies looking at more detailed approaches towards training, contracts and employment legislation, especially when there is the involvement of a union perspective, it is better to have a specialist consultant rather than a generalist. For most companies, their HR needs can adequately be supported by an operations consultant, who is normally experienced enough to offer the correct level of support.

IT Consultant

For most small businesses who run their IT through their operations teams it’s unlikely that they will ever need an IT consultant to be brought into the business unless this is a demand from one of their clients. If, however, the business has a significant volume of users of IT systems and networks or they are a provider of an IT solution to the market it would make more sense to utilise an external IT consultant, providing that expertise is not already within the business. The important part about engaging an IT expert is to ensure that they are experienced and focused in the solution that the business is looking for help with. For instance a general IT consultant may have an understanding of the use of a CRM system but may not be a CRM expert. In this instance you would be better looking for a CRM focused consultant to achieve your goals quicker.

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