The consulting business has picked up dramatically in recent years, from basic business-building tips to advanced work in strategic planning. Of course, when business in a particular sector picks up, it’s a guarantee that more businesses will suddenly spring up from nowhere with the promise of producing the same results as consulting firms that have been in the field for decades.
Along the same lines, those same companies that purport to offer similar services are fending off lawsuits from unsatisfied clients. That’s why it’s important for you to thoroughly research the company that you plan to do business with, if you don’t want to end up like those angry customers who wasted company time and money.
If you find yourself agreeing with what your management consultant, take stock of your own perceptions and try to think if that’s a good thing or not. It certainly could be, in which case you’ve found a consultant that works for you (rather than against you). But if they’re a little too agreeable, it might be that they’re simply trying to please you rather than actually try and make your managerial tactics more successful. This isn’t very helpful to you or your company, and only serves to increase the consultant’s bank account.
The backbone of the consulting business rests on the success of other businesses. Consultants are also well aware that the success of the businesses who work with them largely depends on the willingness of management to involve themselves in the process-that is, how much effort and commitment they’re prepared to invest in getting the company back on its feet and moving in the right direction. If the prospective consultant doesn’t seem to understand that the commitment required comes from both parties, chances are they haven’t been in the business for too long and don’t have enough experience to be effective.
Why is it that management consulting firms don’t always understand the nature of their own business? The reasons are various, but it usually boils down to inexperience. As they come up with a management or other strategy-based plan for your business, be aware of whether they’re offering honest advice or opinions, or if they’re taking a reactionary approach and basing their answers on your own viewpoints. If their solutions to your management problems seem too much like a rephrasing of your own ideas or they’re too vague when they should be pinpointing the problems in your management tactics, it’s time to look elsewhere for your answers.