What is a Business Strategy Consultant? Do You Need One?

Client explaining business to their strategy consultant
"Good tactics can save even the worst strategy."

Strategy – This is a term that is often bandied about in several walks of life. Military, sports, politics, and business are examples of the right strategy holding the key to success. In today's times, where there is a business, there is a business strategy consultant. The strategy part has always been the focal point while setting up great institutions and theories.

Winston Churchill, leader of The United Kingdom during World War II, declared that –

" However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results."

This leads us to a chicken and egg situation where the desired outcomes are impossible without a sound strategy. Businesses have a multitude of decisions to take, both in the short and the long term.

There exist constraints of time, budgets, and other resources while running a business. For optimal results, they must know how and where to direct their energies.

A business model is how an organization decides to position itself in the marketplace. This is where a business strategy consultant comes into the picture as he assists you in making the choices that align with your business model.

A strategy is essential to provide value to its stakeholders, and, as mentioned above, it is the choice of this business model.

Businesses need the services of a business strategy consultant to make the correct decisions. In this article, we will examine the role of a business strategy consultant and whether you need one or not.

What is a Business Strategy?

business planning in a meeting
Business strategy is about setting plans and actions to achieve business goals.

An organization's business strategy consists of the following:

Scope: Scope is the breadth or span of the firm's domain, and it includes the number and type of industries or markets the firm wants a presence in. The scope also refers to the range of a business's offerings.

Goals: Goals refer to metrics such as volume growth, profits, or return on investment over a particular period

Resource deployment: There is always going to be a shortage of resources. Adequate resource allocation across departments and activities is key to a firm's strategy.

Identify a sustainable competitive advantage: This differentiating aspect keeps a firm ahead of its competitors, and it also assists in maintaining and expanding its customer base.

Synergy: A business strategy has various aspects such as products, markets, and resources. When these come together and complement each other, a business achieves synergy.

What Is Business Strategy Consulting?

Businesses do not always have the expertise or the resources needed to address questions about their future roadmap. This is also the case with any challenges they may face, and this is when they bring a business strategy consultant on board to offer advice on the best way to move forward.

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A business strategy consultant has in-depth industry knowledge, and he uses this knowledge and experience to observe problems holistically. Based on his understanding, he also provides solutions to resolve them.

What Can A Strategy Consultant Do For Your Business?

Well, what does that entail? To put it simply, business strategy consultants help solve business problems as they act as a bridge between a complicated client context and a backend network of experts. They break down any issue that the client faces into smaller parts.

A business faces challenges in many areas. Some include increasing costs, new market entry, product launches, market size estimation, competitor presence, consumer preferences, entering into mergers or acquisitions.

A business strategy consultant addresses these issues by putting together well-researched deliverables. These contain recommendations so that the client can make informed decisions.

There are two ways to gather information for the task at hand: Getting it first-hand from the client and secondary sources such as industry reports.

A business strategy consultant may advise the business on the following dimensions:

Business strategy consultant role dimensions.
Business strategy consultants cover these dimensions for their clients.

Financial goals:

Financial goals have a direct impact on a firm's top and bottom lines. The leadership may want to diversify revenue streams, and they can achieve this through affiliate marketing or introducing subscriptions.

Creating new products, becoming a market leader are other examples of financial goals. Anyone or more of these could be the financial goals of a firm.

Productivity:

Productivity and growth goals provide several intangible benefits in the long run. Some growth goals could be building a company culture and enhancing employee satisfaction.

Customer-facing goals:

These include repeat purchases, bigger ticket sizes, retention, and expanding customer base.

Lower costs:

The firm could also look at lowering costs through streamlining processes. Acquiring alternate vendors and introducing automation are other methods to reduce costs.

How To Become a Business Strategy Consultant?

A multitasking manager
As a business consultant, one needs to be on their toes.

To accomplish the assigned tasks and go up the ladder as a business strategy consultant requires a particular skill set. As a business, you need to know these skills and why these can be helpful for you while hiring a consultant.

Some essential skills needed to flourish in this role are:

Time Management:

This involves looking at both the short-term and the long-term aspects. While short-term time management consists in managing your daily and weekly tasks, juggling multiple projects, long-term time management is the strict adherence to deadlines and the ability to work backward to pace it correctly.

Flexibility:

The ability to think on one's feet is critical for a business strategy consultant. The projects that they are a part of are often dynamic, and the requirements can change. Flexibility is also the ability to come up with the answers fast enough to keep things moving.

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Communication:

A business strategy consultant's communication skills must be on point. Clarity of thought in emails, speaker notes in presentations, or telephonic conversations is a must. The expectations about the outcomes must be communicated at the outset.

Business awareness:

There exist standard commercial practices and business know-how. Business strategy consultants must be familiar with them.

Problem-solving:

A consultant will work with several industries or company reports, and they may also have to go through client or employee responses. This requires that consultants are good at spotting patterns and identifying common themes.

Organization:

Standard naming conventions enhance the efficiency of business strategy consultants. They should also have their email and calendar organized. This way, they spend less time searching for the correct information.

Teamwork:

A consultant is expected to work with multi-disciplinary teams. He must communicate effectively about his deadlines, outcomes, and expectations. This is essential to get information on various facets of the business.

Do You Need a Business Strategy Consultant?

Business concept sketch in front of an entrepreneur
Your business needs planning.

The short answer is yes. Firms need a business strategy consultant as they help provide a fresh perspective. The important thing is that this perspective is also unbiased. A thorough analysis of performance can reveal pain points that have been ignored so far.

Business strategy consultants also provide for a level of focus that cannot be expected of company executives. This is because often, they have a single-point agenda, unlike the top leadership, who have a company to run.

Business strategy consultants bring in a wealth of experience, and they might have helped resolve a similar situation in the past.

These consultants often enjoy access to a vast network of information. These include industry data and market trend reports. Their colleagues might have also dealt with similar problems and pitched in to help.

Industry regulations change from time to time. Business strategy consultants are familiar with these changes and understand the implications and repercussions of such changes. They also come in with no baggage or assumptions as they do not have any stake in the firm, monetary or otherwise.

Being impartial, they present their views in an unclouded manner. They are aware of the tools, resources, and methods to evaluate and drive business performance. Therefore, business strategy consultants save a firm's costs on employee recruitment, training, and benefits.

Business strategy consultants are experienced in scrutinizing a problem from various angles, and they use the insights garnered to formulate a customized strategic plan.

Furthermore, business strategy consultants possess clarity about their role. They know milestones to be set and the results needed for the project to culminate successfully.

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Conclusion

A business strategy consultant can be a boon for businesses. Firms are saved from the time-consuming process of constituting in-house teams. These teams will then begin drafting plans from scratch. They also provide ideas that are different from the ones already considered by the team.

Business strategy consulting is an exciting field as one gets exposure to various industries and their challenges. To become a strategy consultant is imperative to understand the value one brings to the table, and the best way to demonstrate this value is to help the clients realize their objectives.

In addition, documenting one's successes in the form of case studies, white papers, or customer testimonials is essential. The fact that one has a proven track record boosts confidence amongst potential clients.

Once a consultant has established that he can turn around the fortunes of businesses, there is no limit to how far he can go.

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