Looking for advice on how to choose a strategy consultant? You've come to the right place!
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The process of creating a business strategy can be challenging, even for successful entrepreneurs. Although a strategy consultant can help guide your business toward growth, finding the right consultant isn't easy. Here's what you need to know . . .
Strategy consultants work with business owners to devise a strategy that is capable of achieving the stated goals of the business. But the market is filled with a broad range of consultants, many of which are incapable of providing the expertise your business requires. The job of filtering the wheat from the chaff falls on your shoulders, and if you fail to select a qualified consultant your business will suffer the consequences.
Specific selection criteria vary from one situation to the next. But regardless of your industry and goals, the strategy consultant you select should possess several key characteristics that are vital to the success of the strategy you ultimately adopt.
Many consultants market themselves as generalists who are capable of charting a course for business in any industry or stage of growth. But that isn't how business works. Success often requires a business strategy that has been tailored to meet the nuances of both the industry and the marketplace. To achieve your goals, you need to look for a consultant that specializes in your industry – or at least has firsthand knowledge about the unique challenges your business is up against.
Ability to Adapt
Every situation is unique, and the strategy that worked for the consultant's last client probably won't work for you. But unfortunately, some consultants tend to rely on a standard handful of strategies they use time and time again. When interviewing candidates, you should listen for indications that the consultant will adapt his approach to your specific needs.
At the end of the day, your business strategy has to contain solutions designed to address your barriers to growth. Many consultants are adept at identifying problems, but fall short when it comes to offering creative and effective solutions. Talk to prospective consultants about the solutions they have provided for other clients to assess their ability to suggest solutions that transcend simple analysis.
Another important characteristic to look for in a strategy consultant is the ability to offer pragmatic answers to your business' problems and challenges. Ideally, your consultant should have experience in devising practical business strategies that contain implementation plans. You should also ask candidates if they are willing to serve in an advisory role throughout the implementation process.
Track Record of Success
In business, results matter. If the consultant is worth his salt, he should be able to provide you with a long list of successful strategies he has devised. Don't hesitate to ask for the names and contact information of previous clients to confirm his claims. If the consultant is unwilling to provide you with a list of previous clients, it could be a red flag that his strategies aren't very effective in the real world.
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