Consultants, why use them?

03 September 2017

In the past, business leaders and managers may have tried to deal with the majority of their issues internally, as asking for external assistance may have been perceived as a sign of potential weakness or lack of knowledge and insight in addition to being expensive and beyond the businesses means. In more recent times, reaching out to business advisors and consultants is much more widely accepted. 

In addition to perhaps a smarter approach to ‘demand’, business advisory firms have become much smarter in tailoring the ‘supply’ of advice available. It may well have been that a decade ago, consultants with permanent frowns chiselled into their foreheads were brought in to give you a hard-line on why you weren’t a good enough manager. The consultants of those days are long gone and have been replaced with a new breed who care about your needs, are there to support you, and fully understand that, to survive and prosper, they need to add value to your business.

What makes consultants appealing?

Once thought to be expensive contractors, consultants are now recognised as a cost-effective way of dealing with your business’ issues. With most consultants available as and when they are required, there is no longer a need for companies to permanently employ all specialisms. Instead, one may only need to hire a consultant for a set time or on a project by project basis and the ad hoc nature of the service means there is no need for sleepless nights over redundancy conversations
when the particular project is complete. Consultants provide an external viewpoint and a plethora of experience to draw on to give you the advice required to help you make better informed and commercial decisions.

Why use a consultant?

There is a reason the libraries of every business school are lined with 20th century textbooks. In the 21st century and the ever increasing speed of business change, there are no longer such things as ‘textbook problems’, each hurdle incurred by businesses are now as unique as the fingerprints of their employees. Thus, businesses require specialists who can expose the problems faced by businesses and help create a bespoke solution. Consultants should be used to fulfil this role, deliver value and share the pride you take in your business.

With all of the potential changes looming in the UK economy, management have little time to focus on additional projects. This is where consultants come in, charge your consultants to use their experience and do some of this thinking for you to optimise your business solutions. They can also take on a project management role, allowing management and staff to formulate a plan to achieve business goals, providing challenge where appropriate, and encouraging you to look ahead every so often.

While consultants used to be regarded as an unnecessary expense, if procured and managed effectively we could no longer imagine the business world without them.

For more information contact Alasdair Green, Senior Manager (alasdair.green@aab.uk) or your usual AAB Contact.

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