As the world ever been in a place like it is today?
It feels like we are at a major crossroads in our evolution – the Pandemic has made people sit back and review what they want from live. Combined with the realisation that things need to change to ensure that we don’t completely screw up the climate whilst leveraging the ability to ‘control’ the narrative through social media campaigns and online movements, organisations have to be alert to many new perspectives in order to thrive in the future.
This creates opportunities for those of us operating in consultancy and change/ transformation.
We live in rapidly changing times, and one side effect of these rapid changes and growth is that no single CEO — or any employee, for that matter — can be an expert in everything. Although this was, perhaps, always true, it has never been more apparent.
This opens up opportunities for us with these challenges faced by businesses today being best met and addressed through qualified consultants. Bringing on a consultant helps CEOs add the expertise and skills they need to address particular problems at particular times and can provide the best possible outcomes.
Just a few of the challenges I see businesses facing that are best addressed with the help of a consultant include:
1. An uncertain future
Being able to predict customer trends, market trends etc. is vital to a changing economic climate, but not every CEO has Warren Buffett-like predictive powers. Bringing in a consultant trained in reading and predicting those all-important trends could be the difference between a bright future and a murky one.
2. Keeping the financial plates spinning
Many CEOs I know are ideas people; that means they’re great at the big picture and disruptive thinking, but less good with things like cash flow, profit margins, reducing costs, financing, etc. Small and medium businesses may not require a full-time CFO but would do better to employ a financial consultant who can step into the role as needed.
3. Understanding which KPIs are required
Using a meaningful set of rounded performance indicators that provide the business with insights about how well it is performing is key. Most business people I know are not experts in how to develop KPIs, how to avoid the key pitfalls and how to best communicate metrics so that they inform decision-making. In most cases, companies rely on overly simple finance indicators that just clog up the corporate reporting channels.
4. Adapting to upcoming Regulation and Compliance requirements
As markets and technologies shift, so do rules and regulations. Depending on your industry, it can make much more sense to bring in a consultant to help with these areas rather than trying to understand the complexities yourself — and risk fines or worse for non-compliance.
5. Recruiting and Retaining the Right People
Again, a small or medium-sized business might not need full-time human resources or recruiting staff, but during peak growth periods, finding the right people and developing the right skills and competencies is the key to a sustainable future. Bringing in a consultant with the expertise to find exactly the workers you need would be a wise investment.
As technologies change practically at the speed of light, companies need to innovate or be left behind — but many CEOs started their careers and businesses before many of these technologies even existed! Consultants can be vital for integrating new technologies, in particular mobile, app development, and cloud computing.
7. Taking advantage and making sense of Data
Frighteningly, 90% of the world’s data was created in the past five years and managing, keeping safe and extracting insights from the ever-increasing amounts of data your company produces needs to be in the hands of a qualified professional who can help you get the most return from that data.
8. Customer Centricity
In a world of instant gratification, customers expect instant customer service — and can take to the web to share their displeasure at less than satisfactory service just as quickly. Consultants can find ways to improve customer service and bring it into the 21st century.
In a similar vein, because customers can voice any displeasure so much more publicly and loudly than ever before, businesses have to monitor and maintain their online reputations. And while it’s an important task, it’s one best suited to a third party who can monitor and mediate with a certain amount of distance.
9. Knowing when to embrace change
Early adopter or late to the game? Consultants can help CEOs determine when to embrace change and when to stay the course. Not everything new is better, yet eschewing every change runs the risk of becoming obsolete. A professional outside opinion can make all the difference in these decisions.
We are living in an era of constant change for the foreseeable future: change is the new normal. Preparing for and embracing that change by investing in the right kind of advice is the best way to meet these challenges head-on.
These 9 areas create real opportunities for consultancies.
If you have an interest in building and scaling a consulting business and taking advantage of this opportunity, then take our 22 question assessment – it takes less than 3 minutes to complete yet provides you with a personalised report highlighting the areas that you’ll need to focus on to build and scale a consulting business and create real wealth for you and your family.