The definition of business consulting can be framed as follows: it is a service to which owners, directors of companies and public officials can turn if they feel the need for help or advice in the solution of various problems and the implementation of processes of continuous improvement.
The fundamental objective of professional consulting is provide viable recommendations and implement appropriate measures to increase productivity and competitiveness of companies.
In the United States of America there are more than 7,000 consulting firms and in Mexico, more and more services are being hired every day from companies engaged in consulting.
The figures are relatively lower in Europe, but in the United Kingdom and in many other European countries, the growth of the consultancy has been very remarkable for the last 25 years.
In developed countries, large companies, medium-sized companies and even small ones, frequently employ the services of professional consultants.
In some countries, small companies have consultancy services subsidized by governments, as part of the promotion of small businesses.
The most important characteristics of business consulting are the following:
- The consultancy is an independent service, which is characterized by the experience and impartiality of the consultant.
- His role is to act as an advisor, with responsibility for the quality and integrity of his advice.
- Consulting is a service that provides professional knowledge and skills to solve practical problems.
- Consulting does not provide miraculous solutions. It would be a mistake to assume that once a consultant has been hired, the difficulties disappear.
- Consulting is a difficult job based on the analysis of concrete facts and the search for original and feasible solutions.
- The consultancy must give tangible, concrete, specific and consistent results in terms of time and cost.
- The company should see hiring a good consultancy as an investment and not as an expense in terms of what it will earn with it.
- The nature of the consultancy requires that every situation be seen in the perspective of future opportunities.
- The change is the reason of being of the consultancy, changes that improve the performance of the companies and at the same time, they make more interesting and satisfactory the work of the personnel.
- The professional consultant must be closely related to the design, dissemination and knowledge of the new systems, methods and techniques of management, administration and operation.
- The consultant must act as promoter of change and ensure the maximum participation of the client in everything he does, so that the final success is achieved with the effort of both.
- The cooperation between the client and the consultant are as important for the final result as the quality and congruence of the advice given by the group of consultants..
Most entrepreneurs have different problems in the administration and operation of their company, also most of the time they know they need to do something, but they do not know exactly what and how, so it is advisable to approach with expert consultants in business development
There are several ways to provide consulting, among which are:
- Solve a specific need or problem.
The hiring of an external service occurs when the employer defines a need or has a specific problem, but does not have the staff or the time to solve it and looks for specialists to help him.
- Assistance in diagnosis.
The employer needs assistance in diagnosis, when it detects the symptoms of the disease, but can not diagnose the cause of the problems and hires experts to review the company and discover the areas or processes that limit the proper functioning of this.
- Implement or improve systems and processes.
Specialists are also hired when it is desired to implement new systems or processes or improve existing ones. You can correct a situation that has deteriorated, or improve a situation, or create a totally new situation.
- General professional consulting.
The company requires a multidisciplinary professional consultancy, when the employer does not know what kind of help it needs but detects that things are not going as planned.
Other reasons why companies call a consultant are:
- The members of the company have workshop blindness for their involvement in the daily operation, for their established customs and habits and can not find the true origin of the problem and propose novel and feasible solutions.
- They do not have people capable of dealing with a given problem with the same probability of success as a specialist.
- The company needs to implement continuous improvement processes, reengineering, certain management techniques and / or use advanced technologies.
- Develop and / or efficient systems and processes of management, administration, operation and control.
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