What is Strategy Consulting and When Do You Need It?

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Do you need strategy consulting? Suppose you’re the owner or a leading executive of a well-known B2B marketing magazine faced with a dilemma. Recently, you’ve noticed that your physical copy sales aren’t on the same level they used to be… At the same time, you see that your website is beginning to gain more traction. 

As an “old-school” executive, you might not really have a grasp on how web publications operate, so this shift places you in a challenging situation. You need to find a solution, and you need to do so quickly. 

Suddenly, many questions pop into your mind. How much time and assets should you designate to your company’s website? What type of subscription form makes the most sense? Should you switch your printed copies from weekly to monthly releases? Should you get rid of your physical copies entirely and focus on your digital efforts?

If you find yourself in this type of predicament, you’ll likely google something like “what is strategy consulting and how can it help my business?” After all, in times of disruptions, strategy becomes more critical than ever. The short answer is that business strategy consulting is a management process for evaluating your current business, determining your strategic direction, and laying out a roadmap of strategic initiatives… And that might be just what your business needs.   

Strategy consulting has a presence in virtually every industry, and can provide you with an external, expert perspective on various business challenges. Business strategy consulting offers a fresh, objective take on complex issues and ensures that enterprises consider each angle for making big business decisions. Let’s dig into what strategy consulting is, its benefits for businesses of all sizes, and why an intelligent business owner should at least consider it when times are tough.

What is Strategy Consulting? 

Business strategy consulting happens when an organization brings in a third party to provide an external, expert perspective on its business challenges. Strategy consultants generally have substantial industry knowledge and can evaluate senior-level business issues objectively. These experts take a holistic look at business problems and offer professional advice on how to approach them. 

If we go back to the above example, a skilled strategy consultant with a strong know-how in digital transformation could help decide how to proceed with your business’s digital shift. They could resolve important business matters, such as whether the website’s ad revenue might counterbalance losses from reduced subscriptions. Also, they can collect information on your company’s IT infrastructure to see if it could manage additional web traffic. You could also get a projection about whether clients would remain interested in your company’s printed version a couple of years later. Finally, they could provide your company much-needed clarity.

Why Companies Need Help From External Industry Experts

Why do companies with a proven track record of success need outside business strategy consulting? Aren’t their top-paid executives experts themselves? Can’t they pull employees from within the organization to address and resolve business-related issues? Well, the answer to all of these questions is predominantly a matter of focus and objectivity… 

When you decide to employ a strategy consultant, it’s for a predetermined timeframe. During this period, you expect them to devote their time, energy, and knowledge to solve your particular problem. 

If we stick to the example from above, a strategy specialist would be strictly focused on the issue of the marketing magazine’s transition from print to digital – and the consequences of that switch. The business owner and top-tier executives won’t be able to do that. They have a whole organization to run. Besides, they don’t have the knowledge and skills required to smoothly transition and integrate a business like that into the digital world.

Strategy experts also offer judgment on issues that you can’t always expect from personnel within the company. Despite everything, owners, executives, board members, and managers often have personal stakes in these businesses. As such, they often come with preconceptions and biases that can cloud their rulings on important issues.

Strategy consulting brings an outside perspective. Therefore, strategy consultants are never bothered by personal affairs in the company. They offer honest opinions. With business strategy consulting, executives get access to a reliable source that’s free of emotion and personal sensitivity. 

5 Benefits of Hiring a Business Strategy Consultant

Now that you know what strategy consulting is, and why companies spent more than $130 million on consulting services in 2020, it’s time to address the top five benefits you gain when you choose this advisory service. 

1. Vast Knowledge of Business Management 

A third-party strategy expert’s whole responsibility is to focus on your company’s existing operations and find ways to enhance them. Since most of these specialists belong to business strategy consulting firms, they have expertise in dealing with different industry situations. Your company gets the best solutions possible, as these professionals come with a vast knowledge of business management and have a history of successfully dealing with similar issues.

2. Many-Sided Functions of Business Strategists 

Running a business demands a high level of concentration and patience. When you’re an owner or executive of an organization, you likely already have a lot on your plate. Hiring a business strategy consultant ensures you don’t get sidetracked. While you’re occupied with your business’s everyday operations, it’s difficult to anticipate and analyze errors or flaws in the operational channel. Involving a strategy expert helps you bring a fresh perspective to operating scenarios. 

Strategy professionals are highly qualified to assemble the required data and make sure any new business decisions provide optimal results. Effective communication in the form of reporting and analysis also helps you achieve transparency in your company’s work.

3. Availability of Resources 

Each company on its own has a limited pool of available resources. Business strategy mentors come with profound industry knowledge and proficiency, as well as many tools, resources, and procedures to evaluate and drive business performance. With their expertise, you enjoy the benefit of cost-effectiveness, as they know what tools and resources your business needs.

4. Developing Effective Solutions 

These experts are always up to date with the most recent changes with relevant laws and regulations. Their many encounters with different clients (facing similar problems) also help them better understand a wide range of business issues. Strategy consultants use the lessons they learn on the job and work with extensive clientele to deliver innovative business solutions.

5. Consultants are Cost-Efficient 

Hiring a strategy specialist enables you to save both money and time. You’re able to concentrate on your organization’s everyday operations, and the consultant makes sure your business (or the specific area for which they’re employed) runs effectively.  

If you decide to hire a regular employee instead of a consultant, you face the costs of recruitment, employee benefits, and training. Plus, if the employee is ineffective, you incur losses. When you hire a strategy consultant, you save significant money that can be used for critical business purposes.

What ROI Can Companies Expect From a Strategy Consultant? 

Prior to recruiting a business strategy expert, many businesses try to determine an estimated return on investment… And while hiring a consultant is usually more cost-effective than bringing on a full-time employee, it’s essential that you look at other factors to help measure an approximate return on this investment. 

A strategy specialist can help companies obtain a positive ROI in many ways. When undertaking projects, a consultant strives to either increase revenues or reduce costs. While not every company project yields an instant ROI, the general expectancy of consulting services is that throughout a relationship (which can extend several years), the company should receive a return of about 5-10 times the consulting fees.         

In Conclusion 

Take a step back, reflect, and evaluate where you are in the strategic planning process… Assess whether your needs, goals, and budget can benefit from outside help. If you opt to hire a strategy expert to assist with an aspect of your business that’s continuously causing you trouble, make sure you hire a trusted, experienced consultant to solve your issues. 

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