HOW TO RUN A WORLD CLASS BUSINESS CONSULTINGFIRM Whois a business consultant? According to Business News Daily “Business consultantsprovide management consulting to help organizations improve performance andefficiency. These professionals analyze businesses and create solutions whilealso helping companies meet their goals.” It is advised that all businesses hire a consultant at somepoint because they provide valuable insight into the best way to run a businessas they have had experiences in any field that they provide advice in. They canbe found in many fields such as finance and accounting, advertising, humanresources, information technology, management, organizational behavior and manyothers. Business consultants provide management consulting to helporganizations improve performance and efficiency. These professionals analyzebusinesses and create solutions while also helping companies meet their goals.Business owners hire business consultants when they need help or perspective ontheir chosen path or need a catalyst for change in their companies.
What does a consultant do?· Expertise in a specific market· Identify problems· Supplement the existing staff· Get the ball rolling on change· Provide objectivity· Teach and train employees· Do the “dirty work,” likeeliminating staff· Revive an organization· Create a new business· Influence other people, like lobbyists TYPESOF CONSULTANTSStrategyConsultantThe term StrategyConsultant is used to describe consultants who operate at the highest level ofthe consultancy market, with focus on strategic topics like corporate andorganizational strategy, economic policy, government policy and functionalstrategy. For this reason, strategy consultants generally carry out workassigned by top managers, directors and senior managers. Their focus lies moreon quantitative/analytics skills, and their job description revolves morearound giving advice than overseeing implementation.ManagementConsultantManagement consultants,in practice also known as business consultants or organizational advisors, areconsultants who focus on all sorts of organizational concerns from strategy toa variety of elements within management.OperationsConsultantOperations consultantsare consultants who help clients improve the performance of their operations.Operations Consultants form the largest segment within the advisory branch, andthe majority of consultants are active within one of the many underlyingoperating areas.
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FinancialAdvisory ConsultantConsultants who operatein the Financial Advisory segment generally work on questions that addressfinancial capabilities, and, in many cases, also the analytical capabilitieswithin an organization. Consultants specialized in forensic research andsupport disputes also fall under the Financial Advisory segment. HumanResource ConsultantHuman resourceconsultants help clients with human capital questions within theirorganizations and with improving theperformance of the Human resource department. Human Resource consultants arealso brought in by organizations to help transform the business culture withintheir organization, or transform their Human resource department, whichincludes changes in the area of organizational design, processes and systems,among others. HOWA CONSULTANT WORKSThe first stepfor any business consultant is the discovery phase, where the goal is to learnthe client’s business. A good business consultant takes the time to learn asmuch as possible about the business, from the owner and employees. This caninclude touring the facility, meeting with the board of directors andemployees, analyzing the finances and reading all company materials.
Duringthis process, the business consultant will uncover the details of a company’smission and what operations are in place.Once an in-depth understanding has been developed, abusiness consultant has entered the evaluation phase, where the goal is toidentify where change is needed. This includes identifying the company’sstrengths and weaknesses, as well as current and foreseeable problems. Thesecan include problems already seen by ownership and management, and new problemsseen thanks to the business consultant’s objectivity.
A business consultantshould also identify opportunities to grow business, increase profits, andboost efficiency. In addition to identifying these problems and opportunities,a business consultant should also develop solutions to problems and plans oncapitalizing on opportunities. CREDENTIALS NEEDED TO BEA CONSULTANT The major credentialneeded to be a Business consultant is the CMC known as the Certified ManagementConsultant. It is recognized in over 40 countries. There are3 levels of CMC:Basic: This is for those that have been in the business for 3-9 years.Experience: This is for those that have a decade or more of experienceManagement: This is for those that have at least 2o years of experience and at least 3 years of consulting. The credential must beupdated every 3 years and also, the process to earn a CMC takes only two months SKILLS NEEDED TO BECOMEA BUSINESS CONSULTANT· Problem solving: They must be able to solve given problems forthis is even the main purpose of their hire.
Excellent communication skills: This is so because a lot of presentations would be done and clients need to understand them clearly.Analytical mind: Must be able to analyze everything when consulting before making any judgment.Time management. THE IMPORTANCE OF ABUSINESS CONSULTANT IN A SOCIETY In order for one torun a business well, they have to plan properly and know what to do and how todo it. There are a lot of things that an entrepreneur has to know about themarket, the consumers, the competition, the trends and every other thingneeded in order to be able to run a successful business. To be able to dothis well, one must have a business consultant. There are talented and learned people whorun and work in consulting firms who make it their business to help others understandwhat they need to do to make better profits.
This is especially true nowadayssince there are so many means of conducting a business and the internet evenlets us sell our products online to a global market. Both well-established and new businesseshave a lot to learn from consulting firms. They may know much about their ownbusinesses and how to run them, but they need to know a lot more about theother aspects of the market in order to become completely successful.
Afresh start from a third party without emotions tied into the business isalways beneficial. Learning new ways of marketing yourproduct and selling it to your customers and advertising it to gain morecustomers is important for everyone in any kind of business. Consulting agenciesanalyze the market and devise the kind of plans that will help with growth,especially with the fierce competition nowadays. It may even be necessary tochange or add in new goals to make the business more efficient. There are many ways that a businessconsultant can help you learn more. First of all, they can help you find outwhat market you are in and who you need to sell to, in other words, they couldhelp you discover your target market.
They can help survey potential customersand find out what they want and what they would buy, so that you can find a wayto gain the most number of customers for your business. It is also important for your businessitself to be analyzed well. Your strengths and weaknesses need to be known sothat your strengths can be improved and your weaknesses can be turned intostrengths because no one is perfect. Also, you need to know what opportunitiesyou have as a business owner, and which ones would be the best to take advantageof to further the business as a whole.
Your brand needs to be well known sothat your potential customers will find out more about you and figure outwhether or not to do business with you. In order to do this, you need tomarket well and market in places that potential and current customers andclients would be able to see the advertisements. You can market online as wellas in your area to broaden your customers globally! A consultant can supplement the staff.Sometimes a business discovers it can save thousands of dollars a week byhiring consultants when they are needed rather than hiring full-time employees.They also can save additional money because they don’t have to pay benefits tothe consultants they hire. Even though a consultant’s fees are generally higherthan an employee’s salary, over the long haul it makes good economic sense tohire a consultant. A consultant may be hired to teach.Consultants are called on to teach many skills.
Of course, it’s theconsultant’s task to keep up with developments in their field of expertise sothey’re always ready to teach new clients what they need to stay competitive. A consultant can bring new life to anorganization. If you’re good at coming up with ideas that work, then you won’thave any trouble finding clients. At one time or another, most businesses needsomeone to administer “first aid” to get things rolling again. Eventhe best businesses sometimes need a consultant in order to make them betterand adapt with the times. A corporation that does not adapt will not be able tosell to the modern market, no matter how good theirproduct is. So if you have a business, old or new, it is a good idea to find abusiness consulting firm you trust.Of course consultants arevery important in the society but there are setbacks to being one, especiallyin Nigeria.
For instance, when you’re just starting out it may not be veryprofitable as people are going to go for the people who have had moreexperience. According to statistics provided by entrepreneur Nigeria, itusually takes up to 15 years for consulting firms in Nigeria to make profit.Also when starting out inNigeria there is a shortage of employee graduates and this means that it Iassumed that those available would be in high demand but unfortunately that isnot the case.
The firm must haveexperienced workers in order to gain a loyal clientele. They must also expressprofessionalism in all matters that they offer knowledge on.Consulting is a veryprofitable line of work as long as the firm in use gives clients a reason toreturn and continue to use their services. CASE STUDY OF A CONSULTING FIRMAccentureConsulting PLC Accenture PLC is a global management consulting and professionalservices company that provides strategy, consulting, digital, technology andoperations services. Accenture has been operating in Nigeria since 1985 when itopened its first office in Lagos. Accenture PLC strives to improvethe way the world lives and works; incorporating innovation.
They provide thebest and most specialized services, as well as new IT solutions to theirclients. They have powerful clients and relationships with impactful leadersand innovators to explore their business capabilities and technology.Strengths in the SWOT analysis of Accenture1. World’s largest consultingfirm: In terms ofrevenue it’s the world’s largest consulting firm which mainly focuses on IT andbusiness consultancy. It has fantastic business ethics & uncompromisingstandards for high performance.
2. Strong Clientele: It has a large client base with sometop notch companies having Accenture as their consultants. Nearly 90 out of thefortune top 100 companies & more than three quarters of fortune global 500companies have Accenture as a consulting firm.3. Service Delivery Network: Accenture have global service deliverynetwork with presence in more than 200 cities, 56 countries & employing390,000 passionate employees continuously working to give optimum servicedelivery to end customers.4.
Client Driven processes: Strong business relations & clientdriven approach by Accenture helps them in creating industry based, sustainablevalue for their consulting partners.5. Continuous improvement: Like Kaizen of Toyota, Accentureis always looking towards improving its capabilities, hiring better and moretalented manpower, thereby matching their promise to the end customers.6. Diverse capabilities: With its five operating groups namelycommunications, Media & technology, financial services, health &publicservices and product resources it has created diverse capabilitieswithin its team. Dedicated and trained manpower for each vertical is whatdifferentiates Accenture from the rest.
7. Expertise: With its client base stretching outfrom health care to automobile to IT services, Accenture has a lot ofexperience and the talent behind it to get things done. Hence, Accenture hasbecome the “specialist” or “experts” across different industries. Weaknesses in the SWOT analysis of Accenture1.
Lack of coordination: Accenture has 19 business unitscollaboratively working with the clients and with each other. This leads toconflicts due to lack of internal coordination.2. Dependency on its consultingbusiness: Althoughits business is in management consulting, technology & BPO, but the consulting partforms the major source of revenue for Accenture.
This can be dangerous for thecompany in the long run because running such a large operation requires thatthe firm be ready for bad financial days.Opportunities in the SWOT analysis of Accenture1. Expansion of business: By targeting small &mid-sized projects & expanding to other developing economies(Market development), Accenture can increase its revenue even more.
2. Acquisitions: Accenture recently acquired ‘Gaspo”, ananalytics solution provider based out of Brazil. It also acquired Agilextechnologies, which is a digital & IT services provider for U.S Govt.agencies.
Such acquisitions can increase the analytic strength of Accenturethereby helping it in expansion.3. Focusing on otherbusinesses: Morefocus on technology & BPO, and making the revenue equivalent to consulting,can help the firm to penetrate the market even better.
Also,this diversification will provide a cushion during harsh financialtimes.Threats in the SWOT analysis of Accenture 1. Competition: Tough competition from IT giantslike IBM, Capgemeni, and Infosys is the area of concern for thecompany.2. Bad financial times: During the recession period it was tough forthe company because of over dependability on premium clients. The large clientswere the first ones which got affected badly by the financial downturn. Andhence the revenue drive to Accenture dropped badly.
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Munirah-ImanYusuf2. MbanefoChidubem3. OnyejiuwaChizaram4. AkandePrecious5.
OgundekoOluwatofunmi6. AbisolaAbisoye7. DumboDavid8. LotachukwuOzim9. PhilipsDeborah