Consultants are problem solvers who work with client companies to solve specific business challenges. They provide analysis, ideas and recommendations for clients using their own experience in relevant fields and problem solving. They can gather information by interviewing industry experts and customers, collecting data from customers, conducting focus groups or surveys, and reading market and industry reports. In a normal week, a consultant will perform analysis, create graphs on the slides, analyze the slides, and then come back and repeat.
Preparing for Interviews? Get RocketBlocks! Customers are often leading companies and non-profit organizations. Consulting firms have accumulated critical experience in key areas, so when companies are faced with mission-critical challenges or problems that require that expertise, an efficient way to resolve the problem may be to contact a consulting firm. For example, consider the scenario of a large consumer electronics manufacturer that has decided to merge with a competitor of similar size. Companies may be able to do this on their own, but given how much is at stake, they want to execute with confidence and therefore leveraging the expertise of a consulting firm makes sense.
In addition, consulting firms can provide an objective third party opinion on an important decision being made by a company. They can also be used to break deadlocks between board of directors or factions within the executive team. Consulting firms can also provide an objective view of industry best practices, essentially taking advantage of its broader scope of how other companies have addressed similar problems. Lastly, companies may hire consultants when they need an injection of intelligent people and brains to address a pressing problem.
Consultants can perform a number of tasks that can vary significantly by industry. In short, consultants provide expert opinions, analysis and recommendations to organizations or individuals, based on their own experience. They are essentially solvers, serve as objective problem solvers, and provide strategies to prevent problems and improve performance. Increased consensus, engagement, learning and future effectiveness are not intended as a substitute for the more common purposes of management consulting, but rather as complementary activities that can help organizations achieve their goals.