It can sometimes be quite a confronting exercise to invite an external business management consulting firm into an organization, especially if you have been one of the driving forces in the management of that organization. In so doing, the business practices and decision-making processes are being opened up for scrutiny and in some cases, criticism, by someone who has no particular vested interest in the company, other than as a client relationship. Of course, this is the whole point in calling in a source of independent and unbiased advice. The decision to engage an external expert is one to be applauded and recognized as one of courage.
Being cautious when choosing a business consulting firm to provide the skills and knowledge from without the business is wise. Never rush into making a decision without solid research, it could have disastrous consequences. Before approaching unknown firms for advice on consulting business owners should seek references and testimonials to establish an independent track record for the firm under consideration.
Some business management consulting firms operate within a narrow band of expertise, while other firms cover a broad number of disciplines. There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches. The advantage in using a consulting firm that specializes in one particular area is the depth of knowledge and influence this consultancy could bring to the client business. However, should additional advice and skills be needed in an area outside the expertise of the consultancy, the client business would again need to go through a selection process and establish a relationship with a different company to get the advice the business needs.
On the other hand, a business consulting firm with a number of consultants experienced in a wide range of business skills can offer complete solutions from the same location, saving the client time and money. Expertise in areas such as accounting, strategic planning, marketing, cash flow management, staff training and development, performance management and business development are typical of the skill base that consulting firms can maintain. While a client business may not need all of the disciplines on offer, there is usually two or three that a client will eventually need some assistance with. For example, for assistance with developing current skills in existing staff, and marketing business owners could use the same consultancy firm to develop solutions in both areas.