Consultancy: how to proceed in order to avoid a mere costly patter

publication date 09.11.2008

Poradenství - drahé tlachání nebo přínos

Consultancy in various branches of business provided for entrepreneurs and managers may initially look like an easy way of making money. No need for any infrastructure, there is just the consultant talking to the client. After that you see the consultant billing the client an exorbitant sum without bearing any responsibility whatsoever. A high-quality consultancy looks different, though.

Consultancy in various branches of business provided for entrepreneurs and managers may initially look like an easy way of making money. No need for any infrastructure, there is just the consultant talking to the client. After that you see the consultant billing the client an exorbitant sum without bearing any responsibility whatsoever. A high-quality consultancy looks different, though.

A consultant alters thinking of their clinets and bears responsibility for their propositions. Everything depends on how the client-consultant relationship has been set. How to choose a consultant and what to require from them even before the co-operation begins and in the course of the co-operation in order to eliminate any unnecessary losses? Throughout their careers, people actually decide in favour of one of the two options  -  to become an entrepreneur or an employee, leaving out such extremes as a life annuity. Until recently consultancy business has targeted mainly entrepreneurs and their companies, yet lately it has begun focusing individual employees as well – the life coaching, for instance. It is a relatively new sphere of consultancy that assists individuals in finding their way in life.

Knowing all no more

Let us pay our attention to entrepreneurs now. Whoever decides to start a business is to find out, and soon, they will need to know a range of spheres: law, taxes, finance, management, quality management systems, environment protection, marketing, working with people. To a degree, everybody can make do with the common sense – finance is about debit/credit, taxes is to pay a percentage for every job you have done, you only get paid for a quality work. Unfortunately, as the entrepreneur broadens their activities, they also need to broaden their knowledge in the respective spheres. The point here is that if they make the wrong decisions, it will cost them more money in the future than if they had paid some to a quality consultant, one who has had a minimum several years´ experience in the particular branch of business. Above all, everything has to be sorted out quickly and efficiently at a time of ceaslessly changing environment of the dynamic 21st century.  

Finding the way forward and a look from the outside

Every entrepreneur had to find their place on the market as well as in life. They know best where they are heading. If the entrepreneur is at the cross-roads, or if they want to reverse a downward or inefficient trend, it is the best moment in time for them to make a decision as to where and how to go forward, and it is also the best moment to use a consultant. The consultant is there to give them hints where their future way might lead to.

More options available

A good consultant is aware of the fact there are more than one option available, which is why they do not give pieces of advice from the position of authority, but, rather, they present possible courses of action in a particular branch of business. Ingenuous, impartial and unbiased, they should outline all options they know of, while weighing their pros and cons as well as possible gains for the business. Finally, it is entirely up to the entrepreneur to make a free decision as to where to steer his or her company in the future. 

In order to find a suitable way, the consultant takes into account the following: 

  • company´s history
  • company´s current standing
  • capabilities of the management and employees  
  • entrepreneur´s conceptions for the future
  • company´s existing practice, its corporate culture

Jiří Střelec

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