What is Business Consulting

Does my business need a business consultant?

At Comprehensive Consulting Solutions for Small Businesses, we have noticed that the field of business consulting isn’t as straightforward as we like to think it is. To us, business consulting is helping small businesses increase revenue growth and/or operational efficiencies through advice, strategies, and tactics.

What does that really mean though? That’s a great question, what truly defines business consulting or management consulting? Let’s look at a few definitions -

According to the Wharton School, “A business consultant is a professional who analyzes businesses, creates solutions to problems, and helps businesses develop efficient plans for meeting their goals.”

According to Entrepreneur.com, a consultant is defined as “A person engaged to provide professional advice or services for a fee, but not as an employee of the business that engages him or her.”

According to Harvard Business Review, “Management consulting includes a broad range of activities, and the many firms and their members often define these practices quite differently. One way to categorize the activities is in terms of the professional’s area of expertise…”

As a reader, you are either giving us a thumbs up or are even more confused! HA!

Sometimes examples are the best way to define and help others understand, so let’s break down business consulting the same way we set up a new process – Why, What, When, Where, and How.

Why use a business consultant?

We offer business consulting services for a variety of areas. Small Businesses have a lot to juggle including recruiting, marketing, sales, customer service, retention, culture, operations, revenue or compensation growth, processes or process improvement, training, and more. All of those areas make up the small business puzzle. Once a puzzle piece is out of alignment, the business could have negative impacts to revenue, profit, or productivity.

That is where business consulting comes in – a business consultant is brought in to help the business owner(s) see their small business from an unbiased view (a fresh perspective) – sometimes, if the problem is close, it’s harder to see. The entrepreneur recognizes that something is off, but isn’t really sure what is happening, by who, and so on. Sometimes, business owners are surprised by what they aren’t seeing! When a business works with a small business consultant, the business owner may not like what they hear, but to fix an issue – the problem must be addressed before a plan can be built to resolve it.

Business consulting addresses issues and develops resolutions, but also can help a small business with something new that the business owner is about to pursue such as a starting a new business, revision of an outdated marketing plan, recruiting a staff, adding a partner, a need for written processes, revising compensation, developing a plan to increase retention, and so on.

Comprehensive Consulting Solutions for Small Businesses can help with problem resolution and additions to the business. However, we are not experts in every field, so if we have a client that needs additional expertise or needs help in legal, accounting, IT, or HR - we have a network of business owners that we work with to ensure the client receives the best advice by category and service that exceeds expectations.

We like the personalized approach and have a passion for small businesses – all of our partners in our referral network have that same approach and passion. We do not receive compensation for clients we refer – the businesses within the network, work on a referral basis.

What does a business consultant do?

A Small Business Consultant will help the small business identify its challenges, issues, or opportunities and advise on how to resolve those or implement a plan to take advantage of any opportunities. With most of our clients, the owners would like assistance with installing, implementing, and measuring resolutions or opportunities – but, that is not always the case. Some business owners have more resources or capacity than others – others don’t and need help throughout the process from start to finish.

Where can the business be located and where do they meet?

At Comprehensive Consulting Solutions for Small Businesses, we have Small Business Consultants that work with small businesses in Northwest Arkansas including Fayetteville, Bentonville, Springdale, Rogers, Bella Vista, Fort Smith, Mountain Home, and all of the cities in between. We also work with small businesses across the country, but most of our client base is located in Arkansas.

With today’s technological capabilities – we can work with any small business as long as they have a quality service or product, business need and desire to achieve bigger things, phone, computer, and internet access. We can meet at the client’s office, favorite coffee shop, restaurant and for our clients who are not close – we use video conferencing, phone, and Facetime.

When does a business owner meet with a business consultant?

Small Business Consultants consult businesses on varying levels according to business need, assistance required, areas of expertise, campaign length, and more. Some of our clients need business consulting for 6 to 10 hours a week, but others only require 2 hours a week. The specifics of time requirements are discussed and agreed upon, before the business consultant and business owner start working together.

How does the consulting process work?

To start, a business owner would reach out to Comprehensive Consulting Solutions for Small Businesses via phone, email, or through our website. A Small Business Consultant would reach out to the business owner to schedule a time for a free consultation to determine what opportunities and/or challenges the business has. Next, a proposal would be sent to the business owner. Once that is accepted, the Small Business Consultant would schedule a time to get started with the business consulting process.

At the first meeting, a Consulting Services Agreement would be signed by both parties, which details hours, roles, confidentiality, and more. During the first couple meetings, a Discovery Questionnaire would be completed by the Small Business Consultant and business owner, so that the business consultant can get a clear picture of the business, how it operates, markets, retains, hires, growth, compensation, etc. From there, the consultant would devise a plan and how to resolve issues and/or implement a new addition.

We hope that clears up the specifics about business consulting and how Comprehensive Consulting Solutions for Small Businesses can help your small business. If you have any questions or feedback, please let us know.

We look forward to helping your small business with its opportunities!