I recently heard someone mention that a consultant’s job is to get fired. Although that sounds drastic, what they meant was that a consultant is hired to provide a service that, once delivered, should render the consultant redundant.
For example, a company with an efficiency problem might hire an efficiency consultant who will get the company to the point where they are so efficient that they don’t need the consultant any more.
TYPICAL CONSULTING BUSINESS STRATEGY
This type of strategy is situational and based on a problem/solution mentality. A business identifies a problem and hires a consultant to guide the business to a resolution. While it is very practical, it doesn’t always make sense. It’s reactionary and it relies on the business to first recognize the problem and then accurately diagnose what kind of “repair” is necessary. Problems that aren’t noticed or aren’t properly diagnosed can lead to missed opportunities and a poorly run business.
AN ALTERNATE VIEW
An alternate view is for consultants to become proactive value adders. They can do this by creating products and services that meet key needs for businesses, which may not be in problem areas but which should be in hot button areas. It requires a different kind of mentality, a different kind of marketing, and a different kind of delivery to be successful.
To be successful, consultants need to approach businesses with a clear proposal that demonstrates how well they know the business and that reveals the opportunity for the business to be more successful with the consultant’s help.
Consultants won’t want to do this because it requires proactive selling and measurables (neither of which are things that many consultants enjoy doing) and businesses won’t want this because they tend towards a gap-plugging mentality instead of a success-optimizing mentality.