Reaching out to businesses who have worked with a consultant - What are the main things that a business needs to know when working with a consultant?

Hey guys, we are looking to work with consultants to help our business increase revenue and were wondering want are the common questions a consultant will ask to assess this? What are some of the tasks which were assigned to your business? How much work did this add to your workload VS the rewards/returns you achieved?


In my more than a decade of experience I have worked on either side of the table. From being a consultant to hiring a consultant to running my own business consulting company. I believe you should think more about the things that you should ask the consultant than questions a consultant may ask to assess your business.

Whatever question a consultant may ask shouldn't bother you as he/she will ask only about your business and nothing personal. But, what you should ask a consultant is going to define the value of the engagement. Hence, make sure you are clear with:

1. What problem do you expect the consultant should help you solve?
2. What are the diverse capability required to solve the problem and whether the consultant possess them all?
3. How would you measure the success of engagement? Don't try to quantify the success. Sometimes qualitative aspect outweighs the quantitative stuffs.
4. Time frame of the engagement
5. Engagement model and approach
6. et al

I hope above could be of some help. Is there anything specific you're looking at? Feel free to reach out with more clarity to receive clarity. I am just a buzz away and our capability spans across business, management, and technology.

Answered 6 years ago

I was hired by a major movie studio to increase its revenue. They had global operations spread across many divisions such as Theater, TV, DVD, Video on Demand, Video Games, and so forth. They were further divided by regions and countries, which made this process one of the most complicated. However, there is a simple formulaic approach that works for almost all companies.

First, you need to get a good handle on what your revenue is and what you need it to be. Looking at your financial statements is one way, but this finical data often times goes through so much analysis and AICPA translation that its origin and nuance is lost under the category of Revenue. The reason to have a revenue target is because that will drive the next set of questions. If you want to grow 10% or 40% matters because the strategy to get you there is very different.

Common questions the consultant will ask may include:
1. What is your revenue now? Show me the sources and explain the process to getting this number.

2. What is your target for this year, next year, and looking out 3-5 years? Where do you see the growth coming from?

3. Share with me a profile of a customer for each section of your revenue generating business. Is this profile typical? How did you compile this profile? Do most customers fit this profile?

So basically you begin to narrow down the questions and get to the driver that is producing the revenue.

Tasks that can be assigned include:
-Fill out templates with revenue questions that will get you to think about the macro process.
-Reflect on questions like "why are you in business?" and "what do your customers buy from you?" These may seem obvious, but often times the product or service you sell is not the only thing they are buying.

The workload will be significant. You need to have executives with insight into the end-to-end process, as well as specialists who can ensure that what the executives tell you is accurate. There is a tendency for the executive to overly simplify the process, just like there is a tendency for a specialist to get into excessive detail. Once you find the right balance, things move smoothly.

The entire level of effort on your organization can range depending on how intense you want the process to be. I would say at least 100 hours of your executive's time will be spent on it and on large scale projects, this can balloon to 500-1,000 hours.

The initial data gathering part is easily two to three weeks of your time. Then there will be a pause while the consultant consumes the data. Then will be lots of questions and additional request for information. Each request can take a few days to a few weeks. The more you give the consultant, the better the analysis and strategy that you will receive. The final portion where the consultant shares the strategy with you is a good time to compare it to your strategic mission and purpose to ensure that the direction presented resonates with your organization. If it does, you can begin enacting the plan and you will certainly reap the benefits of increasing your revenue with strategic purpose.

Answered 6 years ago

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