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Management Consulting for SMEs

Management Consulting means providing professional advice to organizations for improving their overall performance. The organizations need to work on their strategies, governance, compliance, operations, financial management, marketing, quality control etc., if they want to see the intended results. Management consultants identify gaps within the organization and advise corrective and preventive actions.

Consulting Benefits to Small Businesses

The management consultant, an unbiased third-party resource, can identify the technological, human resources, operational, and other gaps in how the current operations are run. Many businesses hire management and business consultancy services because they can’t afford to hire full-time resources. They take the advice of management consulting firms for a few months and follow their instructions until the loopholes are filled.

The management or business consultants will have domain expertise and understanding of specific industries, and they might have given practical solutions to similar businesses in the past. As a result, companies can enhance their profitability, minimize costs, and improve employee satisfaction and retention by hiring management consultancy services.

Why should Small Businesses listen to consultants’ recommendations?

When the MSMEs (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) are in the startup stage, they often lack the experience and competence needed to run a firm. If the SME is a first-generation entrepreneur, he/she will lack the necessary business acumen. Hence, they prefer to hire a management consulting firm for business and performance-related advice. The businesses that seek such expert advice at the right time often thrive and become established over the years.

How should MSMEs prioritize implementing recommendations of the strategy consultant?

An MSME who has recently hired a management consulting firm should collate all the proposed ideas and discuss these with the management team for their input. Whichever ideas get maximum traction should be implemented first.

There will be multiple trends and case studies readily available on similar problems which the MSME is facing. These can become key factors to prioritize on the management consultants’ recommendations.

The best way to test a solution is to put it to use. Apply the ideas suggested by the management consultant and test the outcomes. For example, the problem statement is ‘’Difficulty in market penetration in cities  A, B, C.’’ Track the sales figures for the last three years and tally them against the figures after the ideas were implemented. Allow at least six months for stabilized results.

What are the various skillsets that the management consultant brings to the table?

A management consultant is usually equipped with a no. of soft skills, which makes him/her Exceptional analytical and problem-solving skills

  • Strong motivational, communication and interpersonal skills
  • Excellent time and cost management skills
  • Resource planning and negotiation skills
  • Ability to collaborate with diverse stakeholders in a variety of project environments
  • Deep organizational and domain knowledge
  • Analytical Skills: creating and analyzing project reports

To fully leverage the expertise of the Business/Management Consultant, SMEs should be clear of the problem statement even before the consultant is brought on board. While budgetary allocation and shortlisting of the right consultant is important, it is critical to develop a mindset to effect drastic changes in the business if required.

The ‘no fees, no equity’ Wadhwani Advantage program has a repository of business advisors, consultants and mentors, and curated experts who add great value to businesses. These are domain experts who have successfully transformed businesses. You can avail of their services by applying to the Wadhwani Advantage program, which builds capacity to accelerate the revenue of businesses by 2x to 10x.
(Businesses with INR 25 Cr+ revenue and employee strength ≥ 100, intent to grow 10x and a commitment to learn can apply)

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