Consulting is a somewhat ambiguous term that can have different interpretations. It is based on a foundation that resides in providing knowledge and advice on various topics (business, marketing, operations, people…). But today consulting is much more than giving advice, it is about detecting problems, analyzing data, proposing solutions and facilitating the implementation of those solutions.

When a company manager turns to a consultant or a consultancy, he or she assumes that there are circumstances in which it is good to open up to a specialized external view. In many cases, it is even more effective and cheaper to import a proven solution than to develop it in-house.

Consulting involves the sum of knowledge and experience in a given area. Both elements are essential and lead to wisdom that, although it sounds bombastic, elevates theoretical knowledge to a field that also includes practice.

We could establish a relationship between consulting and medicine. What we expect from a doctor is that they know how to identify the symptoms and be able to correlate them so that they can make a diagnosis. Next, we want you to know the remedy and, if it is in your hands, to apply it. In this way, the process would be as follows:

  1. Symptom Assessment: A customer thinks they have a certain problem. Turn to a consultant to help you get to the root of the problem.
  2. Diagnosis: The consultant evaluates the information, looks for complementary information, contrasts with their knowledge of similar problems, and evaluates a personalized diagnosis for the client.
  3. Recipe: The consultant makes recommendations to solve the problem detected, involving the active participation of the client in the process and completing it with the necessary external help.
  4. Header Deal: The consultant has the expertise to guide the client towards the right course of action, considering the client’s unique variables. If necessary, it actively intervenes.
  5. Follow-up care: The consultant provides the client with follow-up and support that improves results.

4 Reasons to Hire a Consultant

Consultants are valid problem solvers and bring business acumen. They can guide the client through the process of completing an initial analysis and evaluating alternative courses of action. They can draw on the accumulated knowledge and experience to bring extensive functional knowledge to the problem solving. In addition, consultants can provide capabilities as experts in aspects that companies rarely face directly. In more detail I could highlight:

  1. Unlike an employee, who may be conditioned by internal issues, consultants bring an independent perspective. A good consultant will always be unbiased and objective since they have no personal connection to the organization. Your vision will always be results-oriented.
  2. Creative thinking. Their external position allows them to deploy their objectivity towards more creative solutions. Without having to safeguard your job, you can offer innovative ideas and strategic thinking beyond what the client might have thought directly.
  1. A consultant accumulates knowledge and experience, and can apply cross-cutting thinking to find the best solution to a problem. Consultants work with multiple clients from different areas, which keeps them abreast of very different cases that can feed back into each other. From there, the diversity in experience puts you in a good position to provide insights into best practices.
  2. By acting as an outsider, it keeps the business at peak operability. Executing a project using internal staffing resources could leave an organization’s day-to-day operations unattended. While through external consultants, companies ensure that their day-to-day functions have the full attention of their staff.

Brand Consultant Requirements

There can be several skills of a consultant, but I could summarize the requirements in three:

  • Focus on deepening the knowledge of all those fields that affect their performance. Almost nothing is monofunctional anymore; Practically everything, including knowledge, is intertwined, it is the result of the fusion and interaction of a wide variety of disciplines, which it is essential to address (business, brand, strategy, creativity, communication…)
  • Ability to approach consulting as a structured process. Starting from a correct definition of the problem (which implies a necessary dose of knowledge of the sector and the company), to arrive at the final proposal through the exhaustive analysis of a multitude of factors, internal and external.
  • High level of engagement. There can be no good work without involvement, without responsibility.

None of this would be possible without the process being walked hand in hand between consultant and client. There is no point in the consultant taking the client’s mandate and dedicating himself to the study of the problem and then coming up with a solution. Although it may sometimes seem that a magic solution is offered, the reality is that in order to reach it, it is necessary to propose a process in which the client needs to share and validate each of the stages. This is the best way to ensure that what is achieved at the end of the project is consistent and useful.

Above all, useful. Because in consulting, nothing is of value if it is not useful.

 

Carlos Puig Falcó
CEO of Branward