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August 3, 2023

8 Myths about Small Business Consulting

Aspirant Digital Agency

The consulting industry has swelled to $330 Billion in the U.S. alone, and for good reason. By collaborating with the right consulting partner, business leaders can accelerate their company's performance much more dramatically than they could on their own.

Big corporations recognize the value of this support and invest millions of dollars every year into closing the gap between their goals and what can be accomplished with in-house resources. This is a much more difficult decision for small businesses - especially those with limited budgets. But contrary to popular belief, consulting services are NOT just for companies with deep pockets. 

 

Consultants bring supplemental horsepower and perspective

No one knows your business better than you. But a fresh, objective perspective can make a huge difference. Smaller businesses often lack time and resources to focus on non-essential tasks. External partnerships create an extension of your teams that can take on value-adding projects while you concentrate on core operations.

In any market or industry, competitive environments and customer expectations are constantly changing. Consultants bring experience and perspective that can help you anticipate these trends and be proactive instead of reactive. This creates a competitive advantage that can generate meaningful growth for your company.

 

Let's clear up 8 misconceptions about consulting for smaller businesses

  1. They are too expensive:
    Myth:  The minimums / hourly rates are more than smaller companies can afford.

    Truth:  Some firms may utilize pricing to prioritize larger projects or accounts. However, the right consultant will never try to sell you more help than you need.

    Aspirant:  We design each program to generate the greatest possible impact with the available resources and budget.

  2. My Business is Too SmalL:
    Myth:  Consulting firms are built to support enterprise-level corporations. Their techniques don't work for smaller organizations.

    Truth:  The primary difference between big and small company challenges is the scale. The root causes and corresponding solutions are often very similar. Many consultants admit they prefer working with smaller clients due to the relative simplicity with implementing new tools and processes. Less bureaucracy means faster turnaround.

    Aspirant:  We are proud to have built enduring relationships with several Fortune 500 companies, but invest equally in supporting companies that aren't as large (yet).

  3. They Don't know My Business:

    Myth:  Business operate very differently from one another. Only those intimately familiar with their approach will be able to understand their unique circumstances and challenges.

    Truth:  A good consultant does a lot more listening than talking. This is the only way to properly diagnose the issues at hand. From there, they apply their expertise toward recommending a course of action.

    Aspirant:  We collaborate with clients on incorporating our expertise with their first-hand insight to identify the best path forward.

  4. They Don't Know my Industry:

    Myth:  Dynamics vary widely from one industry to the next. Consultants are generalists without the narrow focus required to provide any meaningful support.

    Truth:  At their core, the prevailing themes across industries and sectors have more in common than might be immediately apparent. So while a consultancy may not have previously tackled the exact same challenge you are facing, q
    ualified firms will have a team with the breadth and depth of expertise to tailor an effective solution to suit any situation.

    Aspirant:  We have devised a unique consulting model based on Integrated Expertise, which enables us to leverage the full extent of our collective industry and functional experience in serving our clients.

  5. Their methods won't get results:

    Myth:  The output from consultants is a lot more about concepts and theories than making things happen.

    Truth:  'Traditional' consulting firms have earned a dubious reputation for delivering a giant PowerPoint file as the culmination of client work. However, many others have found success by offering services that extend beyond strategic planning, and into tactical deployment.

    Aspirant:  We cite Client Results as an organizational value and truly define our success in terms of the measurable performance our clients achieve with our support.

  6. They move too slowly / Getting results will take too long:

    Myth:  Consultants spend way too much time strategizing before transitioning into execution.

    Truth:  Antiquated approaches can feature excessive project staffing and a prolonged preliminary fact finding (known as 'discovery') that delay the realization of any results. Consulting should reduce the time it takes for companies to reach their goals - not the opposite.

    Aspirant:  We utilize smaller, more agile project teams to accelerate program delivery. We even developed our own AI-powered platform that dramatically streamlines projects requiring a discovery phase.

  7. Not Sure I can Trust Them:

    Myth:  Consultants may be more concerned about logging billable hours than making a difference for my business.

    Truth:  Reputable firms will seek to gain your confidence through honesty and transparency as part of building a lasting, mutually beneficial relationship. The motives of those solely interested in generating revenue for themselves will be quickly revealed.

    Aspirant:  We accept the challenges and goals of all clients as our own. This focus on shared objectives is the key to forging productive, collaborative partnerships.

  8. They Will Give Me the Newbies / I Won't Have Access to Their Best Talent:

    Myth:  The most experienced / talented people are not accessible to smaller businesses.

    Truth:  The core of the value consulting firms bring to their clients lies in the capabilities of its teams. Clients who are dissatisfied with the quality of support they receive will take their business elsewhere, making a model dependent on underqualified consultants unsustainable.

    Aspirant:  We recruit and retain top-tier professionals who can maintain our lofty organizational expectations and whose personal values align with our own. 

 

Getting started: Vetting potential firms

It is critical to find the right consulting partner for your needs. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Don't hire the first firm you find. Taking the time to speak with a few companies and compare their approaches will help you feel a lot more comfortable in your final selection. 
  • Look for context clues. Pay attention to the structure of those conversations. Are they speaking more than listening? Telling more than asking? This could be an indication of their willingness to collaborate versus dictate.
  • Evaluate cultural alignment. A strong client-consultant relationship is only possible if your respective working styles are complementary to one another.

 

How Aspirant can help

We are proud of the results we have helped generate for clients of all sizes, maturities, and industries. Use the form below to request a free exploratory discussion about how we can do the same for your organization. 

 

We'd love to hear about what your organization wants to achieve.

Let's Connect!

Aspirant has deep consulting expertise across many sectors. We strive to elevate our clients’ performance by delivering practical, holistic, and sustainable solutions to their most significant challenges. Our thought leaders provide rich insights and perspectives on the latest trends and industry news.

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