We have been writing about a new business model for companies. One that is based on the use of specific experienced consultants, used in short bursts for the strategic development and program creation of all aspects for companies’ business. It uses lower level employees for the execution. There are a number of benefits for companies from using this model if they capitalize on the experience of knowledgeable consultants who also have low overheads and are therefore cost efficient. Not the large multilayered, high overhead consulting firms.
Here are 10 reasons to use consultants in this model:
1. Knowledge. Companies can select a consultant with the specific knowledge to address a particular challenge or opportunity and not be burdened by having to force fit an existing executive with some of the required knowledge into the position. You can get exactly what is needed when its needed.
2. Experience. While closely related to knowledge, this reason reflects the consultant’s success in applying the knowledge to a problem like yours from other companies. In effect this is a “test market” for you and a proof of claim for the expected result.
3. Bandwidth. In many instances you or someone else on your staff may have the experience and knowledge required, but in today’s cost driven economy there just isn’t the bandwidth. You are too busy with other tasks and are weighed down with administrative tasks as well. The consultant in this model gives you that short term bandwidth required to capitalize on the opportunity now.
4. Cost effectiveness. You only pay for what you need. This isn’t a long term commitment nor should it fill up full weeks at a time. Structured properly, you download the expertise quickly and pay for only that time. In the historical model, you would have the executive on a full time basis and during those less productive times, the hourly cost is high. It is also clear that executives want to be working on something and as a result, they start additional projects which require staffing and resources and added expense.
5. New ideas. There is a significant advantage to having worked successfully in multiple industries. One experiences different ways of doing business, many of which are applicable to the new client’s business. These fresh ideas have been screened for success through the experiences in the other industries. The ideas have an established track record which makes their potential impact much greater for you.
6. Creativity. Pick a consultant that has fresh ideas and knows how to adapt them for implementation in your industry. Creativity is not measured in business by the uniqueness of a thought. It is measured by the impact of a different idea on your business in the market place. Consultants who are able to apply learning creatively from one industry to another are gems.
7. Productivity. This is closely tied to cost effectiveness. In this model, you are able to substantially reduce the down time of meetings, time filling and information seeking. You also have the higher expense person working on the thinking portion and not on the hands on execution portion that can be handled by lower cost personnel. The productive time you wish you had for the higher level thinking is exactly what you should be getting in this model.
8. Flexibility. Hire the specific talents you need at any one time. Use them for exactly the length of time you need and then finish the assignment. If you think you will need more help in the future from them, offer a small retainer. You are not burdened with the challenge of deciding what severance to provide or how to remove an employee who may not have the specific skills required for a particular job.
9. Openness. Since the consultants don’t have to rely upon you alone for long term remuneration and livelihood, they will be more open and honest about the potential risks and rewards of the various projects and initiatives. They also recognize that their future with you is going to be based on success, not longevity and so they have to bring their “A” game every day and that causes openness.
10. Connections. Consultants who focus on specific business areas have established productive relationships and connections with other professionals who provide different services and expertise. They can recommend talent to you for these other areas. Once again, their reputation with you is on the line so you can be assured that you will get higher level talent recommended to you through these connections.
We expect that there are many other benefits as well to using this model. Contact us and let us share our thoughts on this and the applicability to your business. It will be well worth the hour you spend with us.
Maver Management Group