The reputation of a business consultant as “someone who takes your watch and then proceeds to tell you the time” is unfair although some business consultants have yet to work out why they have such a reputation. The best consultants in the best business consulting firms take time to understand the client’s needs and consider which solution might be appropriate

The profession of business consulting is growing, even in these hard times, as companies come under increasing pressure to minimise costs and maximise profit and cash flow. The majority of business consultants work for private or public corporations and they have extensive business experience. They advise and propose solutions in many areas including strategy, re-organization, marketing, procurement and operational efficiency

If you want to pursue a career as a Business Consultant then you will need to have an extensive business experience in the field of marketing, sales or management and you should be prepared to travel to a client’s premises, both nationally and internationally. The starting point for any business consulting job is to clearly understand the client’s needs and objectives in employing a consultant. What do they want from you and why choose external resource to solve the problem? The answers to these questions can often provide much needed clues on what a client is expecting you to get from the business consulting process

Also be prepared to report regularly on project progress, and if possible agree milestones before the project commences. These reporting points should take the form of a joint review and give you, the business consultant, a chance to understand if you are on the right track and also sufficient time to re-adjust if you are not. This will maximise the chances of success and a satisfied client

The work in a business consulting firm will often require long hours and hard work, but it can also be very rewarding as you see the clients problems resolved before moving onto the next project. Be prepared to revisit the client after a few months to check all is well and any changes have been embedded. This also gives an opportunity to check for further work opportunities