A Business Consultant’s Process to Help a Business Succeed

May 17, 2010 by Frank Goley, Business Consultant

As a business consultant and planner with many years experience helping companies to succeed, I have refined my business consulting process for best business results. This article will go into detail what a good business consulting process entails, and what a business owner can expect when working with an experienced business consultant.

Steps Taken in a good Business Consulting Process

— Learning about the Business

§  Tour the Company’s facilities

§  Read all the company materials

§  Meet with the Board of Directors, all executive heads, founders and owners, Department Heads and Key Employees.

§  Understand the product or service

§  History of the business

§  Business track record

§  How the business is run

§  How decisions are made

§  How problems and opportunities are handled

§  Company process, trade marks

§  Company’s competitive advantages

§  Financial track record

§  Banking and finance connections

§  How the company is organized quality control

§  Employee incentives, benefits, and wages

§  Meeting the company’s advisors and consultants

— Identifying Problems

§  Problems seen by ownership and management

§  Problems/ issues identified by the business consultant

§  Business consultant given unrestricted access to the company so that problems can be identified

§  Identify revenue points and expense ratios for all products and services

§  Understand tax implications

§  Key: open, clear communications between the consultant and the company’s people.  Trust is vital.

— Identifying Opportunities

§  For every problem/issue, there is a hidden opportunity

§  Opportunities seen by ownership, management, and key employees

§  Opportunities discovered through the business consultant’s process

§  Understanding margins, sales history, and sales growth

§  Understanding and identifying new products and services

— Analysis

§  Business consultant analyzes the identified problems and opportunities while keeping in mind, a clear understanding of the business

§ Business consultant decides which problems and opportunities are important and which are not

§  Identify potential future problems

§  Identify symptoms of problems provide certain conclusions and facts based on the analysis

§  Provide certain conclusions and facts based on the analysis

— Solutions

§  Business consultant provides a plan which provides solutions and identifies opportunities

§  Business consultant illustrates how certain expenses can be reduced and how certain profit areas can be maximized

— Feedback / Adjust Plan

§  Business Consultant receives feedback from the business and its advisers on the proposed Business Plan

§  Business Consultant oversees implementation of the business plan

§  Business Consultant tracks progress of the plan

§  Plan is readjusted as necessary moving forward

§  Business Consultant ensures plan is integral to the Company and intertwined into the fabric of the company.

When an Entrepreneur is thinking about starting up a new business, A Business Consultant can apply a given Business Start-Up Process Analysis to determine if it is a feasible opportunity:

Ø  Analyze and Evaluate the Opportunity

ü  Opportunity timing window

ü  Profit potential for an adequate return?

ü  Can the opportunity be expanded?  Diversification options?

ü  Obstacles

ü  Market needs

Ø  Develop a Business Strategy & Model

ü  Effective Barriers to Entry

ü  Identify and Define Customers

ü  Supplier Relationships and Buyer Conditions

Ø  Resource Audit

ü  Skills and Resources Existing

ü  Resource Gap Management Plan

ü  Internal Skills and Resources Needed

ü  Lacking Resources to be Out sourced

ü  Unique Aspects of Business Model

ü  Cost minimization Strategies for Resources

ü  Regulatory Compliance

ü  Critical Milestones which will minimize the Ventures overall Risk

ü  Contingency Resources

Ø  Acquiring & Leveraging Needed Resources

ü  Control Mechanisms

ü  Motivations of Resource Providers

·         Incentives

·         Will opportunity produce an adequate return?

Ø  Venture Deployment

ü  Management Systems

ü  Attracting and Retaining good Employees

ü  Role of Entrepreneur

·         Management Delegation

Ø  Getting and Distributing Value

ü  Harvesting Options: Be Acquired, Merger, IPO, Secondary Offerings, Sell Company, Liquidate &  Distribute

ü  After Tax Yield Considerations

ü  Factors triggering a Harvest

ü  Factors preventing Harvest

ü  Consideration of Company Participants:  Creditors, Investors, Partners, Owners, Founders, Key Management & Employees, The Entrepreneur

When considering purchasing an existing business, a Business Consultant can employ an effective Business Acquisition Analysis, such as:

v  Products & Services Analysis

v  Management Team Appraisal

v  Operational Analysis

v  Market Position

v  Competitive Factors

v  SWOT Analysis

v  Financials Analysis

v  Valuations

v  Risk Assessment

If the Business Consultant is worth his salt, then the fees paid for the consulting will more than pay for themselves in the extra generated business profits. Ask the consultant what his or her process is, it will tell a lot about their capabilities and experience. Hiring a business consultant is an investment in the future success of your business.

Posted in Business Consultants.

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