Many companies today have a definite need to retain outside consulting assistance for their business in order to increase sales and profits. Every company has a pressing need for new ideas and approaches to doing business! Ideally, you need to distinguish your company from your competitors to gain competitive advantages.
Nevertheless, many companies don’t know how to go about finding a consultant who has the specific experience and knowledge regarding their business or they are just too busy to pursue the need. Additionally, many people feel they can’t effectively utilize the “traditional” consulting approach and feel that the right “fit” for their business doesn’t exist.
As one of its many unique approaches to consulting services, the Consulting Collaborative offers a non-traditional and very effective approach to obtaining consulting services without the high costs usually associated with consultants, but with the results most businesses need.
It is called a Strategic Assessment where we visit your business to make an in-depth study which forms the basis of a Strategic Plan that includes specific action plans, plus our continued involvement for an extended period of time. Here’s how it works.
Step I – Strategic Assessment
Conducting a Strategic Assessment involves personal interviews with a representative number of management and strategically selected key staff employees.
Most often employees will be more direct, relaxed and candid with a (neutral) consultant than with company management on issues of major importance. This means you will receive insight into problems and opportunities that will not normally arise through the normal communication channels. That’s an essential step that really gets top management focused!
During the personal interviews there will be a major focus on determining the company’s strength and weaknesses as well as conduct basic research, explore the management and planning systems that are in place along with other needs that are identified during the interviews.
A formal questionnaire will be used for all interviews and each person will be asked to quantify many of their verbal answers on a rating scale of 1 to 100 with 1 being the lowest and 100 being the highest rating. They will be instructed to establish their ratings in the context of what they had experienced in school with respect to an “A-B-C” grading structure.
A = 90 to 100, B = 80 to 89, C = 70 to 79, D = 60 to 69 and F = 59 and below
Additionally, they will be asked to elaborate in their own words on whatever comes to mind during their thinking process. Some of the questions will clearly inspire the interviewees to speak their mind. Other questions will cause them to think deeply about the company today and where it is going in the future.
To encourage everyone to be very open, honest and candid with their comments and ratings, it is made clear their names will not be divulged in any way.
The strategic assessment always accomplishes three very important considerations:
- Validates the strengths and weaknesses of your company.
- Introduces you to new, leading edge and more effective “Best Practices”.
- Gets your key employees actively engaged.
Whatever happens in the process, the results are always very positive.
In any industry there are companies that outperform the others and it will be very advantageous for you to know “Best Practices” and this will be a major deliverable of the consulting engagement.
Step II – Strategic Assessment Report
Following the strategic assessment interviews, a Strategic Assessment Report will be provided covering findings and specific recommendations.
The table of contents may look something like the following:
- Overview of Company
- Assessment of Employee Interviews
- Strengths and Weaknesses of Company
- In-Place Management System
- Strategic Planning Process Evaluation
- Growth Opportunities
- Management Succession (as appropriate)
- Key Personnel Assessments (if requested)
- Salary and Incentive Compensation Plans (as appropriate)
- “Best Practices” Opportunities (employee accountability, new technology, etc.)
- Specific Recommendations
- Summary of Critical Initiatives
- Prioritized Recommendations
Please understand, not all of the topics listed may be included and, in some cases, additional topics will be added as required or requested.
Additionally, don’t expect our consultant to drop a lengthy report on you and then disappear, but instead, we provide a consulting relationship where we help you establish top priorities, outline implementation plans and, as necessary, can assist with employee training and implementation, too. In most cases, opportunities are identified to install new management tools.
Unlike most consultants, we do not require our clients to commit to a large upfront investment in our consulting services. Instead, you are only asked to commit to the first two steps and then you will decide to continue only if you feel there is value received.
We will be happy to provide you with a formal proposal including an in-depth explanation of the steps involved as well as an itemized listing of the costs. You will be pleasantly surprised at the very reasonable cost; especially, compared to the benefits you will receive in your business year after year.
Ideally, it is best to select a consultant that can relate to your business and industry. There is no substitute for experience! Additionally, look for these attributes in a prospective consultant:
- Professional reputation.
- Problem-solving ability and results-oriented track record.
- Ability to communicate effectively.
- Essential knowledge of client’s business and industry.
- Strong integrity, leadership and character traits.
- Management fundamentals of business with a diversified background.
- Awareness of “Best Practices” within business and industry.
- At least 10 years longevity in the consulting business.
Consulting Collaborative provides several self-evaluation checklists based upon business
“Best Practices” whereby the client can conduct an evaluation to see if consulting services are needed.
Click Below to Download any of our Self-Evaluations
- Industry “Best Practices” Self-Evaluation
- Management “Best Practices” Self-Evaluation
- Management “Best Practices” Self-Evaluation (Architects)
- Finance “Best Practices” Self-Evaluation
- Innovation “Best Practices” Self-Evaluation
- Leadership “Best Practices” Self-Evaluation
- Manufacturing “Best Practices” Self-Evaluation
- Marketing Communications Strategy “Best Practices” Self-Evaluation
- Marketing Communications Implementation “Best Practices” Self-Evaluation
- Project Bidding “Best Practices” Self-Evaluation
- Project Management “Best Practices” Self-Evaluation
- Product Pricing “Best Practices” Self-Evaluation
- Technology “Best Business Practices” Self-Evaluation
- Incentive Compensation “Best Business Practices” Self-Evaluation
It is often found there are prevailing circumstances within almost any business that justify an assessment by a consultant of the current condition of the company.
- Companies having conducted business the same ways for years and are not familiar with “Best Practices” that have been successful elsewhere.
- Companies who have the potential to experience significant growth by developing the optimum strategic initiatives and implementing “Best Practices”.
- Companies in a challenging phase of the economy needing to maximize their employee resources in order to counteract this challenge.
- Companies having grown rapidly in the short term and are losing control of their business.
- Companies who may have outgrown the capabilities of some of their employees who are not compatible with the future direction of the company.
- Companies who need to enhance communications, interaction, planning, commitment and mutual success.
- Companies with multiple locations that need uniformity and consistency in their operations.
- Companies who need a fully effective Strategic Business Plan to insure future growth.
- Companies that under-performing in sales, profits or both.
- The CEO of the business is the only person within the employee organization that is held accountable for generating sales and achieving profits.
- Companies who have never had an effective management system and/or strategic planning process.
In many companies (aka firms) one or more of the above reasons are actually happening. So, if you see your company facing any of these circumstances, it is a valid justification for considering an assessment by an outside authority.
In a consulting role we continually see “best of class” and we are constantly up-to-date on what works and what doesn’t work in business. We pass this insight along to our clients so they learn in the shortest period of time and so they learn the easy way rather than the hard way.
Rarely does any business have this type of exposure to “Best Practices”. Additionally, these Best Practices are continuously being updated by our constant exposure to many different businesses on a national basis.