Consulting & Strategy
Business consultants provide advice to help companies solve issues and improve efficiencies, in order to grow and increase revenue.
What does a Business Consultant do?
Business consultants provide advice to help companies solve issues and improve efficiencies, in order to grow and increase revenue. A consultant is usually an expert or a professional in a specific field who has a wide knowledge of the subject matter. Business consultants are also known as management consultants.
As a business consultant, you would:
- meet with clients to discuss their needs
- gain an understanding of the client's business by interviewing staff, looking at financial data, or analysing processes and procedures in the company
- identify potential issues or opportunities for efficiencies
- present your findings and recommendations to the client
- agree on a course of action with the client
- manage programs to implement solutions and measure their effectiveness
- help clients to develop business plans
- advise on sources of finance and grants
- refer clients to other sources of specialist advice if necessary
- run workshops and seminars.
Key skills and interests
To become a business consultant, you would need:
- excellent written and spoken communication skills
- clear, objective and logical thinking
- problem solving and strategic planning ability
- able to work under pressure and to tight deadlines
- good organisational skills and the ability to manage several projects at once
- the ability to work on your own initiative
- good teamwork skills
- creativity and innovative thinking
- commercial awareness and understanding of a range of business environments.
Working hours and conditions
As a business consultant you would usually work a standard number of hours per week. You are likely to have to work longer hours to meet project deadlines. Many business consultants are self-employed, and would work hours to suit the projects they had on.
Management consultancies can range from large national or international firms that offer a variety of services, to smaller companies offering specialist knowledge and skills in a certain industry, such as IT, healthcare, finance and retail.
You would usually be based in an office, and you would need to travel to your clients' businesses. You may need to spend periods of time away from home.
How to become an Business Consultant?
Entry Level Education
To work as a business consultant you will need proven experience and a good track record in business management. Employers often value experience and skills as much as qualifications.
To join a business consulting firm in a graduate role, you would need at least a bachelor's degree in a discipline such as commerce, economics, project management or business administration. To get into these courses you would usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent.
Entry level roles in national and international business consulting firms are very competitive. You may need to attend one or more interviews as well as have high level academic results.
Employment of business consultants is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations.
Demand for consulting services is expected to grow as organisations seek ways to improve efficiency and control costs. As markets become more competitive, firms will need to use resources more efficiently.