According to many leading research organizations, SME is the fastest growing sector in the world and same is true in India. This growth comes with lot of challenges. Most of the SMEs are able to solve these challenges on their own. However, many times solution is beyond their capability to solve.  e. g. financial, legal, technology, talent management or globalization related. A good consulting firm is one of the fastest and economical solutions.

Here are some of the reasons why companies hire a consulting firm:

1.      Advisory services

CXOs are always challenged with new ideas and problems. Taking any decision is easy but taking the right one is difficult. What stops the CXOs or the management from taking a quick decision? A fear of facing the consequences of the wrong decision. This is where an advisory service from a trusted and experienced consultant can be a savior. This is one of the most complex services as no consultant will own the responsibility of the consequence. Hence the CXO needs to understand “Why behind the What” of the recommendations. Also the reputation, experience and the track record of the consultant plays a very important role in selecting the right advisory service provider.

2.      Strategic Planning

 Most of the Organization has aggressive plan to grow. This growth can be achieved by organic routes like aggressive sales, creative marketing, state of the art technology adaptation and innovations or   inorganic routes like M&A (Merger and Acquisition), joint ventures and partnership. All these ideas cannot be implemented at once hence it is imperative that organization has a vision and mission which is broken down to short term and long term plans to guarantee success. An external consultant can play an important role in helping SMEs in strategic planning. A good and reliable strategic plan can be used as a guideline for many short term decisions. One of the tried and tested techniques to achieve this is SWOT analysis. Many SMEs failed to develop an accurate SWOT analysis because of inadequate info on competitor or market. The extensive research analytical capability of a consulting firm can make the difference. An external perspective of strength and weakness of the organization can be more realistic to build the SWOT analysis model and subsequently the right growth strategies.

3.      Operations/Execution Challenges

 “I‘d rather have first rated execution and second rated strategy than a brilliant idea and mediocre management”- Jamie Dimon, CEO and chairman of JP Morgan Chase and Co.
In spite of having great Strategic plan businesses can fail to achieve the targeted growth because of the lack of right execution strategy. Execution is where the rubber hits the road, where you can face maximum challenges.  These challenges can be financial like lack of funds, pricing, receivables; it can be technology related like software, hardware, storage, security, compatibility or people related like skill availability, attrition, recruiting or training. Inability to manage these challenges can have detrimental consequences including shutting down the business. Two most important ingredients in successfully executing the strategic plan are to have the right people & the right processes
Business management consultants can help companies in their end-to-end operational challenges. They can help you execute your growth strategies by hiring right talent, putting the right process in place, developing products, executing sales & marketing strategies and delivering projects.

4.      Non-core skills

 Every Organization has needs for skills different from the core skills available in their organization from time to time.  These skills include legal, accounting, testing & auditing to name a few. The need may be temporary, for few months or as little as few days per month. Hence the FTE is not justified. Professionals with qualification and lot of experience are hard to find. It is also difficult to assess their skills as there is no one in the company qualified to evaluate these skills. Eventually many SMEs waste lot time in finding these skills and end up engaging with wrong people & end up paying more than they deserve.  Even if they find the right person lot of time they are not available on part time basis or they are too expensive to fit their budget.

A good consulting firm may have such skills in house and may be available on as required basis. This gives SMEs one stop source to fulfill their entire skills requirement and can save lot of time and cost.

5.      Talent Management

 One of the biggest challenges most of the Organization faces is talent acquisition and talent management. The issues may be from recruiting freshers to CXOs, training technical and soft skills, performance management or appraisal, HR policy creation and execution, knowledge management or attrition. A reputed HR Consultant or Staff Augmentation partner can definitely help solve these challenges. With this approach organization can increase the efficiency and productivity of the organization and achieve the growth plans.

To sum it up, in the changing economic environment, the SMEs are challenged with lot of complex situations. They can partner with the right consulting firm who they trust & are comfortable working with and can solve the problem jointly and also improve the efficiency of their organization resulting in achieving the desired growth.



08/24/2012 07:08

Nice Article


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