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6 reasons to hire an independent business strategy consultant

So, you need help with your business strategy. What do you do?

Here are 5 reasons why you should hire an independent business strategy consultant.

1. Capacity

Let's face it, you're busy. You have a business to run. You have fires to put out. You have new clients to woo.

You don't need to overcomplicated business strategy development and execution. But it does take time. Time you don't have.

An independent business strategy consultant can do some of the heavy lifting for you. Take some of the load off. Allowing you to focus only on the outcomes and what's most important.

2. Experience

You've probably been involved in developing and executing the strategy for your business for a while. After all, it is part of your role as a senior leader.

But an independent business strategy consultant has probably done it dozens of more times at dozens of more organisations. And it may be all they've focused on for some time.

All that extra experience pays off. They've seen and tried more different approaches. They've seen what did and didn't work. You can benefit from that experience.

You don't need lots of models and frameworks in order to develop and execute a business strategy. Just like you don't need lots of tools to service a car. But it does help. A lot! So find someone who has the right tools at their disposal, who knows how to use them, and has the experience required.

3. Objectivity

You could delegate the job to someone on your team. After all, you've gone to a lot of trouble to hire the best people you could get. You trust them to run your business. Why not trust them to help you with your strategy?

Unfortunately, they have vested interests. Strategy has consequences for them. And sometimes, the right strategy for you and your business won't align with their personal interests.

So find someone to help you who has nothing personal to gain or to lose by subtly nudging your strategy in one direction or another.

4. They don't 'land and expand'

Most of the larger consultancies operate a 'land and expand' strategy. Your first contact is with an experienced veteran consultant. Often a partner.

But once they've made the sale, most of the work is performed by an army of juniors. The senior consultant may oversea the work. But often they spend as much time looking for additional opportunities to sell you yet more armies of juniors.

Don't get me wrong. Its a very successful model. It works very well for the consultants. And sometimes its exactly what you, the client, need.

But sometimes it isn't.

An independent consultant doesn't have an army of juniors to sell. So you get the benefit of consultant you actually hired for the entire engagement. It's a case of different horses for different courses. But it's important to be clear which is right for your circumstance.

5. They go away

It's likely that you will need that extra capacity, specialist experience and objectivity for a defined period of time. To address a specific challenge. To explore a new directions which you may or may not pursue.

Once your new strategy is in place, you'll want to make structural changes in order to execute it effectively. Eventually, the organisation will have absorbed the new strategy. You may neither want nor need to keep that extra capacity, experience and objectivity around all the time. After all, good consultants don't come cheap.

So you want help from someone who will go away until you need them again.

6. Personal reputation

They say an independent consultant is only as good as their last engagement.

An independent consultant doesn't have a big brand or the reputation of an army of other consultants to hide behind. Their name and personal reputation is on the line with each engagement they accept.

And so, they have to make each engagement count. Their commitment to your success is extremely high.

Things to aware of

There are, however, a few things to be aware of. One is the have-a-go consultant.

The have-a-go consultant is someone who finds themselves between jobs. So they decide to 'have a go' at consulting. Sometimes, they're genuinely trying to work out if it is the right route for them. Other times they just filling in time until the can find the right job again. Some even treat their consulting sojourn as one or more very long job interviews. They're hoping you'll like them so much that you'll offer them a permanent job.

Maybe a have-a-go consultant is adequate for your needs.

But independent consulting requires specific skills. It's also a mindset. It is different from being an employee. Have-a-go consultants are unlikely to have the depth and breadth of experience of someone who has been practicing for a while. Of course, everyone has to start somewhere. But have-a-go consultants are less likely to be investing in building the capabilities required to succeed in the long term.

And if they're treating their engagement with you as an extended job interview, then they have a vested interest in the outcome. They no longer have that objectivity.


So if you need help with your strategy, an independent business strategy consultant may be exactly what you need. Hopefully, this post can help you to decide.

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