The Rise and Fall of the Business Consultant

Over the years I have attended many business networking meetings. Among the many businesses that were represented, there was usually at least one business consultant or, as often described, ‘business guru’. These people were there to sell their experience to other business owners to help them to be more successful. In principle there is nothing wrong with this concept, after all, having an experienced person guide or mentor us in any area of life can be beneficial. The question is therefore, ‘why am I writing about this subject?’

I have met many of these consultants and there is often a common denominator in their backgrounds. Many of them had never run their own successful business, some just had experience of a small and obviously low turnover business whilst others had worked in the corporate world and thought that their experience would help smaller businesses.

The other common thread is that many of the consultants had bought into a franchise. They had read the manuals and had some training from the franchisor. Does this give them the experience to help other business owners, many of whom had spent many years in business? I would say not.

There is what you could call an ‘American model’ of everyone having a mentor, counsellor, coach or consultant to help them through business and life. In my experience this model is not too well thought of in the UK but fair play to anyone trying to set up a new model and create employment.

Business Consultants – where are they now?

From my observations it became obvious that the business consultants attending all those networking meetings and expounding what they could do to help a business grow and make more profits did not get many clients. The vast majority of those consultants that I met over the years I connected with on Linkedin, which notifies me when someone changes their career. I have seen that nearly all of them have now left their role as a business consultant and have become employed. It’s sad in a way, but does demonstrate that should a business owner have employed their services it would likely have been a waste of money!

if you need help to grow your business do make sure that you choose the right individual who has the correct experience for your business. It could be a costly mistake to use someone that hasn’t in more ways than one. You could waste money on their fees and even worse, they might lead you into making bad decisions for your business.

What are your thoughts on the use of consultants? Are many just fooling themselves and others? Leave a comment in the box below.

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2 Replies to “The Rise and Fall of the Business Consultant”

  1. You are right – consultants, bloggers, virtual assistants, coaches, mentors and all forms of white collar outsourcing are indeed proliferating. All part of the super gig economy, brought about by the decline in manufacturing and the ever increasing legislation around running a business i.e. fewer proper jobs. Some of these people are talented, some are less so, some are incompetent -pretty much like any organisation. Surely, this is the stuff of revolution. Anyone want to join?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sadly though here in the UK most of this army of self-employed are far worse off financially than their employed counterparts. A wheel can revolve backwards as well as forwards! Thanks for your interesting comment. Anyone else would like to join in? Feel free to comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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