When you’re running a business, it’s a temptation to spend your money on consultants – experts who promise miraculous transformations and big returns. The problem is, while great results are possible, they’re not guaranteed, and you’re not going to get near them without understanding your own needs and what the specific kind of consultant on offer can do for you.

Today we’re taking a look at strategy consultants so you can make a more informed decision about whether they’re a worthwhile investment for your business.

Why Strategy is Vital

Running a business is about making decisions. Every day there are fresh issues – hiring decisions, pitches, new products you could invest in or new premises to visit. Without a strategy governing how you make decisions for your business, each of those choices exists in a vacuum. You can make what appears to be the best choice in each individual instance, but nothing unites them. This means that different decisions, budgetary allocations and even products can pull against one another and lead to a business that has no coherent identity. With different projects not part of the same unifying strategy, you might find cost overruns more of a problem, but maybe worse, you’re not building a coherent brand for your customers.

A brand is how customers relate to your business on a personal level – a brand is the business’ equivalent of a personality that customers can feel loyal to, excited by and recommend to others. If your brand isn’t coherent, it’s hard for customers to latch onto your business and stay loyal!

How Do Consultants Help?

Creating a strategy requires many different kinds of expertise – operational and financial, but also in market research (in order to understand how your choices will affect your customers), in marketing, growth and crucially predicting how the market will look over the period you’re expecting your strategy to govern you for. It’s a very broad base of deep wells of expertise, and it’s not realistic to acquire all that expertise while giving the day to day running of your business the full focus it deserves. Being able to buy in not just this expertise but also the experience of having constructed successful strategies for other businesses could be giving your brand the start it needs.

Type of Consultant

For most businesses, a broad spectrum strategy consultant will be useful enough for your purposes. If you’re particularly interested in how your business will scale – if you’re a start up planning fast growth – you need to focus on how that growth will be managed and not lead to you overextending yourself or failing to provide the actual service you’re selling. In that case, if you’re looking for small management consulting firms London is the place to start.