top of page
  • Writer's pictureJ Bayliss Consulting

The Role of a Consultant: The 5 W's

Just like discussing the enormity of the universe, trying to go into detail about consulting is a challenge. There are a vast array of specialities, certifications and areas of expertise that cater for business who are both just looking for a way to streamline their already successful processes or who are at crisis point.

So, here is the What, Who, Why, When, and Where of the role of a consultant:

What is a consultant?

A consultant is an expert in a particular field who can provide guidance and advice to businesses who lack knowledge or direction, or who generally need help to move in the right direction.

Consultants usually have a specific knowledge area; this could include sales, business, marketing, staff structure and recruitment, or project management.

Who can be a consultant?

Any individual who is highly knowledgeable and experienced in a particular field could become a consultant. There are qualifications that can strengthen the reputation of a consultant; however, it is their past experience in their role that really separates the best from the good consultants.

Why would a business owner work with a consultant?

The “why” normally falls into one of the following categories:

  1. The business is at crisis point. The owner can see no way forward.

  2. Profits have plateaued or decreased, growth has stopped.

  3. Lack of client leads or loss of existing clients.

  4. There is a lack of clarity in the business: typically in profit and loss, staffing structure, goals and targets, and business product flow.

  5. A business owner needs general guidance on how to move their business forwards.

When should a consultant step in to help a business?

The timing of when a business should seek help from a consultant is subjective and dependent on the specific business’ needs. It may well be that the business has had a recent drop in their sales and are looking for a fresh set of eyes and mind to guide them through new ideas. Similarly, it might be the fact that the business is feeling archaic and needs a new idea.

Questions you might be asking include:

  • Why do we seem to be struggling to make things work?

  • We are losing money but can’t quite work out where or what to do about it; what can we do to break this chain?

  • We are so focused in the business; we can’t see the wood for the trees. Who can help?

  • How can we work out where the productivity sits and what can be cut?

  • We don’t have the time or capacity to dig into the details of the business, how can we do this effectively?

  • Why did we not achieve the success we were hoping for when we tried to implement change?

  • How can we approach this challenge and keep our team on board?

Where can you contact a consultant?

It is important for both the business and the consultant that they are a good fit. Make sure you know why you need consultant and then look for one with the expertise and credentials in that field. Referrals and recommendations are priceless, and most consultants will be able to share a case study or two that have similarities to your challenge. There are very large consultancies as well as smaller boutique agencies and the pricing and scale usually matches that.

If you would like a free, informal discussion about the challenges in your business, please do contact us today!


bottom of page