Management consulting services include everything from risk management to human resources, and address both current problems and strategic planning. Management consulting companies can alert you to waste, inefficiency or other problems, and can coach your management team individually, or recommend company-wide changes in management style or practice. But it's not enough to simply say you want to hire a management consulting company; you also need to be very clear on why you want to hire a consultant, what you hope they'll do for you, and what you plan to do to assist in making changes.
Before you hire a management consulting firm:
- Evaluate your organization's current management style.
- Find qualified business management specialists through recommendations and by examining their client lists.
- Consider how you'll maintain and monitor management practices after the consultant leaves
Assess your company's management practices before you hire a management consultant firmBefore you spend the time and money on management consulting services, analyze your current practices and clarify exactly why you want to bring in an expert: To increase efficiency? Build a stronger team? Enhance communication? Answering these questions can help guide the management consultant in determining the best methods for your organization.
Find qualified management consulting firms through professional associationsRecommendations can help lead you to the most appropriate business management firms for your situation, and to narrow your search even further, get an opinion from a professional association -- either one serving management consultants, or one specific to your industry.
When evaluating management analysts, consider their client listThe client list may be one of the best indicators of how good a match a management consulting firm is for your organization. Looking at the companies they've worked with before can tell you if they've ever worked with companies of your size or within your industry, and if they work with companies all over the country, or just in a specific region. If their client list includes several high-profile or national companies, that's a good indicator the firm is well-respected.
Save money--and protect your privacy--by creating internal management consulting programsMaybe you don't want the expense of hiring someone every time you have a management issue. Or maybe you're not comfortable continually sharing private business information and practices with third parties. In either of these cases, you can create an internal management consulting program, to regularly monitor management and recommend changes. You'll need an outside management analyst to help you set up the program, and after that, you can maintain it on your own.
- Do as much research as you can before you hire a management consulting firm. Talk to current and former clients, ask for written proposals from firms you're considering, and conduct in-person interviews.