Is There Consulting Potential Out There? Oh Yeah….

Here are some of the issues that major, for-profit organizations are facing today. These are gathered from my various communities, mentoring, ongoing client work, and trends seen in business publications. They are in random order.

• Productivity after cuts, resource reductions, and freezes.
• Retaining key customers and clients.
• Maintaining client service with fewer resources.
• Complaints about outsourcing, particularly overseas service lines.
• Managing cash flow, credit lines, receivables, accounts payable.
• Using technology efficiently, not only effectively; ROI on technology.
• Market share in competitive markets; value vs. price competition.
• Branding, consumer loyalty, word-of-mouth, reputation.
• Employee loyalty, commitment, and innovation.
• Reduction in costs while providing equal or better service levels.
• Pragmatic strategies that can be implemented short-term.
• Non-financial reward systems.
• Adherence with regulatory, audit, and ethical criteria.
• Objective, firm evaluations of performance.
• Global presence and penetration; sales beyond borders.
• Being viewed as environmentally friendly, sustaining, “green.”
• Successfully managing press and media relationships and image.
• Employee theft.
• Reducing customer theft: inappropriate returns, complaints, etc.
• Lowering costs of acquisition.
• Evolving a work force which mirrors the customer demographics.
• Being attractive to investors; pleasing shareholders.
• Finding and appointing high quality board members.
• Succession planning and “bench strength” with reduced staff.
• Collaborating with and managing external venders and resources.
• Rapid product commercialization.
• Creating, disseminating, and exploiting knowledge internally.
• Rapid problem solving and avoidance of repetitive problems.
• Decisions made once and avoidance of failure work.
• A bias for action over planning, meetings, and analysis.
• Making tough and often painful decisions about people.

Some of these vary by industry, but surely you have the value, competence, inclination, and passion to address many of these issues.

This is a great time to be a consultant if you find people who have the ability to pay for your value, and you can demonstrate dramatic and rapid ROI.

© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.

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2 Responses to Is There Consulting Potential Out There? Oh Yeah….

  1. Rich Beck says:

    Alan,

    You raise some very valid points. I have personally seen several of these issues.

    The outstanding situation is one involving a rather ambitious schedule for a web patient portal. Having spent thousands of hours researching rapid software tools and methodologies, I suggested we evaluate three of the tools which average a 50% decrease in development and testing time. I went on to explain this would yield a product with fewer defects and increase patient trust.

    The Director told me the tools “would not do things as we want them to be done.” I went on to tell him we can spend roughly 200 man hours to modify the templates to produce exactly what we want; this time savings would be recouped in the first week of the project. He went on to say he had no interest in looking into it further.

    One would assume those in IT would be in tune with how to both effectively and efficiently use technology. The surprising aspect is many are not. It could be the “not built here” syndrome, fear or a variety of other rationalizations.

    What is the result? Software Developers take more time building less software with more bugs. This software also takes more resources to test, maintain and support.

    I think there is an abundance of opportunities in this area alone.

    All the Best,

    Rich Beck

  2. Alan Weiss says:

    I’m sure there are. You have to make sure:
    1. You’re talking to a real buyer.
    2. You demonstrate the value and ROI.

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