Lean Business Consulting – Achieve Success Working with a Business Consultant

02 Dec, 2020 | By leslie@leanexpansion.ca

  • As a lean business consultant, I consult with organizations looking to overcome challenges, increase revenue, or improve margins
  • My range of experience includes Aerospace Engineering, Consumer Goods, Healthcare, Software Development, Energy & Agriculture
  • Support is flexible–hourly, daily, or monthly as needed 

As a business consultant in Toronto, I work with companies across North America and have done so for 20 years, although these days it’s mostly online. My responsibilities include analyzing problems and developing solutions, so organizations can meet their goals. Sometimes it’s tricky—the underlying cause of a problem is not always apparent, which means using problems solving methods like design thinking or kaizen to get to the needed improvement. 

When should you hire a business consultant?

The best time to hire a business consultant is when you’re ready to improve performance and efficiency. By providing outside perspective, business consultants act as catalysts for positive change. However, I also have experience acting as triage when organizations are in survival mode.

Benefits of business consulting

Business consulting provides different benefits. My services as a lean business consultant in Toronto include:

  • Providing market-specific expertise
  • Offering objective, analysis-based feedback
  • Teaching and training team members
  • Troubleshooting
  • Developing strategic plans
  • Creating and executing effective workflows
  • Policy deployment to meet goals
  • Dissecting and analyzing business models
  • Building a customer-focused culture
  • And much more!

Working with a business consultant

If you’re curious about working with a business consultant, the first step is to reach out. I offer to answer questions for anyone as part of the discovery phase. This is where I learn about your business and challenges. After the question phase, my learning process may include facility tours, meeting with relevant people from the board of directors to front-line employees, analyzing company materials including financial reports, and achieving an overall understanding of operations and the company mission.

Once I’ve achieved an in-depth understanding, I can start to analyze and identify where change is needed. What are the strengths and weaknesses of your organization? Based on your goals, are there any foreseeable snags? 

Sometimes executives/managers may have already had a list of problems, but they’re not sure how to proceed. As a business consultant, I work to address these problems and then identify opportunities for growth, increased revenue, and greater efficiency. Capitalizing on missed opportunities is a big part of business consulting—but addressing problems and achieving results take honest, open (often candid) dialogue. 

Planning & implementation

Constructive criticism is part of business consulting. Feedback is meant to bring about positive change, but sometimes it can be hard to hear when people are personally invested. However, objectivity and fresh viewpoints are often necessary.

A big part of my job is delivering plans and strategies based on facts along with cutting-edge performance improvement techniques. Once a plan is agreed upon, it’s time for the third phase of consulting—execution. This is where the plan is implemented, building on the skills of employees. Monitoring and assessment are built-in to the strategy. It’s important to assess how the plan is progressing and adjust when necessary.

Finding a business consultant

As previously mentioned, finding the right business consultant is a big part of the process. Business consulting is personal, so referrals from other people who have enjoyed working with me and seen the results are a big part of my business.

As a satellite team member, you should choose a business consultant like any other team member. Overall, you are looking for someone who has passion, drive, an eye for detail, and a pleasant personality. As previously mentioned, finding a business consultant with experience in your field is always a consideration although most senior business consultants know how to apply the theory and work to any industry.

Other considerations

Consider vetting a potential consultant by checking their website and materials. Professionalism and demonstrated excellence are key. Ask if they’ve ever tackled a project similar to yours. A few considerations when interviewing potential business consultants include:

  • Do they have hands-on experience? 

This can be especially important in the business world. How long has the consultant worked in their field? 

  • Is their experience applicable? 

Consider consultants who have worked in your industry or who have a demonstrated track record working in several different industries. Senior consultants have the experience to apply their training to a range of industries.

  • What’s their success rate? 

Demonstrated success is incredibly important. Ask for a portfolio or list of brands the consultant has worked on. Request references. Has the consultant worked on similar jobs?

Consultation rates

Consulting fees for business consulting are quite varied because the challenge and scope of work play a role. Like most fields, experienced, senior consultants charge higher rates. Fee structure can vary—per project, hourly, a monthly retainer, etc. I try to accommodate my clients as necessary.

In the end, a business consultant is not an expense, but an investment. Expert feedback, planning, and strategy will play a role in effectively overcoming tricky bottlenecks and boosting profits. Business consultants work to deliver future success—and that’s why we remain a fundamental part of a business strategy.

Set up a consultation or just reach out and ask a question.

Looking for a business consultant in Toronto (or across North America)? I am happy to discuss how to improve organizational performance or accelerate goal setting. Get started by asking me a question about your business—any question. I’ll set up a complimentary consultation to discuss potential solutions and how to get started.