Former Public Adjuster Robert Taylor Explains What Consultants Do and Don’t Do
Everyone has heard the term consultant, but few people understand what consultants actually do (and conversely, what they don’t do). Robert Taylor is a former public adjuster turned consultant from Sanger, California. He provides his expertise on the subject of the responsibilities that consultants do and don’t take on.
Do: Offer Strategic Advice
According to former public adjuster Robert Taylor, consultants are first and foremost known for offering strategic advice to businesses. Businesses who are struggling will often hire a consultant to tackle specific problems within the company. It is then the job of the consultant to problem-solve and come up with a strategy that will lead to success for the business. The problems that companies might hire a consultant for range. They can be very specific to the company, requiring a customized plan of action, or more often, they are problems that are common to the industry that the company is part of and a particular consultant has been hired because they are known to have worked with other companies in this industry before. One example of a common business problem that might require a consultant is merging or acquiring businesses. Merging your company with another or acquiring a new company is a huge deal, so a lot of businesses will choose to hire a consultant, or even team of consultants, to help them navigate it.
Do: Provide Full Management Services
Robert Taylor, former public adjuster, asserts that yet another duty of consultants is to provide full management services. That’s right, many consultant agencies offer a range of services. These include offering strategic advice on a specific problem, as discussed, but can also involve managing an entire aspect of one’s company, such as marketing. Marketing consultants are some of the most sought-after in the world of business and the idea of having an expert third party come in and manage your entire marketing strategy is especially attractive to small and medium sized businesses. In these cases, the “done for you” service will involve the consultant coming up with a marketing strategy, but rather than handing it off to the company to implement, they themselves or a team from the consultant’s office will actually execute the marketing strategy. While not all consultants will offer a “done for you” service, it is especially common among consultants who are just starting out or trying to get their own business off the ground.
Do: Offer Both Training and Coaching
Training and coaching are two other services commonly offered by consultants and they go hand in hand. A business will hire a consultant for training when there is a problem with their leadership team or other personnel at the office. Consultants can be brought in to train anyone from the sales team to the executive team. Sometimes a business will recognize they are falling short, but don’t have the time or energy to fix the problem themselves, while other times they might be able to tell something is off but can’t quite put their finger on what or how to fix it. In either situation, hiring a consultant to offer training can help. Consultants will always be neutral and will have unique expertise that allows them to excel in training employees who work in specific fields. Once hired, there are many different ways that consultants may train your employees. Live, in-person, and online training are usually available, as are both one-on-one and group training. The coaching services offered by consultants are similar to training; however, there are a few key differences. According to former public adjuster Robert Taylor, training is usually for a shorter, specified length of time, whereas coaching is often an ongoing service. Hiring a coach longer-term is especially popular amongst small businesses who may not be able to afford hiring for every position they need. Instead, the CEO of such a business might choose to take on the additional role(s) themselves, with the help of a consultant who acts as a coach.
Don’t: Provide Long-Term Services
Though this isn’t a hard and fast rule, generally speaking, consultants don’t provide long-term services. With the exception of ongoing coaching, the other services offered by consultants are often shorter and more targeted in nature. For example, rather than offering advice on the business as a whole or training the entire staff of a business, consultants are usually hired to tackle a specific problem in a given time frame or to work with a specific person or small group of people.