Consultant - Term Overview

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A consultant is a specialist professional who advises companies in solving problems that have not been able to be solved internally.

Organizations are constantly facing problems, adversities and questions about the market, processes and their products, and sometimes the experience of their professional team isn't enough to solve them, so they need to hire an expert in that area to help them. to come afloat and see a clear horizon again.

The consultant: an external agent

The consultant has the characteristic of being an expert in an area. For example, accounting services could be considered consulting services accounting, since the company could not have professionals with the knowledge to make balance sheets, financial statements or tax returns.

Likewise, a lawyer provides legal advice when the company is faced with legal proceedings, or needs to carry out procedures that require legal representation.

The common aspect of these services and all those called “consulting” is that they are performed by professionals outside the company. They aren't in the organization chart, nor do they have a permanent contractual relationship, rather they offer a service to solve something specific and in a certain time.

The new services that have required consultants

But the competitiveness of the markets has required companies to request assistance in other areas to maintain their position and create a branding of excellence.

Areas in which consulting is required:

- Strategic communication: The relationship between the company in its role as "brand", needs to interact assertively with the public and sometimes, problems that contravene the brand name can be generated, so it's necessary to quickly get out of that situation. For example, Starbucks some time ago was in the eye of social networks, after expelling a customer from one of its restaurants, apparently because of his skin color.

Faced with this situation, they had to apologize and take forceful actions to accept their mistake and not lose a significant percentage of customers. The action was to close all its restaurants at the same time, for a day and communicate that during that time employees would be trained in racial inclusion. A decision that was advised by a communications specialist and very well received by public opinion.

- Coaching and team leadership: Motivation in a work team is crucial and, although it's known by everyone who makes up a company, sometimes that motivation isn't convincing enough to generate actions that improve the work environment and performance.

It's for this reason that companies are requesting coaching consultants to advise them and specially managers and heads who are in charge of teams of people, on how to generate motivation, improve the work environment and create a challenging environment.

- Corporate social responsibility: There are companies that have a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) department, and others that outsource this service, specially when the company settles in a new territory or city. Therefore, they need advice from someone who knows the place, its culture, customs and interests, in order to generate a rapprochement and subsequent bond between the company and its environment. This can bring great benefits and make an important difference, since a company that doesn't establish ties with the territory in which it's located is very likely to generate reluctance among citizens, due to ignorance of the interests and projects that it has and if they could eventually be affected.

Consulting services are on the rise and at the same time have become a new way of working " freelance ", serving several clients and increasing the experience with each of them.

If you are interested in being a consultant, then we recommend you specialize in an area that you are passionate about, study, research and create hypotheses of existing problems, to later propose creative, innovative solutions that increase the value of the organization.

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