IAN FERGUSON: Why companies benefit from hiring consultants


Ian Ferguson

Consultants can provide expertise and an objective eye in helping to guide a business, with different consultants specialising in various industries and areas. These include strategy and management, operations, human resources, finances, funding opportunities, IT, tourism, hospitality and sales and marketing.

While the position of ‘consultant’ has been severely watered down in our local context, they have a proven track record of steering companies to higher levels of economic viability. Consultants work closely with business owners and managers to help identify challenges, offer advice and propose practical solutions. They are much like doctors, who diagnose the problem and prescribe a remedy that alleviates the pain. They are coaches who are introduced to help the company navigate through the growth opportunities.

This week, our column focuses on five benefits for hiring a strategy consultant. They include the following:


The main values of consultants include their knowledge, expert skills and influence. Because consultants work with a variety of businesses, they may have a much broader and deeper knowledge of business trends, industry challenges and new technologies and processes than internal employees.

Cost Savings

When you hire a consultant, you pay only for the services that you need and when you need them. This can provide substantial savings over hiring a salaried employee, with the same level of expertise, to complete similar tasks.

Time Savings

The experience of consultants means that they know best practices already. An outsourced manufacturing consultant can look at a client’s processes and very quickly identify inefficiencies. With a consultant, there is no need for business owners to reinvent the wheel or lose valuable time to something that can be completed by an expert contractor.


Consultants provide a useful distance from business challenges. They are not emotionally invested in operations in the same way that business owners are, and they can more easily identify and address challenges, whether the issue is implementing a new technology or completing a merger or acquisition. The consultant’s objectivity can be especially important in family-run businesses, where dynamics can be emotional and core problems more difficult to discuss.


Consultants do not offer a one-size-fits-all solution. Their value comes in learning about each client’s business and goals, and tailoring advice and strategy consulting to the specific challenges that the business faces. This customisation means that a consultant’s solutions are much more effective than generic advisory services.

• NB: Ian R Ferguson is a talent management and organisational development consultant, having completed graduate studies with regional and international universities. He has served organsations, both locally and globally, providing relevant solutions to their business growth and development issues. He may be contacted at tcconsultants@coralwave.com.


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