How to find management consulting worth paying for

5 min read
Claudia Bouma

Business is going well but you’ve hit a few roadblocks outside your area of managerial expertise. You need a fresh outside perspective from a specialist who understands your industry inside out and can offer professional advice. The time has come to look into management consulting.

You’re busy with the day-to-day business operations and may not have the time or knowledge to take the organisation to the next level.

But where do you start?

Find a business management consultant in 3 steps

Professional advice from the right management consultant is worth its weight in gold. Here’s how to choose from all the consultants out there.

  1. Decide on consultancy size.
  2. Ask questions.
  3. Get the ball rolling.

Ready to find a consultant? Let’s touch briefly on what management consultants do, then dive into the steps.

What is management consulting?

First, let’s define what management consulting is:

Management consultants work with business owners to identify and solve problems, and stimulate growth.

A business management consultant, also referred to as a risk management consultant, focuses on improving business operations to ultimately drive better results. Put simply, a management consultant fills any gaps in expertise to help your business succeed.

Related: How supply chain management can help your business grow

Choosing a management consultant

Management Consulting Woman Standing Near Servers
Management consultants are often called risk management consultants.

Business consulting is a huge market with a multitude of players. How do you find, evaluate and choose the right business management consultant to help you with your specific management issue in your particular industry?

1. Decide on consultancy size

As in most industries, you have the choice between big consulting firms and smaller boutique (independent) consultancies. Where your business is at, in terms of industry and growth, will influence your decision.

Large consulting firm

There are a number of benefits to going with a large firm. Bigger firms often:

  • Offer comprehensive end-to-end solutions
  • Have impressive track records in a variety of fields
  • Have huge resources

Boutique consultancy

There are an equal number of reasons to opt for a smaller firm. Independent consultants often:

  • Excel in working with rapidly-growing businesses
  • Are more likely to understand the lingo and structure of your industry
  • Offer a greater level of support and attention

If you decide a big consulting firm is the way to go, then check out the Clutch Top Business Consulting Companies in Australia. This useful tool features data from 1,400+ companies, detailing their service focus, profile and customer reviews. Reading through the consultancy summary and detailed testimonials provides valuable insight into each company’s strengths and expertise.

Maybe you’re leaning towards a boutique consultancy firm, as you’re looking for a greater level of support and attention. Ask for referrals from trusted colleagues who’ve gone down that road with measurable results.

2. Ask questions

Hiring a business management consultant is a big decision that needs to be considered carefully. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices to two or three consultancy firms, make sure you ask the right questions.

Finding the right person can potentially be a cost-effective way to grow your business, but hiring the wrong consultant can result in wasted money, time and energy.

Management Consulting Man and Woman Talking

Consider the following:

  • How much face-to-face contact is included in the contract?
  • Why should I hire you over other consultants?
  • Who will work directly with me?
  • What experience do you have in my industry?
  • What happens if I end the contract?
  • Do you have academic credentials?
  • What’s your payment structure?
  • What’s your process?

Allow plenty of time for this part of the process, as this will enable you to determine who is the best management consultant to deal with your specific issues.

3. Get the ball rolling

You’re now armed with all the information you need to make an informed decision regarding a suitable management consultancy. Time to sign the contract and get to work.

Remember that an experienced business management consultant can be a great — temporary — addition to your venture to impart professional know-how and solve critical business problems.

How can management consulting help?

Management consulting focuses on three main areas:

  • Strategy consulting
  • Operations consulting
  • HR (human resources) consulting

Strategy consulting zeroes in on the strategic aspect of your business and includes corporate strategy, economic policy and digital strategy.

Operations consulting deals with organisational management, which incorporates sales and marketing, finance and research and development.

HR consulting aims at maximising the efficiency of HR operations through talent management, HR technology and organisational change.

It’s important to determine what type of consulting your business needs, as this will help narrow down the list of potential firms or candidates.

Benefits of management consultancy

Management Consulting Team Bending Over Table

While management consulting comes with substantial fees, it’s important to recognise the many benefits of a business management consultant:

  1. Extensive industry experience
  2. Objective outside perspective
  3. Out-of-the-box thinking
  4. Access to professional resources
  5. Independent advice

Hiring an experienced management consultant to address a specific issue for a set period of time can result in great benefits for your business — benefits that could not be achieved by relying solely on yourself.


There are many benefits to engage a management consultant to address specific issues in your business. Having an objective outside perspective is invaluable as well as access to professional resources to take your business to the next level.

Choosing the right consultancy firm can be challenging with the multitude of players on the market. Start off determining the size of the management consultancy to narrow down your choices then ask the right questions.

Enjoy the ride!