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Small and Medium Enterprises (SME's) traditionally tend to use corporate-style practices. As a consequence, when SMEs engage consulting services, it ends up as an expensive and risky investment. Most of the SME's adapt to the market changes in short time, striking different from a corporate. 

In a SME organization the character and values of the CEO are an integral part of the business. Typical Management consulting models do not work for these SME’s as it goes against its fundamental value systems and practices. What works at corporates hardly works for SME’s which makes corporate style management consulting irrelevant for them.

Consulting for SME's ought to be about creating value.

Our clients have hired us for the following in the past five years:

  • Independent requirements: If there is a third party assessment to find the real cause of an incident or outcome of a work or to justify an act of any of the stakeholder.  Real value was arrived when a multidimensional solution beyond the initial scope was presented with far fetching results.
  • Turnkey requirements: When there is a specific expertise required to execute or design a plan or a project which is a niche or not so common requirement with less or no expertise to cater to the requirement internally within a set timeline.
  • Bottom of the pyramid: Most of the challenges we see in businesses are outcomes of deep rooted challenges. Sometimes internal resources are too close to a problem inside an organization to recognize it. This requires extensive probing and analytical work which is impossible for an internal resource as they would execute this task as an additional responsibility. Even if they execute the task the natural bias because of the past experiences may influence them.
  • Short-term assignments: When the business executives discover they could save by money and time by hiring consultants rather than hiring full-time employees (There are savings on benefits and administration supports costs also). Even though a consultant's fees are generally higher than an employee's salary, over the long haul, a consultant tends to be a less expensive option in terms of value delivered within the scheduled time.
  • Organization Development: To identify the need for change and act as a catalyst for change. Some do not one like change. But when change is needed, a consultant generally can do things without worrying about the corporate culture, employee morale, or other issues that tend to elicit high emotions and dissent among the ranks.
  • Discover opportunities: To be an objective onlooker. Further understanding challenges from a different perspective than internal resources, a good specialist provides a fresh, neutral perspective, then delivers results without being concerned about what workers in the organization may perceive about the outcome and how they were achieved.
  • Reskilling: To train the internal resources and make them learn the special skills and knowledge in a specific function or a practice. A consultant always stays abreast of advances and developments in their chosen field so information can be passed on to clients knowledgeably and convincingly.
  • Master of company's "dirty work": Let's face it. None of the internal resource wants to be the person who has to make resource or program cuts. An impartial outside consultant is the perfect person to handle such unpleasant tasks. This will avoid conflicts.
  • Build a Start-up within or a find a way to diversify: To bring new life to an organization by identifying complimenting ideas and exploring the opportunities within. Many consultants are retained as idea starters and innovative thinkers. The consultants are subject matter experts who can think on their own feet and further they can help a company retool or reinvent itself.
  • New product/ Business launch: A Business catalyst with business development expertise are in high demand by entrepreneurs and visionaries who wish to leave the groundwork--and grunt work--to someone else. This saves their time which they care focus on the core functions. In this role, a consultant gets engaged with the day-to-day operations of the new venture.
  • Research requirements: If an idea or a product is to be validated or a new market is to be explored or a diversification project is to be identified then with internal resources the work becomes hard as it's an additional task to their defined tasks. This not only delays the research work but also influence the outcomes. Here Consultants are the preferred choice as the management bandwidth spent on executing this will be very less with a consultant leading the research work.
  • Partnerships: Because of the nature of work Consultants keep studying different businesses thus they know the movers and shakers in business, or have big business or manufacturing contacts someone will probably want to tap into that knowledge. This could lead to Strategic partnership or a Merger or Acquisition or a business development opportunity. 

In last five years we have seen that we would only serve fewer customers by executing the consulting model after eliminating “Advisory” (A key revenue model for any consulting organization) that too with the support of our research team. However we have clearly understood the key challenges pertaining to SME organizations and we are covering that spectrum focus on low cost high value delivery for our SME Clients.  Thus we have transformed our delivery model to Knowledge Process Outsourcing which delimits our spectrum in terms of functionality.

 

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