Consultants are no longer amused by the large number of jokes about their profession. The general public, and pretty much anyone who has dealt with a consultant, will say a consultant can be anyone with the minutest of knowledge pertaining to a certain sector or industry. Is this true?
Over the years, there have been many myths perpetrated against consultants. Whether it’s in corporate, legal or sports, consultants have garnered a bad reputation, some of it is justified and some if it is not. That’s just the way it is.
A part of the reason why a company takes on the services of a consulting business is to find out how to improve operations, where the company can find inefficiencies and when potential expansion plans can go into effect. This is why consultants are hired. Heck, even governments hire private sector consultants for anything ranging from tracking down lenders that offer so called guaranteed loans to finding ways to trim their budget.
Here are five myths of a consulting business:
Overpaid For Repetitive Work
The most common complaint made against consultants is that consultants are paid to do the work of the staff, and they are given a huge compensation package to do so. Instead of turning to the staff, employers are hiring outside of the business to get something done.
The reality of the situation is that consultants are independent contractors but they pay their own taxes, healthcare, taxes and so on. Moreover, consultants work on a client-by-client basis, which means they may not get a client after the job is complete.
Luxurious Travel on Client’s Dime
An employee of a firm that has hired a contractor will tell a fib that they’ve seen consultants ride around in limousines, SUVs and helicopters all on the client’s dime. Meanwhile, the staff hasn’t received a raise in six consecutive quarters. Oh the injustice!
The reality is that it simply isn’t true. Sure, consultants may stay at fancy hotels and need quick transportation, but that’s because they’re traveling from city to city, country to country. They also need to quickly head home for the weekend to see their families.
Consultants Are Glamorous
When looking at the term “glamorous,” you’re thinking of funky consultants with big sunglasses, flamboyant personalities and buzzwords. But what glamorous refers to are consultants using massive PowerPoint presentations, bulky binders and extensive meetings with the entire staff.
Well, first, sometimes these meetings are necessary and the presentations may be imperative. Second, consultants have to combine the two elements: use elaborate information presentations and ensure that you take the advice given by the consultants. Simply giving you a piece of paper won’t help.
Telling You About Your Business
There’s an old saying in business when talking about consultants: they take your watch and tell you the time. In other words, consultants will simply study your business and then tell you what you do for a living.
At first, this is true but then consultants go the next step: providing value in their analysis. They will pinpoint exactly what is wrong with the business and what the possible solutions are to improve the company’s bottom line.
Aren’t You Really Unemployed?
If you know at least one consultant then you probably have heard of someone telling them they’re really unemployed. However, all what one consultant has to do is this: cite a few clients, give off an elevator pitch and tell them what you’re doing right now. No one will ever think that you’re just sitting on the couch, watching television and eating chips ever again.