types of consulting businesses

10 Types of Consulting Businesses and the Roles They Play

By Sydney Tierney

The consulting industry is an extremely widespread sector, with various markets within it. Due to the diversity within the industry, the jobs available are diverse and cover a large scope.

Being a business owner, there are a number of fantastic reasons why you should consider hiring a consultant. With a range of essential tasks able to be completed by a consultant to help aid the working day, consultancy can help businesses with the management, organizational and financial aspects required by the company.

This is especially important for those who are just starting out within the industry, by allowing them to gain trusted and experienced advice to make their currently small business, into something worth investing into.

Due to the diversity now offered within the consulting industry, it can be a daunting and unsure time when looking for a consulting business to aid and help promote the goals of your business. When looking for a new business, knowing which business to employ is important in helping you to make a fully comprehensive decision.

In this article, we will be discussing 10 different types of consulting businesses, and the roles they cover within them.

1. Human Resource Consultant

HR consultants are usually found within businesses as a person or group of people and are used to answer any human capital questions from clients of colleagues within the workplace. With a key role of their job to create order and promote better organization and performance levels.

The main tasks that an HR consultant will complete within their day to day working life include:

  • Terms of employment
  • Organisational charges
  • Financial charges
  • Retirement
  • Talent management
  • Learning and development

While the job of an HR consultant may seem rather overwhelming, ensuring that each and every client and colleague are fully equipped and know each detail of their job role is important. The HR consultant can also aid the company by helping to transform the business and the way in which all employees work.

Focusing on business culture, new design of processes and systems that are already implemented, and aiding in providing a company strategy. This can ensure the constant happiness of each client and colleague.

2. Management Consultant

A management consultant in the workplace can be more commonly known as a business or organizational advisor. A management consultants sole job role is to focus on all the concerns covering implemented strategies, company organization and a host of elements involving the management sector. They use their long collated business skills from previous experiences to help in providing expertise and advice through the problems a company may face. The main areas in which a management consultant will be there to provide solutions and aid in the workflow are:

  • HR
  • Supply chain management
  • Creating business strategies
  • IT
  • Marketing
  • Finance control
  • E-business

Management consultants are likely to be found forming the majority of business advisors within a branch. In fact, more than half of all business advisors can be defined as a management consultant, so it is clear they take up quite a large segment of this industry sector.

3. IT Consultant

A technology consultant can also be labelled as an IT, ICT or a digital consultant. Their job is to ensure that businesses have the correct development and application of information and technology within the workplace.

The vast majority of IT consultants will work on implementing projects into the business, system applications, project management, system integration and process management. An IT consultant is most definitely a part of the sector that is growing the most, with more businesses relying heavily on the use of digital technology to run and streamline their day to day running. Because of this, those who want to take on roles surrounding: IT forensics, digital and data analytics, cyber security, are all the most likely applicants, to get a job being an IT consultant.

4. Operations Consultant

Similar to the rest, the job role of an operations consultant used to aid the way in which a business operates. The types of jobs conducted by an operations consultant will vary within this job and will include:

  • Advisory services
  • Hands-on implementation support
  • Finance
  • HR
  • Supply chain
  • Sales, marketing and production
  • Procurement
  • Outsourcing / strategic sourcing

Operations consultants actually form the largest segment of advisors within this industry, with the majority of them focusing on a variety of the underlying operating tasks, to keep the business up and running at all times. As the role of an operations consultant is rather imperative, they usually work closely with tasks associated with both the strategy and technological side of a business, and will require working closely with those active workers within these domains, to ensure the best advisories are given at every given time.

5. Financial Advisory Consultant

Any task that would fall under the bracket of the financial and analytical capabilities of a business will likely be undertaken by a financial advisory consultant.

Due to the financial sector being a rather broad spectrum, those underneath this umbrella can label themselves and cover aspects of anything from the following:

  • Tax consultant
  • Financial risk manager
  • Corporate finance advisor
  • Restructuring consultant

The vast majority of those that decide to work underneath the finance bracket tend to work within places combined with both accounting and consulting due to their jobs being rather specific. It would be found that these style companies will usually be larger, corporate businesses that need high quality, sustainable finance advice.

6. Strategy Consultant

This form of consultancy is surprisingly noticed as the highest level of consultancy available. Those involved will help a business by covering all aspects from organisational strategies, government and economic policies and functional strategy.

Because the jobs a strategy consultant will have to take on, are likely to be a business place priority, the tasks will usually be assigned by those who are more superior in the business place, such as directors or senior managerial positions.

While a strategy consultant to the outsider may just seem as another type advisor, this is not the case, and due to the nature of the tasks a strategy consultant will have to take on, their working profile must differ from that of their peers. Instead of focusing on helping the client to progress, or enabling them to use various IT and technologies. This form of consultancy will be based around quantitative skills and analytics, working to give advice, rather than overseeing the way in which the business implements such strategies.

7. Risk and Compliance Consultant

When running a business, there will be a set of strict rules and guidelines that must be followed, from regulations, company standards, ethical practices and business place laws.

By being compliant and enforcing rules and regulations within the industry, the businesses will be a lower risk of any potential industry violations. For example, fraud, discrimination and even company abuse. This is where a risk and compliance consultant would come in, by producing a compliance policy that will deter the business from facing any possible brand diminishing issues. The consultants are there to protect the company from any possible risk.

A risk and compliance consultant will work closely with the senior management team to discuss such issues that could arise, and why the implementation of their standard policy is the best way forward. This can ensure the company is safe against any case that could arise against them, and guarantee that all company employees are aware of the rules at hand, before being able to work for them. Having an extensive knowledge of both organisation and legal regulations, as well as an in-depth understanding of the compliance rules of a specific style company are the features those lookout for, in a risk and compliance consultant.

8. Environmental Consultant

Due to changes in property and building regulations, businesses are no longer free to extend, reshape and build at will. In fact, in order to be able to do so, a business place must have the paperwork that shows true predictions of how the building project will affect the surrounding environment and prove they are avidly finding different ways to achieve their final goal. Their final goal is to reduce any environmental problems that could be faced.

These rules and regulations are aimed mostly at those who will be changing surrounding areas regularly, but still cover a huge amount of industries. For example, the construction sector, energy development and waste management industries.

Before any work can take place, a company will have to hire an environmental consultant to assess the plans at hand and analyse the possible environmental factors of said proposed plans. The consultant will then collate the findings and submit them to the government.

The environmental consultant will focus on asking the questions such as:

  • How can we change the plan, in a way that will decrease the negative impacts on the environment?
  • How will this activity affect the environment?
  • Does the activity, wanting to be done comply with the regulations released by the local and state federations?

If the consultant can confidently answer these, plans will be underway. But they cannot do so without a consultant being the one who confirms planning permission from the government.

9. Software Consulting

If a business needs to purchase an expensive or complex computer software, it is imperative that the correct one is found that will not only comply with the fundamentals of their day to day operations but also work to make the workplace more efficient and optimised.

So, another different type of consultant business, is a software consultant. These work alongside those who are already aiding within the

management and organisation of a business, by offering a platform that will make their jobs much easier. For example:

  • Content management systems
  • Human resource management
  • Supply chain management
  • Enterprise resource planning
  • Customer relationship management

A software consultant must ensure they are highly skilled in a particular business sector, in order to understand the everyday operations and their expectations from the required software. For example, a sector such as the construction industry will have to ensure they have high quality software, to ensure all of their data is collated and placed in a safe place, that will allow work to be as efficient as possible.

A consultant can then work out the best solution for the businesses needs using analytical thinking, the process of elimination and problem-solving.

10. Legal Consultant

The role of a legal consultant is to aid in any legal issues that may be facing a client or business. From preventing them from happening, identifying the issue to offering the correct advice to deflate the problem with the lowest amount of repercussions possible.

There are a handful of different alleys within this style of consultancy, each asking different of the advisor. For example:

  • Banking
  • Corporate business, banking
  • Tax
  • Real estate
  • Company contracts
  • Informational technology

A legal consultant would be used by a business in the times where their brand name may be under scrutiny. A consultant in place for protections against any legal issues if they do arrive, can ensure that they are dealt with correctly, within an efficient time frame, with the hope of the best possible outcomes available.

Summary

Being a business, it is important to ensure that all aspects of the day, and background running are as efficient as possible. This is best done by having a set of high quality consultants at hand, to cover any needs and desires a company may have.

There are many different types of consultancy business available, with the above 10, being only a small section of those on offer. The types of consultancies do reach further, however, to those based on social media, digital marketing and an SEO consultancy, to technology and PR.

From a HR consultant, to a financial advisor, each type of consulting has their own set of desirable and impactful skills, that when implemented into the business place, can benefit it greatly. It is not only the way in which the business runs, however that can gain from having consultants on board. In fact, the brand name, client base, and even the colleagues will be able to experience positive changes by using the advice given by consultants.

Featured photo credit: Depositphotos
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Sydney Tierney
Sydney Tierney just recently finished her studies and is working her way into the world of content writing as a digital marketing assistant. She writes for clients that specialise in workstations, SEO and Strategic Sourcing.

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