Advising and consulting are two different terms that are often used interchangeably to describe outsourced business improvement services. While both advisers and consultants are experienced professionals with deep knowledge of their respective disciplines, they approach business problems in different ways and work with a company for different time periods.
Knowing when to rely on business advisory services or business consulting services can be crucial for your business, either by helping you solve a specific problem head-on or helping your business avoid potential problems for long-term success. Pitting advisory vs consulting, we take a look at the major differences between each service to help you pick the right one when you need external expertise and assistance.
An adviser is a person with cross-functional and multi-disciplinary expertise. They provide professional and technical advice to clients based on their knowledge, experience, and understanding.
Comparable to a guide or mentor, an adviser is typically part of leadership in a company and plays a proactive role. Unlike a consultant who finds specific solutions for specific problems, an advisor helps the company deal with ongoing challenges and identify problems before they arise. Simply put, an adviser focuses on a company’s long-term success.
In most cases, an advisor is a long-term member of a company and understands the company’s strategic target of near and far future success. They know the leadership, staff, clients, as well as products or services offered by the organization. They are able to translate verbiage and perspective from one angle to another to help businesses accomplish their overarching objectives. In the short term, advisers usually meet less frequently than consultants.
Rather than addressing a specific problem for a specified period of time, business advisers help businesses overcome obstacles, increase revenue, and achieve long-term success through mentoring programs. More often than not, advisers are experienced, reliable professionals who’ve helped many clients reach their strategic goals. For many startups and growing businesses, business advisory services may be more favorable than consulting. Advisers can help business owners and managers gain traction while receiving expert guidance and advice.
A consultant is an experienced professional in a specific field and has deep knowledge of their discipline. The role of a consultant is to deliberate, consult, or counsel. A consultant employs various organizational strategies to get the change and/or outcome desired by a business owner.
They use their problem-solving skills to find solutions for specific issues affecting business. As such, consultants act retroactively and address more granular challenges faced by an organization.
A consultant focuses on pre-defined terms such as solving underlying constraints or problems. These terms are defined by the business owner or stakeholder and usually, the consultant is given a task to solve a particular problem that’s already been identified. Consultants take a deep dive, addressing elements such as revenue capacity, cost structure, business process design, capability sourcing, and more. Typically, consultants spend less time on the diagnosis and more time providing a cure.
Consultants are convergent thinkers. They deal with specific and particularly complex challenges that companies face. If a problem, for instance, has everything to do with customer engagement or revenue generation, a consultant can come up with a custom solution for that exact problem. They don’t focus on the overall trajectory of the company.
Businesses today are finding that working with business advisers produces better outcomes. Why? Advisers use a bigger approach to ongoing business challenges, help uncover potential issues, and give advice and tips on how to solve problems. These facilitate a company in saving money, increasing profits, and future-proofing its processes.
BAAP C.P.A is a top-rated firm dedicated to helping business owners become more efficient in managing and growing their businesses. From making specific investments to staying tax compliant, we’ll be there to provide the best advice. Contact us today for a free consultation and to learn the differences between advisory vs consulting services.