Business consulting in its purest sense is the ability to magnetize a business owner, entrepreneur, professional, mature or startup business to areas of critical performance based on meaningful, experienced, and documented understanding of the issue. Those critical areas can be marketing strategy, competitive advantage, business model, any of the 9 drivers that I talk about, leverage, etc. It’s not a theoretical process and it’s not only understanding the macro problem but also the nuances.
A business consultant, first of all, has to have the ability to understand function over form and cause over effect, because the consultant is going to either be brought in for a specific or a macro problem. A specific problem can be, “My website’s not getting any traffic.” The macro problem can be, “Were not getting enough sales,” or, “We’re getting beat in the market.” And you’ve got to be able to be causation-focused. You have to first look at the effect, but then determine what is really causing it. And then you’ve got to be able to deal not with form – “Oh, you just need better marketing” – but you have got to be able to understand function.
You have got to know that the micro, the granular, reality-base alternatives and know that one alternative doesn’t fit all. Let’s take a look at a complex business scenario as an example. Let’s say that you’re selling a supplement for weight loss.
I’ll give you an example about Henry Ford. When he ran Ford Motor Company and they were at the absolute peak, he would take a prospective executive, somebody who he was contemplating hiring, out to lunch. And if that potential executive salted his or her food before they tasted it, he would not hire them, because he thought somebody would make a decision impetuously without really assessing the problem, probably was dangerous.