5 Important Tools for Business Consultants (2021)

17-Aug 2021
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Kirsten McNeice MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST

Whether you are considering starting a business consultancy for the first time or are already an experienced business consultant, you recognize that you have to be on the cutting edge when it comes to the advice you offer your clients.

Being able to offer perfectly customized advice to businesses requires meticulous organization, and what better way to stay organized than with excellent software-based tools?

So let's take a look at how successful business consultants mobilize tools to maximize their impact. 

‌What Does a Business Consultant Do?

‌Business consultants perform a myriad of tasks, but their most general role is to be an outside voice to help boost performance, productivity, or efficiency within an organization. 

They're given access to big-picture metrics and have conversations at every level in order to suss out pain points and potential solutions for companies. 

Business consultants offer their services to a variety of different clients. This can include actively working with one company, discussing a potential relationship with another, and prospecting for future leads, all at the same time. Their days are varied and require precise organization in order to make it all happen. 

In 2021, the expectations for organization and efficiency are extremely high, and strong software-based tools can help business consultants maintain strong connections with every client while meticulously tracking key information. 

‌In particular, business consultants need a system that keeps everything from falling through the cracks. 

With the industry growing at annual rates of 11% in the United States — this according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics — every consultant wants to be the one with the competitive advantage of excellent customer contact and clear results.

‌This article can help anyone using business consulting software find a new tool that might solve a problem in their consultancy. 

What Types of Tools Does a Business Consultant Need?

‌Think of a business consultant's tools as a crew — a group of background operators who minimize the time needed for administrative tasks and maximize the time that a given consulting firm can spend solving problems for their clients.

For instance, no one wants the human error that comes with manually entering time cards, keeping physical to-do lists, or filling sticky notes with reminders about phone calls that need to be returned. 

‌The tools that help business consultants maintain a 100% satisfaction rate are designed to store all the necessary data users need to be able to answer client questions quickly, all without having to spend tons of time manually entering information into a computer. Here are some examples. 

‌5 Important Tools for Business Consultants

‌At any given time, new software options are coming on the market, but the need for certain types of business consulting tools is ever-present. 

Here are just some of the tool types that help business consultants offer consistent, high-quality work with excellent documentation and data management.

‌Time Tracking Tools‌

Common tools for consultants include applications like HourStack or Accelo's time tracking tool.

‌Time tracking tools recognize that clients want accounting for every minute billed and that delivering these items faithfully and accurately boosts your credibility. 

‌The best time trackers, however, go above and beyond, integrating scheduling with time tracking, which allows you to track overhead and multiple people's time in one easy-to-use portal. 

‌A great time tracker is easy to use, includes custom categories, and generates readable, useful reports.

‌Benchmarking Industry Tools

‌Benchmarking is one of the most important ways that business consultants add value — they help companies see where they are relative to the choices their competitors are making.

‌Benchmarking can include everything from how companies manage cash flow to how they hire, the ways they offer competitive salary and benefits to key personnel, and the ways they manage their supply chains.

‌Rather than being driven by a particular brand, benchmarking tools are all about access. No matter the industry for which you consult, you'll need access to databases that offer insights into how competitors are managing their firms so that you can help your client see where they have room to improve.

‌CRM With Comprehensive Communication and Organization Options

‌There are a host of CRM options, including the well-known HubSpot as well as many others.

‌The core element of a customer relationship management system is ease of use — the goal is to comprehensively chronicle how each lead becomes interested in your offerings and how you've communicated with them throughout the process.

‌Ideally, a CRM gives you lots of options for how to handle downtime between consulting projects and helps you move new contracts into your scheduling system, enabling you to plan work out for the coming months.  

‌Project Timeline Management Tools

‌Popular options like Trello and Jira provide the ability to pass elements of projects virtually to other team members with strategic alerts to help every project move forward quickly and efficiently.

‌These project management tools also keep track of how a project actually played out when compared to the anticipated timeline, bringing valuable data for business consultants to use when they enter a new client relationship and want to estimate timelines for future projects.

Survey Tools For Interfacing With Client Employees

‌Creating informal surveys through Qualtrics is easy and can be an excellent way to get customized data from your client's employees or customers. 

‌Business consultants aren't always handed data that offers a complete picture of what is going on at the company. 

‌Excellent survey tools help consultants draw out the insights they need to make recommendations to improve efficiency and effectiveness, with easy-to-create surveys that can be delivered through email or messaging applications.  

‌Integrate Your Tools with Accelo

‌Accelo's customizable tools and dashboards for tracking productivity and profitability are very helpful for business consultants, but the integrations available truly take things to the next level.

‌Accelo can bring together things like time tracking, surveys, project management, and CRM and have all these software applications share data, saving you time and making your data more consistent across each system.

‌Every minute you save helps you demonstrate your value as an ultra-efficient business consultant, all while mobilizing more time for you to bring your expertise to bear on the client's concerns. 

Try Accelo today to see how it can help you do your work with less stress and a better up-to-the-minute picture of your operations. 

 

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