Guide to Business Consultant Roles

Definition of a strategic business plan

A strategic business plan assists a company in establishing the appropriate mechanisms, processes, and support structures to enhance productivity. It ensures that the company has implemented effective control systems to promptly identify deviations from targets.

Furthermore, an effective business strategy proposes new methods for reallocating human, technical, and financial resources to areas where they yield the highest profitability.

The objective is to make a direct contribution to the execution of the company’s business strategy, minimizing costs and time while maximizing quality and added value.

What does a business strategist do?

A successful business strategy consultancy assists its clients in extracting the maximum value from their capital, materials, and labor within specific circumstances. Additionally, it involves identifying gaps and seizing opportunities to introduce new processes, products, and services.

Business strategy solutions can be applied at six different levels:

  • Company level
  • Group level
  • Division level
  • Business unit level
  • Plant or branch level
  • Cell level

Who needs a strategic business consultant?

The need for a strategic plan is vital for businesses facing challenges such as lengthy lead times, extended order-to- delivery cycles, low labor productivity, limited capital and materials added-value, and insufficient economies of scale and scope. Additionally, under-utilized assets and small-lot production are key obstacles that a strategic plan aims to address.

Difference between a strategic plan and a business plan

A strategic plan differs from a business plan, which is a broader document with more aspirational elements:

A business plan outlines what a business is about and why it holds value in the market.

In contrast, a strategic plan contains an action-oriented approach with specific objectives, due dates, and delineation of responsibilities.

A strategic plan evaluates current and future operating programs and capital investment projects using qualitative and quantitative tools, addressing key questions.

A strategic business plan helps companies establish the necessary processes and support structures to achieve their vision efficiently and effectively, often at a reduced time and cost, and with improved quality of work and revenue.

Strategic planners can be likened to business auditors, assessing an entire company’s performance or the efficiency of specific departments or processes. Not having a strategic plan is akin to navigating unknown territory without a map, akin to driving a car with poorly maintained or incorrectly sized wheels – it risks accidents or total loss.

A strategic business plan fosters a common understanding of corporate strategy across various departments, such as marketing, finance, inventory, sales, procurement, production, capital budgeting, cash flows, and personnel, facilitating correlation between key success factors.

How to hire a business strategy consultant

Make a list of candidates

People ask their lawyer, accountant, and industry colleague or trade association for a consultant with relevant experience.

require specific expertise

  • What actions did the consultant do in the past that directly relates to the problem?
  • What publications did they write?
  • What specific training, degrees or certificates did they obtain?
  • What personal experience do they have?

Ask for a proposal

In the proposal, the following items must be covered in clear ways:

  • Objectives
  • Outcomes
  • Procedures
  • Methods
  • Length of contract
  • Costs
  • Success guarantee
  • Compliance with available resources (financial, technical, and human) and constraints
  • Communicate clear and substantial added value

Check references

  • How many clients the consultant serviced in the past?
  • What did they do to them?
  • How do they feel about the work done? C4   what was accomplished as a result?

Select the consultancy you feel comfortable with

  • Is the consultant credible?
  • Can the consultant be trusted?
  • Do you feel enough chemistry to work with them?
  • Is there a better alternative?

Different scenarios

  • How likely is each scenario
  • What will the consultant do to prevent the worst- case scenario
  • Know the downside risk, there is always one f4 would the proposed solution really work?
  • Are they making outlandish claims or realistic ones?

The consultant will always self-destruct

An effective and ethical business strategy consultant aims to empower their clients’ workforce, ensuring that they can eventually handle tasks independently. As a result, the consultant’s role is to become obsolete over time, allowing the client’s team to take over responsibilities and to become self-sufficient within the shortest possible timeframe.

Roles and responsibilities

A business strategy consultant audits all key success factors across different departments and functions to identify weaknesses, gaps, and leaks, aiming to eliminate them in a manner that seizes internal and external growth opportunities. He or she goes through these elements in coordination with colleagues and external parties such as suppliers and industry peers.

Customer perspective Human resources perspective Production perspective Financial perspective Marketing perspective Management perspective Learning & innovation persp
sales turnover rate retention rate supply chain management pricing segmentation character type of managers research and development
average order size resignation rate asset utilization capacity cost of goods sold positioning management culture creativity skills
market share skills index expansion feasibility gross margin advertising (as percent of sales) document control system number parts
other other other other other other other


A strategic business plan covers the following functions:

  1. Executive summary 
  1. Strategic context
  1. General information 
  2. Analysis of the business
  1. Management and manpower
  1. Marketing analysis
  1. Potential to export
  2. Products range
  1. Manufacturing analysis
  1. Quality analysis
  1. Strategic position
  1. Financial analysis
  1. Environmental analysis
  1. Conclusions
  1. Priority of needs and actions (at company level)
  1. Action plan
  1. Detailed technical specifications (annex)


An effective business strategy consultancy must adopt a data-driven approach to analysis and problem-solving, as illustrated below:

1. Data analysis

Cause & effect analyses

Diagnostic analysis

Regression analyses

Behavioral analyses

2. Master planning

Information processing


Prescriptive analyses

Pre-emptive analyses

3. Execution of solutions


Variance analyses

Corrective actions

4. Control systems

Skills needed

Skills needed to have a successful career
Business strategy consultant

  • Business expertise

A deep understanding of business principles, strategies, and tactics is essential

  • Analytical skills

The ability to analyze data and draw meaningful insights is crucial for developing effective business strategies. Consultants should be proficient in data analysis tools and techniques to assess people skills and resource management

  • Strategic thinking

Strategic business consultants must be able to think critically and develop long-term plans to achieve clients' business objectives. This involved thinking broadly and hiring the right specialists to fill knowledge and implementation gaps

  • Communication skills

Strong verbal and written communication skills are necessary for conveying complex business concepts, presenting proposals, and collaborating with clients and team members. Consultants should be able to tailor their communication style to different audiences and interlocutors

  • People management

Building and maintaining strong relationships is essential for success as a consultant. This requires excellent interpersonal skills, the ability to listen to employees’' needs, manage expectations, and provide exceptional motivation

  • Project management

Strategic business consultants often juggle multiple projects simultaneously. Proficiency in project management methodologies, organization, and time management is critical for delivering projects on time and within budget

  • Industry knowledge

Depending on the specialization, consultants may need industry-specific knowledge or expertise. Staying informed about industry trends, regulations, and best practices is essential for providing relevant and effective business advice

  • Creativity

The ability to think creatively and develop innovative business strategies sets top consultants apart. Creativity helps consultants devise unique solutions to business challenges and capture consumers and employees' attention

  • Education
A bachelor degree as a minimum in business administration or a related field. An advanced degree can boost credibility
  • Relevant experience
Practical experience in business management, preferably in a strategic or managerial role, is highly valuable Certifications Certifications from reputed institutions
  • Portfolio
Building a strong portfolio of successful business projects and case studies is essential for showcasing expertise and attracting clients

Reasons to hire a consultant

1. Temporary and specialized skills

A consultant has the right expertise and may be hired to identify problems. Sometimes employees are too close to a problem inside an organization to identify it. Companies hire consultants to gain access to a specialized skill set that might not exist in house. By engaging a consulting firm, a client gets access to a group of professionals that has skills ranging from process improvement, to cost- reduction programs to organization structures. Thanks to consultants, companies can bring in that skill set on demand when they need it.

2. Alternative to recruitment

A consultant can supplement the staff. Sometimes a business discovers it can save hundreds of thousands of dirhams a year by hiring consultants when they are needed rather than hiring full-time employees. They also can save additional money because they don’t have to pay benefits to the consultants they hire. Sometimes the problems companies need solving are really important, but they don’t necessarily have the manpower to focus on them. Companies still have to focus on their day-to-day operations, after all, and new projects typically require reprioritizing employees’ core job responsibilities. But hiring new employees to fill these gaps doesn’t always make sense either, seeing as many of these projects are one-offs.

3. Initiate change

A consultant can act as a catalyst for change. Because consultants often work with many different companies and may have worked through this problem in the past with someone else, they can really provide a perspective based on what they’ve seen work (or not) before. And given this experience, they can often bring new and innovative ideas or possible challenges to the table that clients probably wouldn’t have been able to see on their own. A benefit to the company is that the consultant can overcome resistance to change in a smooth way and overcome other issues that may be getting in the way when an organization is trying to institute change. A consultant can bring new life to an organization. Often, when businesses are stuck in any given situation and can’t find a way out of it on their own, a qualified advisors can come up with new ideas that work and to get things rolling again.

4. An objective eye

A consultant provides much-needed objectivity. Who else is more qualified to identify a problem than a consultant? A good advisor provides an objective and fresh viewpoint without taking sides and makes it easy to build consensus, resolve conflictive points of views and muster commitment to a specific course of action and to take corrective actions. A good advisor makes it possible to realize latent opportunities.

5. A safe pair of hands

Sometimes, when companies are working on a challenging problem or a controversial project, it can be hard for them to make decisions or take the necessary actions without getting wrapped up in emotions or politics. So, they bring in consultants to provide an unbiased eye. A qualified advisor can provide the back-up and confirmation for a client that is attempting to run with a new idea that might not be well-received within an organization, without any risk to our day jobs or career.

6. Crisis prevention and management

A consultant has the expertise, insights, and foresight to assess a company’s position using data-driven metrics and then to intuitively help it calculate its next move and the most beneficial path forward. Senior-level advisors serve as confidantes and trusted counsellors to leaders and influencers in government, corporate, entertainment and society. They must be known for honesty, integrity and discretion, quality work product and success rate.

A top consultant deploys his or her extensive experience in risk-avoidance and risk-assessment to help clients prevent and enhance their readiness and resilience for possible commercial crisis situations. An advisor leverages a wide scope of resources to ensure customers are prepared for the various challenges they might encounter in the future. These include uncertainty, risk and vulnerability assessments and containment strategy.

7. Obtain funding

A good consultant can help in freeing tied-in capital and thus to reduce overheads and needs for working capital financing and short-term financing needs. A company can reinvest the freed funds into expanding the business or reducing the cost of capital. Advisors optimize your financial structure and reduce needs for financing; which makes it more attractive for lenders to provide much-needed a company needs to finance its operations.

Benefits of a business strategy

Benefit name Description
Full integration Different departments will serve and fulfil each other’s plans through a congruence of goals
Better budgeting Get the most accurate operating budgets and more appropriate allocation of resources
Coherence and competency Nurture long-term thinking and the formation of competent people who work toward coherent goals
Long-term orientation Your business’ short-term programs will be framed to contribute directly to the overall desired results
Shorter time-to-profitability Minimize cost and time needed to launch new products and services and time to profitability
Maximum asset utilization Utilize assets to a maximum capacity and return on asset (roa)
Optimum lot-size production Produce the right amounts of finished goods to minimize cost and time of production, and the cost of holding inventories
Produce strong export commodities Expand markets, customer base, and diversify sources of revenue
Increase shareholder wealth
Multiply profits and revenues

Functions of a business strategist

A strategic marketing consultant can fill a variety of functions:

  • Do the work
  • Lead the work
  • Act as mentor and advisor
  • Transmit knowledge
  • Independent observer
  • Serve as facilitator
  • Act as change agent
  • Manage projects
  • Provide recommendations
  • Implement solutions
  • Serve as technical expert
  • Collaborate with management


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