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Where can management consultancies engage with smaller businesses?

Olly Warren Senior Director, EMEA 07/09/2021

In a post-covid era speed and agility will be crucial to aid tactical and strategic decision making and maximise profits. Beyond improving a business’s general performance, these criteria act as a catalyst for growth.

Regardless of size, these requirements reflect the changing needs of companies to help navigate uncertain times.

Maximising return on investments will be integral for businesses to stay afloat in the wake of forced redundancies, the ending of furlough, the impact of Brexit and fluctuating demand. For many organisations, and especially smaller businesses, entrusting management consultancies to offer an external perspective isn’t a consideration, primarily due to expense where the investment doesn’t appear to make sense or isn’t feasible.

Yet utilising management consultancies can offer huge benefits for organisations by getting under the skin of businesses, offering efficiency strategies, and providing direction that might previously have been a barrier to success. Ultimately, they can help companies reduce costs and make savings, which is something many leaders will be looking for in the aftermath of the pandemic.

New data from our UK Business Tracker highlights that the majority of small businesses (52%) haven’t sought any services from a consultant for the last 12 months, compared to just 13% of medium to larger businesses.

A lack of consideration is not due to a lack of familiarity of management consultancy services. 31% of small businesses are familiar with their offer (up by 7% from 2020 data), compared to 56% of medium and large businesses (up from 55% in 2020). This increase in awareness amongst smaller businesses indicates that there is a potential appetite for their services.

Our data highlights that there are several key services that management consultancies tend to be hired for which could be promoted to help leverage engagement. For smaller businesses key management consultancy services used in the past 12 months include financial advice (19%), risk management (15%) and strategic guidance (14%), as well as digital and technological transformation (12%). For medium and large companies’ these services included, financial advice (37%), risk management (36%), digital and technological transformation (32%). Regardless of size, these requirements reflect the changing needs of companies to help navigate uncertain times.

Opportunities are out there

It’s no surprise that larger businesses are the most likely to work with management consultancies, as they tend to have bigger budgets. However, that’s not to say SMEs won’t. As already mentioned, in the last 12 months we’ve seen an increase in the number of smaller businesses who are aware of the benefits of bringing in a management consultancy, so perhaps now is an ideal opportunity for consultancies to reach out and inform smaller businesses and help them explore options.

For businesses, large or small, this is a crucial period of time where many are considering their next steps and who to turn to in order to survive and revive their business. Management consultancies can play a key part in supporting and guiding business leaders through this inevitable change, ultimately helping them stay afloat and even come out stronger than before.

The data in this article is taken from our UK business tracker. The tracker offers businesses the opportunity to access and understand the current opinions, attitudes and behaviours of UK business owners and decision makers towards COVID-19, together with plans for how they will adapt their businesses going forward to mitigate the impact of any future crises. Get in touch to ask your own questions or find out more.

Click here to find out about how Savanta supports management consultancies.

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