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What exactly does it mean to be a business consultant?

Business consultant. It’s one of those nebulous titles almost as enigmatic as one who goes to work each day to perform his job as internal optimization coordinator, product integration analyst, or regional tactics facilitator (all of which are actual job titles I’ve seen on actual business cards.) I pretty much tell everyone I meet that I’m a “Business Consultant”. What exactly does that mean?

Interestingly, because I started my career in IT consulting, some people think I’m an IT guy. They literally think I spend my days providing IT phone support for “my printer isn’t working” and “my iPad is glitching.” Each time they’re in the market for a new smart phone or tablet, or their laptop suddenly stops working, I’m their go-to source for expert advice. I’m usually more than happy to help. But that’s actually not what I do for a living.

For some reason, people are either indifferent about consultants or, even worse, hate consultants. I’d like to believe that’s because they don’t know what the heck we do! Let me try to shed light on my mysterious career choice. I’m a consultant. Doctors fix people. Dentists fix teeth. Mechanics fix cars. Landscapers fix ugly yards. Business consultants fix businesses! I am:

  1. Part operations expert

  2. Part problem solver

  3. Part executive therapist (sort of)

I am a very good listener. I am adept at spotting weaknesses and identifying ways to turn them into strengths. I get to know my clients inside and out – to be effective at fixing their businesses and setting them up for a bright future, I have to fully understand every aspect of their businesses past and present. I ask clients, “Tell me what is working and not working?” “What was it like in the “hey day” when business was booming?” “When and where did it all go wrong?”

My clients divulge their personal hopes and dreams and I use their stories to help them achieve their goals. One of my clients began crying as I was asking her about her company. She explained that her goal was to retire in the next 5 years, but she had no idea how to get her company to the point that she can comfortably do so. She had invested the better portion of her life building her business and felt she had lost control. She needed fresh perspective and proven steps to help her get back on track to achieve her goals.

I listen. I absorb information. Then I come up with specific, actionable steps — a plan — companies can follow to get on track. That might mean the company needs better processes. It could mean they need higher performing people. It could likely also mean that they need to have the better technology to enable what they need to do. Whatever the solution, I roll up my sleeves and get it done for them too, unlike many other consultants out there. In a nutshell, though, I help companies grow. I help my clients operate more efficiently, experience higher profits, and achieve growth faster.

I love what I do because I feel like I make an impact in the world. When businesses (or nonprofits – for which I provide pro bono services) thrive, people thrive and communities thrive. When I’m involved in making people happy, I can honestly say I’m making the world a better place. I’m a business consultant, and I’m proud of that!

I hope you now have a better understanding of what I do. Going forward, I’ll provide more details by sharing actual success stories and case studies involving situations in which the Louder Co. has transformed businesses and, consequently lives. Stay tuned!

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