Winning Business as a Consultant

As a consultant, my goal is to drive value for business partners through IT solutions. This is easy when you are first starting out, and are given a small application to build out. You can deliver that solution in an efficient manner and add a lot of value by solving a problem that was identified for you. But, how do you go from being a contributor to looking for opportunities to add value yourself?

One approach is to learn more about the business with the hope that this knowledge will give you and/or the business partners some ideas to pursue. Here are some questions for you may ask to help you do that:

  • What is the most challenging/important/impactful decision you make?

  • What data do you use to make that decision?

  • What process do you follow to make the decision?

  • How long does the process take?

  • How do you think that process could be improved?

  • What is the most difficult or time consuming part of the process?

  • Do you currently measure/estimate/monitor the financial impact (or some other impact; e.g., timing) related to that decision?

    • If so, how?

    • If not, why not?

  • What kind of monitoring would be helpful? E.g., You expected outcome A from decision, but ended up with outcome B?

  • Do the results of this decision factor into your job performance?

    • If so, how?
  • Upon which costs/value-drivers do you have the largest impact? (E.g., transportation costs, inventory costs, contract costs, etc.)

  • How variable are those costs/value-drivers from month-to-month?

  • What advice do you have to make those costs/value-drivers more ratable and/or predictable?

What do you think? Are there other questions we can be asking?

About the author: BK

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