Parker Revenue Growth Strategies

Is It Better To Hire A Big Consulting Firm Versus A Small One?

Jan 13, 2023

During conversations with trusted advisors and prospective clients, referral partners will ask if a single shingle consultant is a ‘one man shop’? Most reply, “I am an individual business advisor with a wide and deep bench of trusted advisors who have functionality experience needed to support the needs of a privately owned company.”

Utilizing 1099 experienced trusted advisors from the Turnaround Management Association, ExecHQ and the Private Directors Association enables a small firm to keep costs low when compared to mid-size and large consulting firms. After a complimentary ½ day organizational fitness assessment has concluded and presented to the business owner, board of directors or CEO, a small firm’s owner has a clear idea of goals, objectives and strategies that must be implemented for the business turnaround and value creation process.

Bottom line you are more likely to run into a “single shingle” than a mid-size or large firm. What are the differences? Individual firms provide a distinct outlook that is unencumbered with corporate red tape and bureaucracy. A single shingle firms’ competitive advantage is their background, expertise, and accomplishments. There is no brand name of a larger firm that the business advisor can hide behind.

In certain situations, a small firm consultant can function as a member of the management team; {Chief Revenue Officer, Chief Restructuring Officer, and other C-level positions} this approach to business management enables the consultant to ‘roll up their sleeves and hit the ground running’ with a high degree of urgency while working ‘arm in arm’ with the business owner or CEO of the troubled company.

Once a critical issue has been resolved to the satisfaction of the business owner, the engaged trusted advisor can depart the assignment which dramatically reduces the cost of the turnaround process for the distressed company.

The perception is that solo consultants and smaller consulting firms lack the sophistication of big, global consulting firms. That may be true, however, most single shingle advisors have worked in large Fortune 100 companies or served as C-level executives in private equity portfolio companies prior to becoming entrepreneurs.

Are you going to call them for a major enterprise resource planning {ERP} system undertaking or overhaul of a complex systems implementation strategy? Probably Not. But do not dismiss the competencies of the small firm that can play an important part in serving financial institutions, law firms and other trusted advisor’s clients who require competent and professional management strategies at an affordable price to improve value creation and cash flow.