Pros and Cons: Working with Boutique Consulting Firms
Choosing the right consulting firm can be daunting. The marketplace is saturated with consulting firms, thus, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. Now, we all know the large consulting firms have great reputations and will likely get the job done. However, we also know that working with these firms will cost you. Because of this, many companies seek the assistance of boutique consultancies.
While these firms are less well-known, they provide great resources at much more affordable prices. Beyond cost, there are many other benefits to working with boutique consulting firms. However, because of their smaller size, there are drawbacks to consider as well. Below are the pros and cons of working with a boutique consultancy vs. a large consulting firm.
To compete in the saturated marketplace, new firms need to be different. For this reason, boutique consulting firms typically employ more entrepreneurial thinking in their operations. Boutique consulting firms usually have the flexibility to implement innovative strategies and procedures. On the contrary, due to established operating procedures, large firms tend to be slower to adopt new ideas. This is due to the fact that it is more difficult to implement a change to a business process or disseminate change throughout the organization.
Work with the Experts
In large firms, there is an established hierarchy that assigns junior consultants to clients for daily operations while more senior consultants supervise the project from a high level. In contrast, due to limited resources at boutique consulting firms, clients will work closely with senior consultants. Also, senior consultants usually can be reached at almost any time by email or phone, and you will likely receive responses within the same business day. With the increase in flexibility, boutique consultancies have more ability to meet face-to-face with clients and communicate with clients regularly. Additionally, because many boutique consultancies are founded by consultants who previously worked at large firms, you will be getting access to the experts at a lower cost.
Smaller boutique consultancies have to be more efficient with their time and resources because they have fewer people working on each project. This level of efficiency saves your company both time and money. Small boutique consultancies do not have the resources to waste. This causes the firms to finish projects efficiently in order to move onto their next project. As a result, your company does not have to wait long for consultants to return your messages or move to the next step of the project.
Specialized Focus Areas
In order to stand out within the marketplace of millions of boutique consultancies, firms have to become specialized in different topics and areas. Because of this, it gives you the ability to search for a company who is familiar with the industry you are in, as well as the experience and assistance you are seeking. This can ensure that you are finding a consultant who is the best match for your needs.
Boutique consulting firms may not have the resources, such as salary requirements and career opportunities to attract as many top experts. Although having fewer employees can create a more tight-knit relationship between you and the consultancy, having fewer employees also requires a higher percentage of the company employees on each project. In order to implement new projects, there needs to be a consultant available to take on the project.
Therefore, there can be a delay in the project start date. This can cause a project to take longer to implement. As a result, boutique agencies must be more conscientious when it comes to taking on a new project. This ultimately brings up the most important question, what matters more to you and your company: speed or quality?
Most boutique consultancies are experts in a few fields. As a result, it can make them very inexperienced in other fields. There is a possibility that when choosing the consultancy, you may end up choosing an agency that is not specialized in your industry or the services you are looking for. Although inexperience is not always negative, the best projects are usually produced by a consultant firm that has the expertise in the services you need.
Both types of consulting firms have the ability to transform your business. If after weighing the pros and cons of a boutique consulting firm you decide that a boutique firm would be the best fit, we would love to hear from you and get to know your business challenge better.