Whether you’re starting a new business or increasing profits of an existing one, a business consultant can be a valuable addition to your company. First, however, you should know that there are many different types of business consultants which depend on what your business is seeking to achieve. This article classifies them into three categories: Generalists, Marketing, and Operations.
We’ve compiled a list of the top business consultants in New York City based on a review of their quality, credentials, and expertise.
Here are the Top Business Consultants
1. Pro Business Plans
300 Park Avenue, Floor 12, New York, NY, 10022
Pitch: Pro Business Plans is an industry agnostic consulting firm. It’s been selected as our top pick because many of their team members have a background at Big 4 consulting firms, so their clients get experience working with a team from a large company with diverse project experience. Their clients range from early stage startups to large multinational companies and they specialize in business growth and expansion.
Specialty: Market Research, Product Launch, Geographic Expansion, Budgeting & Financial Planning
Industries: Technology, Food & Beverage, Healthcare, Real Estate, Manufacturing, Media
Review Case Studies: business-plans.com
Best Overall | Runner Up
1350 6th Ave Floor 2, New York, NY 10019
Pitch: Vartheta is a New York City based technology centric consulting firm that specializes in digital strategy including the development and deployment of technology and digital marketing to increase revenue or operations efficiency. It’s selected as runner up because of its reputation for innovation and working with hot startups and tech firms including Snapchat, Acorns, Adobe, and more.
Specialty: Technology Design, Branding, Mobile Development, Strategy Consulting, Research & Usability Testing
Industries: Technology, Media, Healthcare
Review Case Studies: https://www.vartheta.com
Best Overall | Honorable Mention
68 34th Street, Suite B520, Brooklyn, NY 11232
Pitch: Trianz is a boutique consulting firm that operates with similar capabilities and resources as enterprise level consulting firms for large companies. In 2019, they were ranked one of the top management consulting firms by Forbes Magazine. In addition to their digital focus, they have a department which handles marketing as well including marketing plans and execution via their strategic partners.
Specialty: Cloud, Analytics, Digitization, Infrastructure, Marketing, Security
Industries: Technology, Media, Healthcare
Review Case Studies: https://www.trianz.com
5 minute break: How should you interview a business consultant?
1. McKinsey & Co.
Three World Trade Center, 175 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10007
Pitch: McKinsey & Co. is the leading consulting firm in the world, with offices globally, the firm conducts its own research across many industries and develops modules it implements for its clients, in addition to providing customized solutions. However, the fees typically are quite extensive and therefore they often serve middle-market companies and beyond. Another popular facet with McKinsey & Co. is that they provide support with implementation of the strategy as well.
Review Case Studies: https://www.mckinsey.com
2. Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
10 Hudson Yards, 347 10th Ave, New York, NY 10001
Pitch: BCG is another top-tier consulting firm with a global presence that is on par with McKinsey & Co. However, they typically focus on more customized solutions rather than implementing modules. As such, they can typically cost more money and are best applied towards unique challenges a middle-market or enterprise company is facing such as turnaround situations or business expansion.
Review Case Studies: https://www.bgc.com
Pitch: Upwork is a platform for freelance talent to bid on projects. While it is the top pick, it’s a national platform, so many of the freelancers on the website are not in New York City. However, there often are a few stationed in the area and if you are open to working remotely, it can be a good option to find someone professional.
Pitch: Clarity is helpful if you are seeking short-term consultations, it offers top consultants charged by the minute. Many of these are not professional consultants, but rather business executives looking to make some extra cash or help other companies without the formal obligations of consulting agreements and specific projects.
Pitch: Bark is a popular platform that serves a variety of local gigs. While the talent is typically lower than what you would find on other freelance platforms and often substantially less than an agency, it is a good option for those on a budge where working with a local freelancer is a requirement. Bark typically has a wider network of consultants than Clarity.fm and Upwork that are local and able to travel to your office.
Business Consultant Engagements FAQ:
What does a business consultant do?
Companies typically bring in business consultants f0r three reasons. The first is two solve a problem such as a turnaround situation or IT complications. The second is to identify and/or assist in the implementation of business expansion. The third is to stay up-to-date on the best industry practices, which often encompasses technology. The role of a business consultant depends on the purpose they have been retained.
How much does a business consultant cost?
Consultants generally bill on a per hour basis but work on a retainer, defined by a set number of hours attributed to a project. For instance, they may charge $200 per hour and $20,000 for a project expected to take 100 hours. Another way is to retain them monthly for more ambiguous work that is defined by a set number of hours, which often is a discounted rate from the project because of the monthly commitment. In general, hourly prices range depending on the seniority, experience, and type of work:
· Junior Level Freelance: $50–75/hr.
· Lower Level Agency: $100–150/hr.
· Mid-Level Agency / High Level Freelance: $150–250/hr.
· Senior Level: $250–500/hr.
The typical process a business consultant follows
Regardless of the type of business consultant, they often follow a relatively specific engagement process that is done in a specific way to streamline the process and avoid errors.
1. Interview: The consultant will interview the client to gather all relevant information for the project, or if retained, will often dedicate a period to learning as much as possible about everything needed to do what they have been retained for, this may be learning about a tech stack, particular department, or company’s objectives. This process typically lasts a few days to a week or more but is not generally longer than one month.
2. Research: Once the consultant has acquired adequate information, they then draw upon their resources to conduct research, if necessary, prepare models or any other material to help them identify a solution. This period typically lasts anywhere between a few weeks to several months.
3. Proposal: Once a solution has been identified, or potential options exist, the consultant prepares a presentation to the hiring manager to review the findings. At this stage, they go over the potential solution, how they arrived at it, and the costs/benefits of executing such a strategy. This period can last a few days or more if the hiring manager has comments or feedback that cause the proposal to be modified. s
4. Implementation: If the proposal is approved, in some but not all cases, it is implemented by the business consultant. This may include working with third-party partner companies such as marketing agencies, M&A Firms, CPAs, distributors, or more to aid the implementation of the strategy. It is not common for business consultants to execute strategies because their hourly rates make it challenging for them to do so, however, it is becoming more common and offered by larger companies.
What things should I look for when hiring a company?
There are generally two ways business consultants classify themselves, by Industry and Function. Industry is what sectors they specialize in (E.g. Technology, Media) and Function is what they focus on (E.g. Turnaround consulting, Marketing). Having experience in both are critical, in addition to having strong qualifications.
1. Industry Experience — Industry experience can be more important or less important than functional experience. Generally, industry experience is more important for those hiring mangers with less experience in each industry that are seeking to ‘rent’ expertise in each industry. However, a base understanding of the industry is necessary for functional experts as well. (E.g. A consultant must know about the Logistics industry if they are to prepare a marketing plan, but a marketing professional with less industry experience is typically superior than the opposite in that instance.)
2. Functional Experience — This entails experience working on similar projects regarding what you needed. Many consultants without experience in this area will often broadly say their projects are under an NDA. However, they are not obligated under this NDA to speak in broad terms and should have at least three functional case studies.
3. Qualifications — When hiring a consultant, you generally want to see a top educational background, ideally some experience working at a larger firm, ideally a Big 4 accounting firm or large consulting practice. Doing similar work in your industry or function for a notable company is also important, but know that if the company is too large, it is unlikely they were highly involved and if it too small, they may not be sufficiently specialized.
Review is brought to your by Wimgo, a ranking service of B2B service providers that helps people get connected with top companies.