We all need strategy in our lives; whether it be how to tackle revision and a huge workload, job applications, or even just tactics on Football Manager!
In the business and finance world, strategy is crucial for survival as a company and a key to making as much profit as possible. And – you’ve guessed it – there are a few experts on hand for that!
Fergies of finance
Consultants who specialise in strategy work at the very top levels of a company with managers and even boards in some instances. Clients can be in practically any industry – some consultants who work for professional services firms work with clients from a multitude of different industries; others will develop specialist industries throughout their career, usually within business strategy, deals, or operations. Work spans across the private and public sector.
What do strategy consultants do?
Managers and directors look to the industry expertise and wise words of consultants to help them understand what is the company doing well as a business and identify weaknesses. They work together to devise appropriate goals and aims for the future and the most suitable strategies to make it happen.
This could involve areas such as corporate strategy, international expansion, overall growth, and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) tactics or marketing. Extensive planning for the use of a company’s resources is involved. Strategy consultants might help to ascertain how their client can stand out in the market. Would company expansion be a good idea? Is the development of new products a viable option, and will it boost profits in the longer term? Alternatively, they may focus on how elements of a business can be made more efficient.
Initially a strategy consultant will liaise with managers to find out exactly what it is they want to achieve. Extensive research and analysis of the business, department and market and is then paramount in order to help develop the right kind of strategy and solutions.
How to get into strategy consulting
Entry into strategy roles is mostly through a graduate scheme. This is a very competitive industry; employers look for candidates with a minimum of a 2.1 degree and can be quite open to any discipline. Consultants have to be strong all-rounders, with excellent numerical abilities, commercial knowledge and awareness and the capacity to work sensitively and effectively with clients, so only the very top candidates will get through!