The job of a management consultant is never easy. These consultants often have several different clients who they are trying to impress at any given time. They need to overcome years or even decades of habits and practices that are leading to problems in a company. In recent years, there has only been an increased amount of pressure on these individuals. More pressure means that consultants have to understand the roots of the modern economy and the people they are working with on a daily basis.
A tighter labor market
The labor market has tightened considerably in recent years. As the economy improves, wages increase because the number of jobs is increasing faster than the number of workers. Management consultants are not aided by a tighter labor market. This pressure to perform comes from the fact that management consultants often force changes onto the actions of employees. By definition, a management consultant is brought in to fix the problems at a company. They often change the ways that employees do their jobs or communicate with one another.
The management consultant is an outside force who is still trusted to make these decisions. As a result, he or she places negative pressure on employees for the sake of management’s bottom line. The employees almost always have a choice to leave the company if they believe they can make more money elsewhere with less trouble. Management consultants have to bring in more psychological studies and tailor-make their approaches to soothe employees. A management consultant who runs off valuable employees could greatly increase their chances of being fired.
Companies have had to deal with lower margins over the past few years due to a myriad of different problems. Most recently, tariffs and the stock market have greatly harmed margin levels for companies. But the main reason for lower margins is higher wages. Higher wages mean that companies have less money to spend on other services. These lower margins place more pressure onto management consultants. Management consultants are often given higher targets to meet and have to deal with smaller time frames. Their job security in general is more threatened during times of lower margins.
Consultants have a considerable amount of competition. They have to fight against an ever-increasing array of software packages that attempt to perform the same services as a management consultant. These packages are often particularly cheap and can be customized to fit certain fields. The threat of being replaced by less-effective but cheaper software places even more stress upon management consultants.
They have to deliver results in a timely manner and constantly emphasize how much money and time they have saved a company. They also have to modify their entire approach to emphasize the pitfalls of competing software packages. This modification distracts the average freelance consultant from the time and energy they need to spend honing their craft.
Management consulting has become a difficult field in the past few years. But consultants should not despair. There is still a considerable amount of money to be made as a freelance consultant. They must work on their networking skills and their ability to interact with other people. Management consultants must also emphasize the parts of their jobs that cannot easily be replicated by a software package. Consultants who make these changes can secure eventual success into 2019 and beyond.
Author Bio: Douglas Pitassi is a freelance writer and small business blogger.