April 17, 2023

Why You Shouldn't Use Large Consulting Firms

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By: Brandon Yamamoto

When you are feeling stuck as a business owner, you might feel inclined to hire a consulting firm. They make billions of dollars and there has to be something to that. They MUST know the right answer…right?

Large consulting firms are notoriously hated by Warren Buffett. Before you dish out a monumental amount of money for a PowerPoint from a firm, you need to understand how they operate. 

5 Reasons to Never Hire a Large Consulting Firm

1. Large firm. Small ideas.

The larger the firm is, the tamer its solutions become. This is because they have to adhere to archaic policies, respect systematic bureaucracy, and mitigate risk. This sounds like it would help the businesses they work with. Yet, a company in need of innovation (not the same old, same old) would miss out on out-of-the-box solutions that might better suit them. Especially if you are a small company: bold ideas can elevate your business to remarkable heights.

2. A bigger team doesn’t equate to effectiveness.

The problem with having too many cooks in the kitchen is that the food becomes bland. There is a reason we don’t see an art piece worked on by 20 different artists. The same applies to consulting.

Small teams are better at handling contrarian ideas that may be more powerful. Large firms dilute their ideas by having more eyes – sometimes too many eyes – on a project. It is unlikely for the firm to recommend a drastic pivot for a client company. But, this critical move could be exactly what the business needs.

3. Consultants are always an arm’s distance away.

A large firm’s success is not fully aligned with yours. The businesses they help do not have to succeed for the firm to succeed. The problem with large firms is the employment ladder. The project leader is concerned about your needs but they are also concerned about their boss. 

Ultimately, most consultants will choose their self-interest. They need to satisfy their superiors so their firm can grow. They still care about your project, but internal workings can get in the way of truly helping client businesses succeed to the fullest.

4. Large firms are not filled with entrepreneurial thinking.

Most employees of large consulting firms have never run a business before. Likely, they majored in business in college and have only a textbook perspective of operating a company. Their ideas are not innovative and only work on paper, as you can imagine.

It is like being an airplane pilot and getting advice on landing the plane from the gate crew. Their intentions are sincere, but they have likely never completed the task themselves. 

5. Consulting firms are not paid for implementing their solutions.

The consulting firm’s job ends once they hand you a detailed report on how to improve your business. The firms are not paid to help you implement their advice. Often companies will feel even more lost and overwhelmed after working with a large firm. Business owners don’t know what to do with this information and toss the report on the shelf.  

If they do get around to putting the “solutions” to use, they’ll find themselves in the uncomfortable position of outsourcing the real work of implementation. This makes the consulting firm’s work feel empty or half-baked.

If not large consulting firms, then who?

This is not to say that companies facing challenges should avoid seeking help. But where is a business owner supposed to look if large consulting firms are not the answer?

A boutique consulting firm.

A company that is full of entrepreneurs who know how difficult it is to run a business.

A company that genuinely cares about your success and improvement. 

A company like Nourish & Sow

Consultants who implement.

What makes Nourish & Sow different?

1. Team of entrepreneurs.

Their entire company is made up of entrepreneurs. People who have run their own businesses know what it is like to be in your shoes. 

Nourish & Sow has a first-principles approach to improving any business. These consultants understand how scrappy small companies need to be to succeed. They have felt the true definition of “lean” – and they don’t think lean is a bad way to operate.

2. A holistic approach to consulting.

Large firms are eager to throw companies down rabbit holes of systems and processes to “be more efficient.” But, Nourish & Sow consultants know that when you change a system, a slew of problems might arise down the road. 

This team of generalists focuses on the company’s core mission. Rather than using bandaids to patch up symptoms of a larger problem, their strategy begins by looking at the business’s people, processes, and technology and solving the actual issues

3. These consultants view your business as partners.

Nourish & Sow dives deep into the businesses they work with. They learn the ins and outs of how the company runs and the team interacts. Large firms do not attempt to understand company culture or what happens behind the earnings report.

These consultants become part of your team and are not afraid to tell you the underlying issues that need to be resolved. However, it doesn’t stop there.

4. Not just a consulting firm. An implementation firm.

As said before, companies working with large firms would need to hire someone after the audit to implement the suggestions. This rubs Nourish & Sow the wrong way. They implement what they recommend into the business and show you exactly how to continue the process once they leave. 

The point of this is to actually solve the problem. They specialize in working with small companies because bold ideas are necessary to upgrade the business and launch it to the next level. If you want a consulting team that will take the time to understand you fully, Nourish & Sow is your best bet.

Nourish & Sow Services

Nourish & Sow doesn’t just make you more money. They give you more time.

Find out how here.