“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein

Dear SmartCompany readers,

Thank you for your insightful feedback to my SmartCompany  blog of last week entitled What do consultants really sell?” and for reading part two in this week’s blog.

A sequel no less? No, not really, just that there is a natural part two which speaks to the concept of value creation by the consultant.

Question:

How do you know you have engaged a good consultant?

Answer:

Refer to “What do consultants really sell? Part 1” and that the consultant asks for a project goal or objectives that are measurable outcomes.

And here we have it – all the intent, methods, processes, experience and knowledge for any consultancy in any field, and I see it naturally in retail consulting, is important. Although what matters is how this is utilised to lifting the dial.

The old adage that we can’t measure what we can’t manage, really does apply.

From the marketing strategy increasing brand impact and growth – measured in market share through to increased sales and customer visitation, to the architect designer strategy measuring increased customer visitation. From return on capital employed through to the field and in-house trainer whose efforts are measured by sales or the KPI or KCI (Key customer indicator).

So whatever the summit looks like for any given project or contributing sub project – the summit must be identified early. For example, what is it that the consultant is assigned to fix/grow etc and what do the numbers tell us? This is at the heart of value creation.

Now, some may tell us that there is too much “noise” in the project, and they can’t get a clear run at the outcomes. Well that is in the hands of the consultant’s brief to assess through the diligence or diagnostic stage of the scope. It is also an opportunity for the consultant to possibly decline the project because they can’t see the value creation for the client (heaven forbid).

One of the first questions a good consultant will ask you is simply: What does success in this project look like? And then the best way to measure it.

This outcome is normally measured in milestones and used as the guiding principle in project leadership & management.

Your clients past and present should always be able to achieve the value in your engagement and that is the strongest endorsement of all.

Happy fit retailing.

Brian Walker is founder and CEO of retail consulting company, Retail Doctor Group. He specialises in the development and implementation of retail and franchise strategies.

 

First published 15th of July 2015 on SmartCompany