Consultants are problem solvers by definition. They provide professional advice to their clients depending on their area of expertise. For example, a small business consultant would help small businesses develop skills and strategies to grow their business. Similarly, IT consultants advise their clients on how to use information technology to meet their business objectives.
Apart from being experts in their fields, consultants need to master the art of project management and relationship management. They need to find creative ways to attract new clients and establish long-lasting connections. Reputation is one of the greatest assets of a consulting firm, and it takes time and effort to build a successful consulting business.
In this post, we will be talking about how the right business consulting software can be beneficial for consulting businesses in the long run. Here are some of the questions that we will be addressing through this post.
- What tools do business consultants use?
- How can different business consulting tools help you scale your consulting business?
- What should you look for in business consulting software?
6 Ways business consulting software can mobilize your consulting business
As a consulting business owner, how do you ensure open and timely communication with your clients? How do you identify and eliminate time-consuming tasks that can lower productivity? What tools do you have in place to assign the right resources to the right tasks?
Moreover, how do you measure project utilization, progress, and success? And, last but not least, how do you manage your finances?
Here are 6 ways consulting firms can simplify complex business processes using different business consulting software.
1. Build long-lasting relations with CRM and collaboration tools
A good CRM system helps sort out profitable prospects and customers and ties up the loose ends in your business’s day-to-day customer relationship management. With a CRM system, you can access all client details, both past, and current, from one place. CRM software these days have more to offer than just contact management. You can measure how each account is performing and the progress of your projects and its KPIs. Your CRM can be integrated with multiple other business management solutions to further simplify your work.
Similarly, the importance of collaboration for consulting services cannot be overstated. It establishes transparency, a positive work culture, saves time, boosts productivity, and builds a smooth and long-lasting relationship between the client and the company. Collaboration tools can be grouped into three different groups. The first is communication tools for the exchange of messages, information and team collaboration. These are emails and instant messaging apps. The next is conferencing tools. These can help facilitate real-time discussions, some examples are video conferencing apps, group chats, and file-sharing software. And finally, coordination tools to manage deliverables and schedules, such as Calendars, Spreadsheets, Kanban Boards, etc.
2. Streamline complex workflows with project management software
Project Management software can give consulting firms better control over your projects and budget. It can help you manage your tasks, resources, and employee work hours efficiently. It can show you which projects are more profitable and which are costing you more money. Unlike Spreadsheets, you can easily manage the entire workflow for different projects and track their progress in real-time.
For example, with resource management software such as Gantt Charts, you can assign resources effectively based on the skillsets and capacity available. You can allocate tasks and monitor the progress from the beginning to the end. You can even set milestones at different stages of the project. With all that visual data, you will be able to get a clear view of how your project is progressing and can predict scenarios that can impact the successful completion of your project.
3. Increase efficiency with a time management system
Time is a precious commodity for consultants. In a consulting business, you will have multiple different projects with specific resources allotted to each project. In such cases, it is important to track the time spent on billable work and non-billable work. Moreover, you will need a system in place to track employee work hours, leaves and attendance. A time tracking software automatically records the time spent on different tasks, tracks productive and non-productive hours, and can simplify payroll processing when connected with your accounting software.
4. Plan and manage your finances with cost estimating and quoting software
One of the easiest ways to ensure steady cash flow is by employing effective cost management strategies. With a cost estimating software, you can plan and oversee the costs and expenses of your project and stay on top of the budget at all times. Also, using Configure Price Quote or CPQ software can help consultants simplify the whole quoting process. You can even reinforce your brand strategy by sending out professional-looking quotes using such tools.
5. Get paid faster with invoicing software
If you invoice more than once a month, you should consider using invoicing software. With the invoicing software, you can easily create an invoice, set up e-invoicing, follow up on payments and monitor your cash flow, all from the same place. Getting your clients to pay on time is the most crucial aspect of securing a steady cash flow for your consulting business. And this means, having a stable and efficient invoicing process in place. Besides getting paid on time, a good invoicing process also helps small business owners build their brand image as it speaks volumes about the quality of services you have to offer.
6. Minimize risks and make smarter business decisions with Business Intelligence reporting tools
Business intelligence (BI) can provide important insights for your consulting business by leveraging the power of data and giving you the actionable information you need to help clients make business decisions. Cloud-based BI tools can help you scale your consulting business by providing in-depth insights on project profitability, resource utilization, and project costs. The availability of real-time data enables faster decision making and minimizes risks by quicker identification of problems and their underlying causes.
What to look for in business consulting software
When looking for business consulting software, remember to pick a software that is intuitive and easy to implement. Choose a solution can be quickly learned by your team members and easily used. Moreover, consulting firms deal with multiple projects, hence, it is extremely important that the software is easily scalable. Switching to different software every time your business grows is time-consuming and can be extremely expensive in the long run.
Another important requirement for consulting firms is that all client-related data should be readily available. This means the software should be compatible with all devices and can be easily accessed from anywhere, at any time.
Last but not least, if you’re looking to save time and money, a unified software that supports multiple different functionalities in one platform would be a smart choice. Taimer’s business consulting software replaces more than 10+ apps with centralized software. It offers a CRM system, sales pipeline manager, advanced CPQ and sales quoting software, various project management tools, time tracker and resource scheduling Gantt, a built-in BI tool and multiple seamless integrations. And all this and more, in one simple and unified software.
Watch this short video to see how Taimer can help you manage your consulting business from one place!
Try Taimer for free so you can see how it works for your own business!
Write to us!
What business consulting software have you used and which one did you find to be the best? Also, do let us know the topics you would like us to write about in the comments section below! If you’ve enjoyed reading this post, please share the love by giving us your feedback and following us on Linkedin or Facebook, or Twitter. We would love to hear your thoughts.