A management consultant is a professional who provides advice for business managers who want to improve processes and structures within their organizations. A management consultant who is certified normally has received the necessary academic degrees and has functioned highly as a consultant for a number of years. A certified management consultant often specializes in advising clients in a particular set of industries or optimizing a certain business function, such as leadership or technology. In most cases, a professional at this level is owner of a firm or serves at a high level.
Many industry professionals believe that a certified management consultant can find it easier to attract clients than a consultant who is not certified. Some kinds of certification are recognized in a number of countries around the world. Clients often see certification as evidence that a consultant has demonstrated excellence in his or her field and may follow a code of ethics.
By the time a professional is qualified to become a certified management consultant, he or she normally has established an area of expertise. Some consultants may know a particular industry from having worked in it and may be able to provide valuable advice for managers and executives. A consultant who has a strong background in finance, on the other hand, may be more apt to speak about strategies for financial management, though he or she might be able to advice professionals in a number of different industries.
Some certified management consultants choose to own and operate a private firm. In other cases, a certified consultant might become an associate or partner in an existing firm. These roles can require a consultant to make executive decisions regarding a firm's operations. This kind of consultant might engage in hiring processes, manage finances, or develop business plans.
When considering a new client, a certified management consultant might offer a free consultation. A consultant determines which problems an organization is having and which solutions are most appropriate. Some consultants use a matrix on which they match functional issues with particular industries. This method can help them to choose a specialist that is most qualified to help.
Management consultant firms range in size. Some smaller operations may focus on very specific issues. For example, a firm of technical consultants might only work with companies who are interested in the financial management of Information Technology (IT). Larger firms can offer consultants for a number of different functions and industries.