Business-to-business consulting is precisely what it sounds like: one business providing consulting services for another business. Even though business managers might be experts in their chosen fields, being good at everything is virtually impossible. Almost every business needs to contract with experts for services that help them run their businesses more efficiently. For example, advertising agencies typically need accountants to help them keep their finances in order, and accountants need advertising agencies to help them find clients.
Information technology is one of the business-to-business consulting services that almost every business needs unless the business is itself a technology firm. Sometimes it’s just a consultant who designs and implements a company’s website. Even large corporations that have in-house information technology (IT) departments often need to call in experts for help with special problems or bring in extra help on special projects.
Large corporations also typically have in-house accounting and marketing departments, but they still might call in specialists to help them deal with specific projects. Often, businesses that must undergo periodic audits, or if they are undergoing tax audits, hire extra help to prepare for the audit. Business-to-business consulting is sometimes called outsourcing. Payroll functions are often outsourced in businesses of all sizes.
Writers can provide business-to-business consulting, including grant writers who help companies apply for economic development grants that might be available. Also included might be writers who will help the company provide information on its website and in its catalogs, brochures, annual reports and newsletters. Other types of business-to-business consultants include experts in the fields of insurance, human resources, public relations, marketing and taxes.
Business-to-business consultants typically approach a consulting project by first conducting a needs analysis and determining the scope of the project and services that the company expects and needs. These two steps can involve many interviews of managers and employees, focus groups and a period of day-to-day observation of the company’s operations. The business-to-business consultant then maps a strategy of getting the company from where it is to where it wants to be by offering a list of solutions and recommendations on how this can be accomplished. Sometimes the consultant oversees the actual implementation of the project and conducts a review and report upon the completion of the project.