What Does a Consultant Do? (And Why It’s Your New Favorite Career)

what does a consultant do

When considering whether to start your own coaching business, you may have encountered the term ‘consultant’. Some people use ‘consultant’ and ‘coach’ interchangeably, but they’re not the same at all.

But what does a consultant do, exactly? And who hires consultants, anyway?

Let’s explore everything you need to know about the role of a consultant, so that you can decide for yourself if you’re well-suited for the job.

What Is a Consultant?

A consultant is a person with a specific set of skills or experience who can provide advice and strategy support in a variety of specializations. 

Unlike a coach, a consultant will tell their clients exactly what they need to do to solve the problem at hand. Where coaches help their clients build their capacity to solve a problem, a consultant gets paid to fix that problem directly.

What Does a Consultant Do?

Curious to know exactly what a consultant does? It wildly depends on the specialization! Let’s break down 20 types of consultants and what their responsibilities look like when they’re working with clients.

What does a management consultant do

Management consultants work closely with managers and organizations to help them achieve a company’s goals. They’ll do this by:

  • Solving management problems
  • Finding new opportunities
  • Helping the organization implement changes

A management consultant can also assist an organization to improve the learning process for their staff. 

What does a financial consultant do

Financial consultants can work with businesses, but they also help individuals with their financial situations. They’ll analyze someone’s financial situation and work with them to come up with a plan to help them reach financial goals.

For example, let’s say someone wants to pay off their debt and save a specific amount of money before their retirement. Financial consultants will use their expertise to create a custom plan to ensure they can save that amount of money before retirement arrives.

What does a sales consultant do

As the name suggests, a sales consultant is a master of selling! But they’re not just a salesperson. Sales consultants will work within a company to match clients’ needs with that company’s offers. They use the best sales CRM tools, sales funnels tools and sales management tools to generate maximum sales ROI for their client.

This means a sales consultant doesn’t only try to make as many sales as possible. Their goal is to get the client the best possible outcome. 

Sales consultants are vital to many types of businesses, to help them become and stay profitable.

What does a leasing consultant do

If you’ve ever shopped for a new rental property, you’ve most likely encountered a leasing consultant.

These consultants represent the landlord when it comes to dealing with tenants and new leases. They’ll handle rental applications, negotiate lease renewals, organize visits of a rental property, and help tenants resolve any issues they may bring up.

What does a marketing consultant do

If you’ve got a knack for marketing, becoming a marketing consultant could be for you! Marketing consultants have a deep understanding of what motivates customers and how to take that information to develop marketing strategies for businesses.

Keep in mind that a marketing consultant is different from a marketing agency. Consultants will develop the strategies a business needs to engage with its target market. Marketing agencies can provide consulting, but they mostly execute a marketing strategy.

What does a strategy consultant do

Strategy consultants help their clients make strategic decisions. They typically work closely with highly-ranked executives to develop high-level strategies for a business.

This strategy can involve:

  • Developing a company vision and mission
  • Shifting into a new business model
  • Entering a new market
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Human capital strategies
  • And so much more!

What does a technology consultant do

A technology consultant works with companies to help them use technology more effectively. For example, a tech consultant could help a business implement software solutions that simplify business processes, cut down costs, and make it easier for employees to focus on their zone of genius. 

They’ll also train employees to use the newly implemented technology in an effective way.

What does a digital marketing consultant do

Digital marketing consultants are similar to marketing consultants, but they specialize in digital marketing strategies.

Digital marketing strategies can include:

What does an HR consultant do

An HR consultant will assist companies in managing their human resources. They can support companies in developing policies and processes that are more efficient and make communication easier.

For example, an HR consultant can provide support in conflict management between employees.

What does a tax consultant do

If you’ve already started your coaching business, you probably know that taxes can be headache-inducing! Tax consultants are there to help for exactly that purpose.

They can help business owners make the most of tax deductions, while minimizing tax liability. But they can also help individuals who are struggling with more complex tax issues, like inheritance or charitable giving.

What does a social media consultant do

Social media consultants fall in the sub-category of digital marketing consultants. But they specialize in helping businesses develop their social media strategy.

They’ll help companies achieve specific goals with social media, including:

  • Brand awareness
  • Making more sales
  • Building a brand reputation

What does a brand consultant do

When companies are struggling to develop, define, or enhance their brand, they can call a brand consultant to the rescue. Brand consultants assist businesses with research and insights that go into the development of a brand.

They’ll also develop brand strategies and oversee the design process of a brand.

What does a travel consultant do

If you’re an expert with all things travel, consider becoming a travel consultant. These consultants help their clients prepare and execute travel plans.

There’s a ton of research that goes into travel consulting. A travel consultant needs to take many factors into consideration, such as:

  • Their clients’ budgets
  • Weather conditions
  • Custom and visas
  • A client’s specific wishes

They’re usually in charge of booking and arranging everything involved in a client’s trip.

What does a security consultant do

No business is 100% secure. That’s where security consultants come in. They’ll assess a business from top to bottom to uncover any potential security risks.

Based on what they find, they will then:

  • Strategize a solution to remove the threats or breaches
  • Create a contingency protocol that the company can use in case of safety violations
  • Train staff on security protocols

What does a cyber security consultant do

Security consultants find flaws in a company’s security systems and help them strategize ways to fix them. Cyber security consultants have a similar role, but they focus on computer systems and networks.

It’s their job to poke holes in networks, software, and systems to find potential vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit. Then, they design and implement solutions to fix these flaws. They can also train staff to practice safety within a computer system. You can further specialize in a specific sub-niche and focus on a specific type of cyber attack like ransomware, sim swapping or identity theft.

What does a small business consultant do

Small business consultants help with a large umbrella of specialties. But they specifically focus on helping small businesses grow and become profitable.

They do so by supporting small businesses with:

  • Business development
  • Strategy
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • HR strategies
  • Financial strategies
  • IT

Because of how much support small businesses need, a small business consultant needs to be pretty experienced in all aspects of business consulting. 

What does a media consultant do

Media consultants help people or businesses get positive coverage in the media. This can involve planning advertising campaigns, but media consultants will also take charge in developing press releases or long-term media strategies.

People who have lots of experience in public relations make good media consultants.

What does a sustainability consultant do

When a company wants to develop in a way that doesn’t jeopardize the environment and the well-being of people, it can bring in a sustainability consultant. These consultants are well-versed in sustainability for the environment, but also for human labor.

A sustainable business model involves three things:

  • Economic sustainability
  • Social sustainability
  • Environmental sustainability

A sustainability consultant needs to take these three aspects into consideration when developing strategies for their clients.

What does a legal consultant do

A legal consultant can provide legal guidance for businesses or individuals. They’re similar to lawyers and will usually have the same expertise, but they’re usually not licensed to practice in a courtroom. 

This means legal consultants make sure their clients act in a lawful way. But they can’t represent them as a lawyer could.

What does a client relationship consultant do

How a business interacts with its clients is a vital part of its success (or failure!). Client relationship consultants help businesses build relationships with their clients and gain their trust.

A client relationship consultant can be a job type within a business. But companies can also hire outside consultants to develop strategies to improve client relationships.

Who Do Consultants Work For?

Consultants work for a variety of clients depending on their specialties. Most consultants work for businesses big and small, but consultants who specialize in financials or travel can also help individuals who don’t have a business, too.

Within a business, consultants will work with people at different levels. For example, marketing consultants may work with the marketing department, but they may also work directly with executives or business owners if the business is smaller.

Why Do Companies Hire Consultants?

Consultants have very specialized skills and expertise that can be difficult to find for in-house staff. When businesses have a problem – no matter what that problem may be – there’s a consultant somewhere out there with the set of skills required to help them solve it.

A consultant can also provide a refreshing outside perspective. You’ll know what we mean if you’ve ever gotten stuck in your own head trying to figure out your business plan. Sometimes an outside perspective can help businesses achieve better clarity!

Find the Perfect Consulting Specialty for You

Whether you decide to go the coaching route or prefer to start consulting, keeping the admin side of your business in check is critical. Paperbell is designed specifically for coaches and consultants to help you manage appointments, invoices, contracts, intake surveys, and all the other client admin stuff you shouldn’t have to worry about.

Create your free account today to test it out for yourself!

what does a consultant do

By Charlene Boutin
Charlene is an email marketing and content strategy coach for small business owners and freelancers. Over the past 5 years, she has helped and coached 50+ small business owners to increase their traffic with blog content and grow their email subscribers.
March 16, 2022

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