Why Do We Use Frameworks in Business Consulting?

  • By: Change Strategists
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Being a business owner brings a variety of responsibilities and issues with it. Often, businesses can benefit from having a consultant to help them overcome issues and streamline the process. Frameworks are a big way that helps business consultants to accomplish just that!

Frameworks are used in business consulting to help a business consultant to identify obstacles and other issues within a business quickly and effectively. When refined, they can allow businesses and consultants to work together and make a plan to improve quicker than before.

This concept is easy to digest, but frameworks need to be better defined. In this article, we will cover what areas businesses tend to struggle with the most, what frameworks tend to address, and simple fixes that business consultants tend to recommend.

The Top Issues Businesses Struggle With

There are many issues and problems a business can accrue over time. Some of these are bold and obvious, others are not as clear. However, they can be generalized into five different categories: Management and Strategy, Operations, IT, HR, and Marketing.

Management and Strategy

This category covers the basic structure and plan of a business. Many businesses can feel stuck doing the same thing they have always done. This could mean keeping a structure in place that isn’t optimal, not expanding to cover different products or services, and ultimately losing out on profit or opportunities.

Business consultants can use a framework to help narrow the issue down to something specific and fixable, instead of just seeing a mess in management or an old strategy. They can also bring new insight into a company and help it become top of the market.

Operations

Operations cover how a product is made and the step-by-step process from idea to market. Sometimes, businesses are not aware of new technology or methods that can improve the process and make it faster. Other times, businesses don’t realize that their method may cause defects.

Business consultants can use a framework to identify where steps can be modified to reduce time, costs, and steps. They can also use it to improve quality control.

IT

IT covers systems and technology that are used within a business. For older businesses, they might need to transition to newer models and systems. A business consultant using a framework can identify what technology is good to stay, what needs to be updated, and figuring out how to train employees to handle new business models.

HR

HR is all about employees. Some businesses really struggle when it comes to the workers they have. Whether a company is having problems hiring higher-end employees, has lousy employees, or has problems retaining people, a business consultant with a framework can identify what exactly the problem is stemming from.

Marketing

Marketing is the process of using different methods to interact and encourage potential customers to work with the company. This can be done through logos, social media, commercials, and other methods. Some companies might have noticed a decline in people looking into the business for services or products. Sometimes it is an easy fix, other times it is a hard fix. Business consultants with a framework can identify what specific place within all the options contained in marketing needs work.

Framework Types and Issues They Address

Framework types can be expansive and cover a variety of issues. They simply break a business down into more manageable parts and numbers that can be analyzed. Some of the most common frameworks cover the five categories covered above. Let’s explore how a framework process can work.

Say that a business has issues with profit. The profit margin is not as high as the owners wish it was. So, a profit framework might break down the profit numbers into cost versus revenue. Once those numbers have been established, then they would proceed to ask about what makes up the cost. This can include things like employee costs, marketing costs, production costs, and so forth.

A framework might help a business and business consultant delve deeper and be more specific. Frameworks are meant to help consultants not miss any details that could contribute to an issue or missed opportunity. After this, they will also do a similar process with revenue. In the end, the consultant is empowered to talk about specific costs that could be cut or ways that profit is being lost.

Something important to note is that there are thousands of forms of frameworks that a business consultant can use to help a business. Business schools and a consultant’s personal experiences might lead to them doing a more thorough breakdown in a different format or over a different area of concern.

They are more effective and educated with frameworks than the average person, so businesses might not benefit as much from simply walking through a framework found online. Another person can bring new insight and a lack of bias that can help a business.

However, there are some basic frameworks that are helpful to understand as a business owner. Some of these include Porter’s Five Forces Framework, SWOT Framework, 4 P’s Framework, 3 C’s/Business Situation Framework, BCG 2X2 Matrix Framework, and McKinsey 7S Framework.

The framework helps a business consultant find little errors in a business system and improve the overall health of a business. It also speeds up the process so neither the business owner nor the consultant is wasting resources.

Simple Fixes that Frameworks and Business Consultants Often Suggest

Frameworks and business consultants often can narrow problems in a business down to a business-specific answer. However, there are a few things that are common business mistakes and errors that can be addressed before bringing in professionals. Professionals often remark that the biggest issues businesses tend to have been having a lack of quality employees that improve the business, a lack of change/understanding of new technology, and uneven cost-to-profit ratios.

With these concepts and thoughts in mind, businesses and business consultants will be better able to use the tools that they have been given to improve profit margins, improve the speed and effectiveness of the business, and find greater success. Frameworks are an answer to their problems and concerns.


Sources

https://www.middlemarketcenter.org/expert-perspectives/types-of-business-consultants-what-they-do-and-why-you-might-need-one

https://hackingthecaseinterview.thinkific.com/pages/case-interview-frameworks#:~:text=1%20Profitability%20Framework.%20Profitability%20frameworks%20are%20the%20most,or%20not%20to%20launch%20a%20product%20or%20service.

https://paperbell.com/blog/consulting-frameworks/#:~:text=7%20Consulting%20Frameworks%20For%20Case%20Interviews%20%26%20Client,into%20cost%20per%20unit%20times%20units%20produced.%20

https://www.aesc.org/insights/magazine/article/top-business-issues-now-and-future