Consulting is a process used to assess risk, achieve consensus, or conduct arbitration. External management consulting experts advise company owners in order to improve their understanding of their role and mission and in order to increase the ability of successful and relevant management process implementation. Consulting involves a number of different forms. In addition to organizational consulting, there is also functional consulting in the areas of human resources, finance, marketing, sales, and increasing productivity. This consultancy covers a wide spectrum-from solving concrete problems encountered by organizations adopting or placing of a modern system of functioning of some of the above areas. Depending on the company's investment opportunities and environmental benefits for investment, consulting includes various activities that build on each other. Offers of consulting houses depend on the need, i.e. demand for market consultancy. At the same time, the offer is conditional on human potential of the consulting house. The most important thing is the experience and expertise of the consultants, which allows them to meet the requirements of clients. This is especially important considering the rule that is five times more expensive to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one, or, what is even more pronounced than this, when it comes to brand value - it takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it (Vukotić et al., 2015). Financial consulting is one of forms of consulting. Today, financial consulting is an important form of business promotion for the domestic and international financial and commodities markets, services and information. With the rapid economic development, there is a growing demand in the field of financial services. Financial services consulting has created opportunities for: shortening the time required in the preparation or implementation of specific activities; providing new knowledge and know-how for which there is an objective need; introduction of new ideas and approaches in present practice; obtaining third-party, or impartial assessment and suggestions for a particular financial activity and the like.
Business consultants help organisations improve their performance primarily through analysis of existing organisational problems and through development of improvement plans. Organisations hire the services of Business consultants for a number of reasons including for gaining external advice and access to the consultant’s specialised expertise. Consulting firms due to their exposure and relationship with numerous organizations are said to be aware of industry "best practices", although the transferability of such practices from one organisation to another may be problematic depending on the situation under consideration. Consultancies may also provide organisational change management assistance, development of coaching skills, technology implementation, strategy development or operational improvement services. Business consultants generally bring their own proprietary methodologies or frameworks to guide the identification of problems and to serve as the basis for recommendations for more effective or efficient ways of performing work tasks. The sphere of this field is not restricted to a small area of an organisation but to areas like project Business consultancy, information Business consultancy, human resource management, strategic development, improvement in operational process & organisational coaching skills for employees etc. Today not only large scale firms, but also small as well medium sized organisations hire the services of Business consulting firms.
Business consulting service functions are commonly broken down into eight task categories:
1. Provide information to a client
2. Solve client problems
3. Make a diagnosis, which may necessitate redefinition of the problem
4. Make recommendations based on diagnosis
5. Assist with implementation of recommended actions
6. Build a consensus and commitment around corrective actions
7. Facilitate client learning
8. Permanently improve organisational effectiveness Business consulting approaches are 'expert'/’prescriptive’ approach and ‘facilitative approach’.
In the expert approach, the consultant takes the role of an expert and provides expert advice or assistance to the client.
In facilitative approach there is less input from and fewer collaborations with the client (s). With a facilitative approach, the consultant focuses less on specific or technical expert knowledge, and more on the process of consultation itself. A facilitative approach due to its focus on process is often referred to as 'process consulting’. Many consulting firms are organised in a matrix structure, where one axis describes a business function or type of consulting. For example: strategy, operations, technology, executive leadership, process improvement, talent management, sales, etc. The second axis is an industry focus. For example, oil and gas, retail, automotive. Together, these two form a matrix, with consultants occupying one or more 'cells' in the matrix. For example, one consultant may specialise in operations for the retail industry and another may focus on process improvement in the downstream oil and gas industry.
1.2 Problem of the study
Organisations are threatened due to uncertainty posed by internal organizational and external environmental change. Organizational members seek information about the environment in order to make decisions about their plans, strategies and activities. If perfect information is available and there is certainty about the consequences of managerial action then there is little ambiguity about what comprises rational decision making and the best course of action. However, organisations operate in complex environments and information is required to reduce organizational uncertainty in order to establish appropriate goals and allocate sufficient resources. Organisations face uncertainty due to information scarcity and imperfect information creating an atmosphere where management decision making is at best ‘boundedly rational’ and subject to political processes and power plays, because of incomplete and imperfect (or distorted) information, lack of decision criteria, failure to evaluate alternatives and the absence of clear choice. Organizational challenges that emerge from information scarcity and organizational uncertainty create an opportunity for consultants to deal with problems concerned with decision making, structure, communication processes, information gathering and analyses, strategy and goal attainment. For example: team briefing, planning and strategy consulting, market industry intelligence and analysis, structural change and implementation, decision making change and implementation. All this reflects a focus on problems created by environmental complexity that manifest as organizational uncertainty.
Threat to organizational viability results from limited or scarce inputs for 'production' and lack of demand for organizational outputs.
Organisations require inputs such as labour, technology know-how, information and assets such as land and raw material. Ø Organizational viability and survival can be threatened due to scarcity of essential resources. If resources are unlimited and available at no cost to the organisation in time, money or effort the organisation is at no risk of the environment with respect to that resource. But, these conditions are rarely met and thus the problem of scarcity creates opportunities or a 'market' for solutions in the form of techniques and tools that focus on organizational efficiency in order to manage problems associated with resource scarcity. Ø A recurring management issue is the problem of scarcity of raw materials, information, essential labour and critical expertise. Managers attempt to control resources in order to guard against resource scarcity by ensuring a predictable supply or flow of these resources and efficient utilization of these resources. At a micro level time management systems are classic individual ‘control’ systems designed to ‘manage’ risks of scarcity of ‘time.’ Ø Management consulting has long acted on the risk of scarcity by focusing on issues of 'organizational efficiency'. On this premise, the study seeks to examine the Role of Business Consultants in enhancing financial performance of Small and Emerging Business in Nigeria (A case study of New Point Hotel, Uyo).
1.3 Objectives of the study
Objective of this study is to examine The Role of Business Consultants in enhancing financial performance of Small and Emerging Business in Nigeria (A case study of New Point Hotel, Uyo)
Following objectives include;
- To understand the changing role of Business consultants from a traditional to strategic role while keeping in mind business transformation.
- To examine how effective Business consultants is in enhancing financial performance of Small and Emerging Business in Nigeria.
- To evaluate the impacts of business consultants on Small and Emerging Business in Nigeria.
- To know the extent has business consultants enhanced Small and Emerging Business in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
- What are the changing roles of Business consultants from a traditional to strategic role while keeping in mind business transformation?
- How effective are Business consultants in enhancing financial performance of Small and Emerging Business in Nigeria?
- What are the impacts of business consultants on Small and Emerging Business in Nigeria?
- To what extent has business consultants enhanced Small and Emerging Business in Nigeria?
1.4 Research Hypotheses
Ho1: Business consultants have a significant effect in enhancing financial performance of Small and Emerging Business in Nigeria.
Ho2: there is a significant impact of business consultants on Small and Emerging Business in Nigeria.
1.6 Significance of the study
This study will help organizations in identifying areas of their business model that could be improved, and strategizing how that improvement could be executed.
The study will serve as a guide to company owners in order to improve their understanding of their role and mission and in order to increase the ability of successful and relevant management process implementation.
The study will guide organizations in hiring a competent consultant since the KEY COMPETENCE IS THE ABILITY TO MANAGE RELATIONSHIPS Excellent logic and analysis will not take you all the way. This statement makes a central point regarding the consultant's skill profile; although both analysis skills and project management skills are critical, they will not be your career drivers.
The study will be of profound help to researchers willing to carry out further research on the topic.
1.7 Scope of the research
The scope of this report centers on The Role of Business Consultants in enhancing financial performance of Small and Emerging Business in Nigeria (A case study of New Point Hotel, Uyo).
1.8 Limitations of the study
The Major Limitations of the study are:
Cost Limitation: There was a cost limitation. This means that we could not offer any gift or monetary incentives for the respondents to answer the questionnaire. This might have resulted in certain prospective respondents choosing not to respond to the questionnaire. This might not have created a motivation among respondents not to take a chance to give opinions.
Time Limitation: There are two types of time limitation faced during the study. The study was done for a period of election. Hence the results would reflect the impact of the time constraint. The insights of the respondents were observed during the period of study. A more extensive study conducted over a larger time period or during a special period of time like when there were higher numbers of issues.
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