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Strategy Consulting: What It Is & How to Succeed in it

Strategy consulting is a lucrative career if you’re willing to put in the effort to become a valuable and result-oriented consultant for businesses.

In fact, the strategy consulting market is expected to grow to $101.75 billion by 2027.

Despite this huge expected growth, the market is not saturated yet.


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In a survey of consulting firms worldwide, 32.4% identified a shortage of talent as one of the main business challenges they face.

As businesses pursue ways to improve their profitability through lower costs and higher productivity, the demand for resourceful strategy consultants is likely to remain high.


So let’s see what’s involved in strategy consulting and how to become a highly sought-after strategy consultant.

Image via Verified Market Research

What is Strategy Consulting?

This is when a business seeks a third party to provide an expert perspective on a business challenge. This third party is the strategy consultant.

A strategy consultant takes a holistic and objective look at high-level business issues and provides a solution on how the business should approach them.


This involves working with the upper management and departmental decision-makers to make long-term and high-impact strategic decisions on issues like:


  • Organizational restructuring;
  • Cost-saving and profitability;
  • Workforce optimization;
  • Operations;
  • Business sustainability;
  • Major investments like investing in tech;
  • Company or product repositioning;
  • Product creation;
  • Optimizations that’ll help the business thrive in the competitive landscape.


What Does a Strategy Consultant Do?

A strategy consultant undertakes extensive research, assesses risk factors, and uses their industry knowledge to develop and implement short and long-term business strategies.


A strategy consulting project will involve supporting each client for a set timeframe and these general steps:


  • Meet up with the organization’s leadership to learn their business goals. Do a thorough study of these objectives;
  • Do an intensive assessment of the client’s current processes;
  • Diagnose the problems and weaknesses in the organization;
  • Find solutions based on market research;
  • Provide company leadership with a report on the problems identified and the potential outcomes of your recommendations.


So, as a marketing strategy consultant, your primary objectives will be to:


  • Dedicate your efforts and expertise to a specific problem(s) and bring broad changes in the marketing department and the entire organization;
  • Understand each client’s marketing goals and objectives to help them align their processes with their intended results;
  • Use industry best practices to design a consulting firm strategy to improve their performance and drive better marketing results, such as proper automation;
  • Provide expert advice that helps your clients make decisions and develop sales strategies that are in the best interest of their organization’s health.


Some strategy consulting projects may also involve precise execution planning of the recommended strategies and overseeing their implementation.


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How to Succeed as a Business Strategy Consultant

As a marketing strategy consultant, you’ll be in a high-level advisory role that requires in-depth industry knowledge in your domain and soft skills.

Here are the strategy consulting skills and qualities you need to succeed at it.


  1. The Right Educational Background

Winning your clients’ trust is important to get hired.

But clients will not trust your business consulting strategies or engage your services if you don’t have the right education.


Having the right education shows you have a solid understanding of business management.

At the very least, have a bachelor’s degree in:


  • Economics;
  • Business administration;
  • Business management;
  • Marketing;
  • Any other similar field.


Getting a master of business administration (MBA) degree can place you ahead of your competition.


  1. The Ability to Drive Results

Don’t just tell clients about your expertise and experience, show them the value you’ve brought to other clients.

For instance, using lead generation software with analytics can help you show how your business consulting strategies helped your previous clients optimize their sales funnels and attract more sales-qualified leads. With hard data, you’d be able to win them over.


You can also use case studies and customer testimonials to build prospects’ confidence in your strategy consulting skills.

Demonstrating the value you can bring to clients will keep them coming for your strategy consulting services.


  1. Communication Skills

As a strategy consultant, solid communication skills are important to succeed in your career.

You’ll need to be a good communicator to explain the rationale behind your strategies to high-level decision-makers and top management in boardrooms. It’s the only way to win their trust.


Being a highly effective communicator will help you:


  • Establish positive client relationships;
  • Convey your ideas to your clients clearly;
  • Ask the right questions to comprehend your clients’ issues and needs.


Get creative with how you communicate with your strategy consulting clients to pass your message across more effectively by making engaging videos, for instance, can help you convey your message clearly in a short time.

The visuals can complement your presentation as well. 


  1. Analytical Skills

A lot of high-level decision-making is involved in strategy consulting. And these decisions need to be backed by data as a solid evidence.

For this reason, strategy consulting and research go hand in hand. To succeed in the field, you need to provide research-backed advice that leads to actionable and sustainable decisions.


This will involve collecting and analyzing data to come up with unique solutions to difficult problems and provide strategic recommendations.


How to Get Into Strategy Consulting

Clients will want to know how much experience you have as a business strategy consultant before hiring your service.

This poses a challenge for new strategy consultants. It’s hard to have considerable strategy consulting experience when starting your career. 


A great way to maneuver this challenge is to narrow down on a niche. This will help you get an edge as you have some level of expertise in that field.

For instance, it’s easier to win over clients as a newbie marketing strategy consultant if you have experience in marketing.


You can also start building your authority on social media with LinkedIn growth hacks like publishing content regularly on the platform. It can help you get noticed.


Internships can help you get the experience you need. But it’s best to pursue internships with a well-known consulting firm.

Strategy consultants who have established a name in the field include firms like Bain & Company, McKinsey & Company, and Deloitte.


Internships are also a great way to network and attract strong advocates who’ll help you advance your career.



Ready to Kick-Start Your Strategy Consulting Career?

Strategy consulting is an exciting field where every project presents a new challenge that keeps you on your toes.

To succeed as a strategy consultant, you have to keep sharpening your skills, stay on top of industry news and trends, and accumulate relevant experience.


You have to set yourself up as someone who can come up with reliable frameworks for ambiguous situations. And as you attract more clients with your skills, you’ll land opportunities to keep learning and stay ahead of the curve.

About the author

Gaurav Sharma is the founder and CEO of Attrock, a results-driven digital marketing company. Grew an agency from 5-figure to 7-figure revenue in just two years | 10X leads | 2.8X conversions |  300K organic monthly traffic. He also contributes to top publications like HuffPost, Adweek, Business 2 Community, TechCrunch, and more.

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