Recent studies have revealed a growth trend in the field of business consulting that is dependent on the expertise and focus of the individual firm. The term business consultant, which is widely used in the professional world, refers to those who collaborate with new and established firms to determine and implement best practices. Consultants, who are also frequently known as management analysts, address cost management, revenue enhancement, and operational adjustments. According to available surveys and data reports, the profession is experiencing a period of rapid growth.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 22 percent increase in jobs available between 2010 and 2020, an above-average rate of growth when compared to other professions. This will add more than 157,000 jobs to the nearly 719,000 that existed in the last official measure in 2010. Furthermore, a 2010 study conducted by Consulting magazine revealed a 60 percent increase in revenue among leaders in the industry, which included 40 percent of whom experienced double-digit growth. At the time of the survey, 80 percent of the firms surveyed projected an increase in the following fiscal year.
The same survey also revealed a link between profitability and response to challenges. The top-performing firms achieved not only the highest level of growth, but also the most successful recovery efforts in response to the recent economic downturn. In addition, these same high-performing entities reported high levels of optimism in regards to future new account acquisition and the development of strategic goals.
According to Entrepreneur magazine, the top consulting firms focus on a variety of specialties, including information technology, marketing and public relations, financial management, and human resources. The most successful firms provide either a unique service or approach to an existing service, so as to separate themselves from existing organizations. However, strong connections within a founder’s area of expertise have also proven effective in securing early success. Once established, a consulting firm can bring in revenue of as much as $400 per hour for top performers.