These last few years since the financial crisis have seen the consulting industry pull off the greatest comeback in the history of commerce. After 2008, companies had to slash budgets, and the first budgets on the chopping block were those of consulting firms. However, by 2020, the consulting industry was expanding at a healthy 4.7% and had grown to a global valuation of $250 billion. What is the source of all this growth? The transition to artificial intelligence and a digital marketplace is what is fanning the flames of growth for the consulting industry.
The Bad News: Growing Pains in The Consulting Industry
From the above figures, we can all see that the future of the consulting industry is bright and in the right hands. But these figures fail to give an accurate representation of the growing pains in this industry. For many consulting firms, it hasn’t been wine and roses. The disruption and technology that fueled this recovery and growth have opened an entire can of worms and a new set of challenges for the consulting industry.
What Are Some of The Issues Consulting Firms Face?
The challenges facing the consulting industry didn’t just sprout in this last decade, the consulting industry has had challenges for as long as it has existed. These past few years have managed to create a few more and intensify already existing challenges. Some of these challenges include:
- Increasing Client Expectations
After the financial crisis, the clients for the consulting industry were not the same as those before the financial crisis. Consulting clients are now more result-oriented and expect quality for the services they pay for. Going onto the next decade, any consulting firm that wants to survive, let alone grow, will have to invest more in delivery and customer satisfaction. Some of the few things to watch as a consultant are:
- Cost transparency and accountability
- Timely delivery of solutions
- Tighter timelines
- An increase in deliverables
- A Decline in Profit Margins
Despite the general growth in the industry as a whole, profit margins for consulting firms have not kept up. For some, this goes as far as stagnation, and for a few unlucky ones, they are struggling to stay afloat. Several things are responsible for this decline in profit margins, including the expectation to deliver more services to clients for the same fee.
If you take your time to examine the causes of these thin margins, it won’t be long before you realize that they are here to stay. The only option that a consulting firm such as yours has is to adapt. Some of the few things you should be looking into to increase your margins are:
- Reducing expenses
- Invoicing all applicable hours
- Accurate registration of hours
- How time tracking is essential to profitability
- Intense Competition
Ask any consulting firm expert or owner, and they’ll tell you that things haven’t been looking great in terms of competition. The turkey is big this time round, but so is the number of thanksgiving guests. There has never been so much competition in this industry, and it’s only going to get worse. Add the increasing number of independent consultants and the army of consultants in the gig economy and apps, and you get a clear picture. As you head into this storm of competition, these are some of the things you should take note of:
- Automation and outsourcing
- The productivity of your workforce
- Your competitive advantage
- The overall efficiency of your operations
The Good News: Time Management Software
We have seen the growing pains that the consulting industry faces. Consequently, we have also discovered that these challenges are here to stay and will likely only intensify. But that’s not the end of the story, there are many things you can do to mitigate these challenges, and one is using time management software.
- Time Management Software
Time tracking apps are linked to business success. The specific underlying issue that is consistent in all problems facing your consultancy firm is efficiency. Time management software can go a long way in helping you address these issues. Time management software provides solutions to some of the challenges you may face, such as:
- Invoicing All Applicable Hours
What you may not realize is that your revenue entirely depends on how accurately you track and invoice the time of the services you provide. According to a Consultancy.org UK Study, 15% of consultancy hours are not billed to clients by consultancy firms. Think about how far fifteen percent of billing revenue can go to mitigate the growing pains in your firm.
With time management software, invoicing of accurate hourly services has never been easier. Online time management software goes the extra mile, giving you reports, accuracy, and reliability in time tracking.
- Increasing Your Employee Productivity
The lack of accurate time tracking for employees costs the consulting industry billions of dollars in lost productivity. Online time tracking software is one of the best ways to improve the productivity of your employees. It enables you to set targets and deadlines that your employees can meet. Its compatibility, even with mobile devices, enables your employees to track their hours and hence gives the motivation to work more.
- It Helps Your Firm Cut Costs
We mentioned above that increased competition is one of the biggest challenges facing consulting firms. The most effective way to stay competitive is to cut costs to your business and offer your services at a lower price. There isn’t a better way of cutting costs than embracing online time management software. Tracking time online will enable you to reduce time theft incidences that are a hole in your revenue and progress.
Time management software will also help you organize your workforce to reduce the chances of overtime. It would help if you always remembered that overtime pay is 150% higher than regular pay. A time tracking software is also a must-have for your business to transition to work from home, which is a proven way of cutting costs.
- Improves Your Quotes and Estimates
Another growing pain that gives many consultancy firm owners sleepless nights is the increased customer expectation. Clients now want accurate timelines and estimates for when you will deliver your project. What better way is there to improve the accuracy of your quotes and estimates than online time management software? Time tracking software gives you the analytics and records that enable you to estimate your projects’ timelines and give your clients accurate estimates.
Where to Start?
Embracing time management software is a lot easier than you realize. An excellent place to start is the free 14-day trial we offer here at eBillity. No credit card is required.
eBillity has been helping businesses mitigate growing pains through time tracking for years now. With our Time Tracker software, you get to enjoy features such as GPS tracking, team visibility, timesheets, one-click timers, and more.