As entrepreneurs and small business owners increasingly look to find ways to improve their companies and increase their profit amid a disruptive backdrop, the need for high quality consultancy has grown strongly.
Growing demand for consulting services has expanded the number of firms and independent consultants in the industry. In the US for instance, the number of management consultants employed rose from 540,440 in 2012 to 684,470 last year.
But alongside the overall trend of more consultants, there has been a specific rise in the popularity of specialist consultants across the world. Often when business think about consultants, they consider only very broad types of consultancy, such as management consultants, strategy consultants, or IT consultants. However, while this type of consultancy is obviously still hugely important for companies, there has been a far greater rise in the number of niche consultants.
In a recent analysis by the Management Consultancies Association – the representative body for management consulting firms in the UK – the researchers found that in the UK, small firms have grown at a rate of 18%, well above the growth rate of large and mid-sized consultancies. This trend is not unique to just the UK; in several more mature consulting markets, clients are turning to smaller consulting firms in a bid to find a more specialist offering and an intimate client-consultant relationship.
So why are niche consultancies gaining terrain? Three reasons:
Small businesses spending more