Many applicants would love to be part of major firms like McKinsey, Booz and BCG because of their global popularity. However, getting a spot in boutique firms brings advantages as well. Read this article and learn more about them.
Though most boutique management consulting firms employ only about 2 to 200 staff, size isn’t the main factor that distinguishes them from global firms. It’s the concentration. Let’s take LEK Consulting as an example. It has about 900 consultants in 20 offices in different parts of the world but it’s still considered a boutique firm because it only focuses on corporate strategy, mergers and acquisitions and operations.
Mastery of Skills
Boutique strategy consulting firms aim to help top management carry out decisions through recommendations. However, as boutiques focus on one or just a few niches, consultants gain a certain level mastery for every project they work on. They develop specific skills faster than expected.
More Effective Recommendations
As a result of improving their expertise on a specific industry, consultants are able to make recommendations more efficiently. Since they are already aware of the best practices of companies in the same industry, they can readily pinpoint the business problem, indentify the factors concerning it and suggest action steps.
Wide Scope of Responsibilities
Because the team is smaller, consultants will be able to broaden their scope of responsibilities, participate more actively in meetings and have more chances of talking to executives and managers. They easily get labeled as experts and that builds up their credibility in the industry. They’ll basically experience everything written in the job description of a management consultant.
Landing a job in boutique management consulting firms has risks too. Below are three of them.
Deprivation to Explore
One of the disadvantages with this setup is that consultants won’t be able to see their potential performance in other practice areas. Because they are focused on solving the same problem, they are deprived of the chance to discover other strategies and approaches. This gets more inconvenient for those who haven’t realized what they are good at.
Some boutique management consulting firms have fewer clients so the quality of their service is harder to verify. Unlike top tier firms, few boutique firms have established a brand name. Further, small boutique firms might not have well-established systems and their consultants might not have been trained thoroughly.
More Job Requirements
Having a broad scope of responsibilities has a disadvantage too. This implies consultants have to do everything, from data gathering to analysis. Because of the team has a smaller number of members, it is harder to delegate some tasks to specialist areas.
Which do you prefer, working for one of the global or boutique management consulting firms?