Building a Strategic Relationship Management Consultancy!

Strategic Relationship Management Consultancy

Becoming a strategic relationship management consultant is more than the process of offering advice and direction on relationships; it is, in addition, an art form in creative solution-finding, diplomacy and negotiation.

Building a consultancy to support such relationships is a wise decision, considering today’s global enterprise system and the ease with which procurement, purchasing, and supplier relationships become fractured or even broken at the speed of an errant email.

In the following paragraphs, we will discuss how to start your strategic relationship management consultancy and, with equal weight and importance, how to maintain it successfully. 

When opening your strategic relationship management consultancy, one of the first considerations will be assessing your present or future clients. Create a demographic of the needs your clients may have, situations they may collectively face, personal interactions that will require your assistance, and other forms of relationship issues you’ve seen or spoken into during your course of business.

As you build the demographic, build your potential client list at the same time. Determine if you will have enough potential consultancy clients to make the investment of your time and resources profitable. 

At this time, it is also beneficial to refine the scope and sequence of the consultancy practice. First, analyze the forms of strategic relationship management in which you can provide the highest level of benefit.

Is your primary strength in procurement or strategic purchasing? Which forms of strategic relationship management will your business address? Further, will the structure of your consultancy contain set consultation sessions on a packaged basis, for eight sessions at a set price, for example? Or, will appointments for consulting be offered on an “as needed” basis? 

Prior to opening your practice, you’ll need to examine competitors and set pricing models. First, locate others who offer the same services and examine their website and social media marketing strategies. Check pricing models and any structure that defines the bulk of the consultancy. Find as much information as possible through data collection and research. 

Why spend time examining competitors? What is the value in doing so? For one critical reason: you’ll want to ensure your practice and your offers of price, expertise, structured sessions, and other services far outweigh any competitors. The idea in this tight and competitive market is to overcome all competitors and secure clients. You’ll need to recognize competitors and create the service that will reach beyond their efforts.

In the process of building a strategic relationship management consultancy, you’ll want to next tackle the financial forecast for your firm. To do so, create a building plan using these business plans templates to effectively outline the structure and format for your consultancy.

Inside the business plan, you’ll include a mission statement and objectives for the business, the operational plan, the data collection and assessments of clients and competitors, the financial forecast for the first five years of the firm, and marketing plans to support the structure. 

With the completed business plan, you are ready to approach investors or lenders for initial funding for the startup of your consultancy, if needed. Investors may agree to fund without a need for repayment; however, they will expect to hold an equity position in your firm.

Lenders will fund with a requirement of repayment with interest on a sequenced plan; however, they will not require any further involvement. Each form of funding has its own pros and cons to consider. 

As you prepare to open your practice, you’ll want to consider the most effective methods to reach potential clients. Traditional marketing methods will need to be supported by industry specific strategies.

For example, if your marketing efforts will be focused within the snack or dessert industries, you’ll want to create offers into the procurement firms that oversee production or distribution. Your practice may also include those who are considering how to start a cookie business or other such efforts.  

To reach individuals who want or need to strengthen strategic relationships, consider joining trade associations to engage with individuals. Offer your services to those in the C suite, such as a CEO or CFO. Use your consultancy website to fully demonstrate the capabilities of your practice by including video reels or quotes from prior clients who can recommend your services.

Focus on the unique value your consultancy offers and how individuals can turn poor industry relationships around to thriving and productive alliances. Each effort made will create another opportunity for your consultancy. 

The need for a strategic relationship management consultancy is high and the opportunities are immense throughout several industries. Establish the structure of your consultancy, engage in selective marketing practices and begin associating with those who can best assist in building your practice.

With these efforts in place, your consultancy will soon thrive and you’ll be established with a clear view of long-term growth and success.

Article and permission to publish here provided by Kalin Robbins. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on April 13, 2023.