What is Your Value-Add as a Business Consultant?
Category: Physician Career Resilience
Physician Career, Leadership and Entrepreneurial development Strategies
What is Your Value-Add as a Healthcare Business Consultant?
[Be sure to read also: Forty-one ideas for what you can do as a Physician Consultant]
If you are considering developing a consulting business and wondering what service you would provide, think through these six categories of potential “value-add”, offered by Alan Weiss, author of several books on consulting and speaking. Many consultants bring value in more than one category. It is important to keep in mind that for all theses categories, your job as a consultant is to improve the client’s position relative to their current state.
- Content – Clinical knowledge is probably the most common consulting value, particularly for physicians who can translate this knowledge into product specifications for companies developing healthcare products.
- Expertise – Many physician consultants have particular expertise that transcends industries or healthcare settings. For example, strategic planning can be done for practice groups, hospitals, health systems, and health plans.
- Knowledge – Broader than content, knowledge here refers to understanding of processes. Physicians consulting in practice management, for example, have broad experiences in understanding clinic flow dynamics, billing and receivables efficiencies, and personnel management.
- Behavior – The value-add here is interpersonal. Physician consultants who work as facilitators, for example, bring skills to assist in conflict resolution, large group facilitation, and change management.
- Special skills – Some consultants find they have a special talent or gift that is highly specialized and not easily reproduced or found either within an organization or large consulting firm. Patch Adams is a good example of a physician consultant/speaker who uses humor and drama in motivational speaking and training.
- Contacts – The ability to introduce clients to key contacts in public or private life is another value of some physician consultants. Examples include physicians engaged as “lobbyists” for government, medical societies, or industry.
For more tips on developing a business as a consultant or speaker, here are several excellent resources:
- Million Dollar Consulting, by Alan Weiss
- Money Talks, by Alan Weiss
- Flawless Consulting, by Peter Block
- The Consultant’s Calling, by Jeffrey Bellman
- Selling the Invisible, by Harry Beckwith
- [Be sure to read also our Daring Doctors article: Forty-one ideas for what you can do as a Physician consultant]