Why Standard Management Consultants Don’t Help Digital Agencies

A lot of digital agency owners talk to me about their experiences with non-executive directors, management and business consultants and coaches. I am afraid that their customer experience is often a little underwhelming.

Typical comments include:

  • “They just didn’t understand the industry”
  • “They insisted on trying to apply one-size-fits-all/generic/out-of-date/business school models to our specific issues”
  • “They didn’t understand me”
  • “They didn’t understand the business or our business model”
  • “They made me do exercises I couldn’t see the point of” and so on.


I fear that I now enter the world of sweeping generalisations.

Outside support can –

  • prove invaluable… but it needs to be focused and relevant.
  • be sector-specific… but it still needs to be relevant and add value.
  • be of the “I’ve been there and got the t-shirt” variety… but the advisor still needs to know how to articulate the lessons and know how to help and assist a client.


Outside support needs to –

  • understand and be able to use the various coaching and consulting styles
  • have the interpersonal skills required.


Outside support, at its best, adds significant value to your business. I use outside advisors to help me grow my own business.

The skills set is varied but I would suggest you need most, if not all of the following characteristics:

  • Industry and market experience and understanding (including understanding of the latest research and benchmarks)
  • A critical and analytical understanding of the art of business growth as well as understanding the standard business growth models as applied to owner-founder businesses
  • A critical and analytical approach to the art of coaching: a variety of styles and approaches to reflect the different needs and requirements
  • An evidence-based approach, drawing on relevant client and own business experience
  • Experience and skill at coaching and mentoring effectively
  • Experience and skill at listening and sharing relevant information
  • Experience and skill at running a business
  • A thorough understanding of how to design and deliver in the fields of strategy, marketing, and people
  • A thorough understanding of relevant (and contemporary) business models as they are applied in digital agencies.


That’s it, simple enough. Need our help? Mail rc@directorscentre.com