What is a SME business consultant

A SME business consultant is a specialist who diagnoses and provides advice on the management issues of small and medium-sized enterprises, and in layman's terms means a ``business consultant.''


As a legal national qualification, the Small and Medium Enterprise Management Consultant system is stipulated in the Small and Medium Enterprise Support Act, and the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry registers it based on Article 11 of the Act, making it the only national qualification for business consultants. It is said to be the ``number one new qualification that business people want to obtain in Japan.''


The Work of SME Business Consltant

The work of a Small and Medium Enterprise(SME) Business Consultant is defined as "management diagnosis and management advice" under the Small and Medium Enterprise Support Act. My main job is to provide advice on corporate growth strategies based on current situation analysis. The terms "diagnosis" and "advice" are vague expressions, and it is unclear what will happen to the company as a result, or how much responsibility or obligation it will have. 


Specifically, I conduct financial analysis based on past financial statements (growth potential, profitability, safety, efficiency), evaluation of management policies and business strategies, SWOT analysis, VRIO analysis, etc. to confirm business domain. I provide a wealth of advice, including advice on changes, advice on growth strategies and competitive strategies, advice on marketing strategies, advice on organizational changes and human resource management, advice on IT implementation and Internet usage, etc. These will probably be compiled into a 20-30 page report and delivered. In my case, I provide advice on legal risks and create specific contracts, and in order to obtain loans or subsidies, I read the public recruitment guidelines and compile them into a business plan that meets the requirements. The results are implementation and grant funding.


What I place most importance on is the execution of that business plan. I would like to follow up so that it does not become a ``picture-filled cake'' or ``the means becomes an end (end substitution).'' It is natural that various issues will arise during implementation, and we will provide all kinds of advice on how to avoid them, how to solve them, and whether to change the business plan. In some cases, you may even go that far.