What is product-led consulting?
Let’s break it down.
Consulting involves harnessing the talents of skilled, knowledgeable individuals to provide advice and support.
A product is something that solves a problem by increasing the ease or standard by which something can be done.
Product-led consulting, then, is solving the problems that can be solved with a product as a starting point, and then addressing everything else (the interesting stuff) through consulting.
Think about it like cleaning a dirty oven. The product we’re leading with in this case is the oven cleaner that you spray onto the grime and let sit for a few hours. Consulting is the manpower to wipe things up.
See, if you hired a professional oven cleaner to clean your oven, and they came with no tools for the job; started wiping away at the grill, dry as a bone. After a few hours of sweaty work nobody would be too impressed with how things were going.
Now if this professional oven cleaner came with a toolbox of sprays, foams and wire brushes, you’d (both) be in far better stead. A quick spray and lather of the right cleaner on the grill and the cleaner can spend the next hour or two getting stuck into the microwave or showing you how to clean the trickiest spots – i.e. using time for the useful stuff.
On the subject of cooking, think Walter White episode 1 vs Walter series 4. Of course we’re going for the superlab meth (product-led consulting) over the RV meth (productless consulting) – especially if the superlab meth is cheaper than the RV product!
How do we use product-led consulting?
Right now, we use a platform (our product, see image below) to cover the simpler bits of the B Corp accreditation to create a simpler, better managed and more time-efficient journey to certification. We then use our consulting time with clients to do what we like to call ‘dreamwork’, where we talk about the interesting things like transitioning an organisation’s missions, high-level management of sustainability issues and business resilience.
Snapshot – a company about 20% of their way through B Corp certification using our platform!
Why product led consulting works for companies?
- It’s cheaper. B Corp consulting usually costs between £500 and £800 per day of a consultant’s time (not us though!). Through the use of our platform we can offer 6 months of engagement and support for experts for under £2000 (just a few day’s worth of a normal consultant’s support). For startups and companies where money is a barrier to getting proper support, organisations can receive support for £49/month. We will always be accessible to all businesses.
- It’s better. The Shift Platform allows our clients to access the tools, templates and best practice examples from across the internet, as well as a concise step-by-step guide to completing a specific task that has been assigned to them. Because we’re an online platform, we are constantly improving our content, adding video tutorials, better best practices and updating our calculators to match the latest scientific standards.
- It gets the whole team involved. Using a platform to consult business sustainability projects like B Corp means that a lot of new doors open for management. We can easily manage a team of 4-10 by assigning tasks on a 1:1 basis. This ensures that B Corp-related tasks can be performed by someone in a relevant department and encourages that all important culture shift that B Corps are always talking about.