What it’s like automating in a consultancy

Before Automating — Get Your House in Order

Any decision to begin to automate parts of a business is a huge undertaking, the vision of which may mean different things to different people within the business. Educating and informing people of the direction of travel is key in keeping everyone engaged and on the critical path.

Types of Digital Products For A Consultancy

Over the last year we’ve been able to carve our business into 3 broad categories. Internal and external facing, and data/insight based products.


External facing products are those that are public and end-user facing. I.e. A stranger to the business can find the product, sign themselves up and begin using your product to their own advantage. The benefit of this type of product usually manifests as real revenue, usually in the form of a monthly subscription. In terms of roadmap/direction, this would usually at first be set internally within the business, with the aim to have a user driven roadmap in as short a time as possible. You can try out our answer to automated R&D Tax Relief, called Novel — available with a 3 month free trial.


Internal facing products on the other hand are for use by the business. The aim of a product like this is to make internal practices more efficient. By combining third-party data sources we can create digital processes that speed up consultant workflows ten-fold. This is a project that we’re just about to embark on at Optimal Compliance — as a business we’ll then be able to increase our client base without compromising the quality of the work or overextending our current staff. The roadmap of this type of product is primarily set by internal stakeholders.


Lastly, data/insight based products. Using the skill and experience of the consultancy in combination with third-party data sources it’s possible to create data sets that are more useful than their vanilla source versions. It’s common practice to then integrate your own application data with the collated third-party data to offer enhanced data sets that no other competition can offer. This will allow us to effectively target existing, and even new clients, and recommend other products that would benefit them, for example — one of our automated R&D clients may also profit by reinventing themselves as a partnership and vice versa.

Building your Product and Team

Now the rest of the business understands the vision and the direction is set, it’s time to start building your product. Or is it? Who’s going to build it? Wait, what are we even building? Before starting out a team needs to exist and that team needs to adhere to a certain style of project management.

Wrapping Up

The best way to get started with digital automation is by starting small. Automating your best practices is worth the investment and if you can get some of your current team on board to help, it will make the end product that much more suitable to your business and your working methods. Don’t expect instant results or even gratification right away, it’s a long process. However, like all good things in life, sometimes they are worth the wait.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
⚡️ Optimal Compliance 🦄

⚡️ Optimal Compliance 🦄

1 Follower

Business consultants specialising in partnership models, group structures, and cash flow support via R&D tax relief. We help create capital businesses.