SME series – Driving success for SMEs: how small companies can benefit from boutique consultancies in EU lobbying 

In previous pieces around SMEs and EU lobbying, we have discussed the limited size and resources of small and medium-sized companies and the other factors hindering SMEs from performing direct lobbying in Brussels. We also suggested that a consultancy like Lykke Advice can be a solution to overcome those obstacles. So, concretely, how can a boutique consultancy help SMEs in achieving their lobbying goals? 

Cost-effectiveness and personalised services 

First of all, it’s a matter of finances. A boutique consultancy usually works with a relatively small team and has lower operating costs, thus having the room to offer competitive fees to their clients. If this type of consultancy runs on a lower budget, that also means a more efficient use of resources that can’t be wasted, saving time and money for the client as well e.g., fast response or quick adaptation to changing conditions. 

Moreover, boutique consulting firms are usually more agile and innovative than large ones. While the latter mostly rely on established procedures and may require time in adopting new ideas and strategies, the former need to find their place in an already crowded market. Therefore, they need to think in an innovative way to differentiate themselves and be capable of rapidly adapting to new circumstances. Such is the case of Lykke Advice, which was capable of rapidly establishing close contacts between a client and a newly established EU body, while larger competitors of the client struggled much more in doing so. 

For these reasons, boutique consultancies are driven by a more entrepreneurial approach rather than a procedural one. The survival of a consultancy depends on such an approach. Having this kind of spirit does not only mean being on a continuous hunt for new clients but also being able to retain the existing ones. A boutique consultancy values all its clients equally and relies on a deeper relationship with them, taking the time to truly understand their business, products, and goals, in order to provide tailored services best fit to the client’s budget, objectives, and timeframe.  

Expertise in understanding and dealing with environment policy 

It is also a matter of expertise. Boutique consultancies are usually founded by senior experts with extensive experience and usually have an established presence of senior staff. In this way, they can offer clients expertise in specific policy fields and can rely on a broad network within the EU institutions as well as among the broader landscape of stakeholders, from business associations to NGOs, companies, agencies, and so on. 

Thanks to that, these consultancies know who and how to contact depending on the client’s interests and goals and have a deep understanding of their target audience to be able to influence their decisions. This means not only helping an SME in understanding who they should talk to but also what to say and how to say it. In fact, it is not enough to have a good overview of the key policymakers in Brussels: even more important is to be able to design a flexible set of key messages that can be used and adapted to the different stakeholders the client will engage with. This leads to another advantage for SMEs: working with a boutique consultancy will certainly be more effective than a learning-by-doing or do-it-yourself approach by the company. All the knowledge and expertise of the consultancy will allow clients to achieve their lobbying goals faster and with a clear strategy. This is especially important for time-sensitive issues, as we discussed in one of the articles mentioned above. 

In conclusion, by hiring a boutique consultancy like Lykke Advice, SMEs can benefit in different ways compared to hiring a large consulting firm or doing nothing: they can have their voice heard and their interests represented before policymakers; and they can do so in a cost-effective, efficient, and tailor-made manner. Lykke Advice can pride itself on many positive experiences and feedback from our clients, and we invite interested businesses in getting in touch to hear about us and discuss the tailor-made solutions that better fit them. 

Contact us if you wish to learn more about our consultancy services. 


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