Crossover consultants

Advisers are smart, but do they have the tenacity to start a business? MT found five who did. Rhymer Rigby reports.

Management consultants come in for a lot of stick, varying from the jocular 'A consultant is someone who borrows your watch to tell you the time' to rather more pointed assaults. An altogether more interesting charge is that if they were any good, consultants would be out starting businesses themselves: 'those who can, do; those who can't, consult'.

But do the qualities that make a good consultant make a good business creator?

'Advising people is very different from making things happen,' says Adrian Atkinson, founder of business psychologist Human Factors International. He divides money-makers into four groups: technical/professional, corporate, enterprisers and entrepreneurs.

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