It is a great idea to start a business in these financially difficult times to sell your own knowledge and experience as a consultant. Independent consulting is one of the fastest growing and most profitable business models. More and more people are enjoying the freedom and extra money of having control over what you do and who you work with, as well as making a difference in the quality of life.
Those who make a living through know-how or ‘knowledge professionals’ are increasingly dissatisfied with the business or work environment they usually occupy and are finding freelance or contract consulting a rewarding change or addition as a career option. It is possible to continue to build on your knowledge and experience without all the company bureaucracy or organizational employment and the unpleasantness of climbing the greasy pole of company ‘advancement’. Additionally, those who prefer not to work full-time may find that they can increase their skills, knowledge, and competencies while having a job and working from home and on their own time.
The consulting business has now grown rapidly in nearly three decades as people have become an essential part of the economy. Since companies are always working to adapt to changes in new technologies in the business environment, it is very difficult for them to keep up, which is why those with specialized knowledge in particular areas of business find that they are in ever-increasing demand. Organizations trust consultants.
So what is a consultant?
A consultant is someone who provides assistance to a person or company trying to solve a problem. Consultants work in a specific area of knowledge and provide expert knowledge to help solve problems. This will be an area you are most familiar with.
In theory, almost anyone can be a consultant, as long as they have what the client wants. It usually means the skill and knowledge to solve a problem. You don’t have to be the world’s leading expert in a particular field. You also don’t have to be in the same line of business, or any other type.
Among other things, you will need to be able to “sell yourself” and have a very good appreciation and understanding of how to solve the problem that needs to be solved. This is generally good knowledge combined with experience and good communication skills.
Take a look at what you’re well informed about. See what particular ‘problems’ other people, especially your employer, have hired you to address the problems they have? You may have worked for years in a particular area of knowledge and received special education training in it. So if you’ve worked in recruiting, or event management, or training other people, or know about a very specific aspect of the business process, or have a special talent with financial or legal issues, then definitely, basically, will have the types of knowledge. which will be ‘bought’ by customers. But there are many other areas of knowledge that require consultants such as horticulture and horticulture, education, agriculture, health and safety, marketing. In fact, it is possible to become a consultant on anything, as long as you have the knowledge a client wants and can solve their problem.
Some consultants require qualifications in their field to be considered skilled enough by certain trades and industries. For example, engineers, computer programmers, fundraisers, and sports professionals (among many others) often require certain degrees and diplomas to be recognized for their professions as a guarantee of the required minimum level of skill and experience.
Choose something you know and like. Can you tell the layman about the benefits of your ability? Can you write about what you know in a way that is easy for one person to understand? Can you tell how your knowledge and skills can help solve a problem? You must possess all of these essential talents in addition to basic knowledge of the field in which you are specializing.
Here are some steps you need to follow to set up your consultancy
Define your market before doing anything else. Who are you selling your advice and knowledge to and what do they want? Everything else is based on this. There is no point in doing anything until you can answer these questions. Where are the people you are selling to and how do you know what they want? My point is this: no matter how smart or knowledgeable you are about something, there is no guarantee that someone will pay you for it. To find out what they want first (related to your area of expertise) and then go from there. This applies whether you are setting up as a sole trader or collaborating with others. One mistake many people make is that they think they are good at something and that the world owes them a keep. For this reason, many businesses of all kinds go overboard. They invent or make a product and then find someone to buy it. No! Find something people want and then go ahead and make it!
Plan – After answering the question above, prepare your business plan. A business plan will help you develop your vision and strategy to keep the business running. What is the reason why your business can be successful? Give proof! What exactly are your products and services (you can have a core but also develop other ‘back-end products) What do you want to achieve in the long term? when you want to be Be realistic and adventurous. What is your evidence that this figure can be achieved? How are you going to market? What is your financial plan? Do you need to borrow? How do you convince lenders? There are many more things that a plan must have and each of them must be unpacked and detailed. Brainstorm these, then start putting them on the timeline.
Make room to work – Where are you going to work? Many sole traders start from home. This is a good idea as it keeps overhead low. But if you do, be sure to tell your home insurers that turning your home into a workplace without reporting it will nullify and void your insurance. Choose a place in your house that is comfortable and warm. Obviously, you’ll need phone access, Internet access, space for your computer, files, and books (consultants always have plenty of books).
You may want to read some more articles on my website.
What about marketing?
You don’t have a business if you don’t have clients or clients. It’s usually worth making sure you have something before you leave paid employment. The next thing you need to do is let them know that you are ready and available to work.
Your marketing should be limited to what people need to solve their problems. A good way to do this is to post a few articles on the Internet with a link to your site (you must have a site!) that answers a question related to your field (you can visit Answers.Yahoo.com and you can see a question to answer. Show your practical value to your potential customers. People should consider you to be an expert, an expert. There are many ways you can promote yourself and your names can be known. Here are 7 things you should be thinking about:
- Networking. Go to events where your target market is most effective. If you go to these you will need a business card. Also be prepared to talk to a wide range of people with a wide range of potential problems for which they seek answers. Start with people you already know: your former colleagues and bosses, your friends, and current industry contacts. If there are identification cards, make sure you have accurate information about yourself. Talk to as many people as you can and collect business cards. Online networks are also important. These are known as forums. Connect with people who make you their target market. But don’t misuse them through coercive marketing or you will be banned. use them to build relationships
- Ask for references. If you get the job and are successful, ask your client for a reference or two. People will usually be happy to recommend you. Request a quote that you can put on your website. Even if the person who referred you currently doesn’t have a job for you, ask if they can refer you to other potential clients as well.
- Public Presentations. Consultants are generally good at communicating. You should be able to talk to all kinds of people about your area of expertise. Speaking at events provides a great opportunity to spread your message. This may scare some. But don’t be afraid. Practice what you want to say with a friend. Use visual aids to distract yourself. Keep what you want to say short and to the point and ask questions of the audience frequently to keep their attention, interest and conversation. Volunteers provide them with free information. Contact the Chamber of Commerce, organizations and forums in your area. See what opportunities are available at local colleges, universities, and libraries.
- Articles and additions. Try to get a short article in a trade publication or magazine that your target market reads. It’s good for your reputation and gets your message across to potential buyers. Make it interesting and engaging, not just your face-to-face ad. Get in touch with a journalist or editor to write something for you. They are usually happy to provide new information. Prepare a small e-book and put it on your website to sell it.
- Direct mail. You can distribute direct mail in the form of sales letters, mailings, or brochures. The point is that creating a document that catches the eye or engages your recipient, their interest, piques their curiosity ultimately compels them to take action. It is absolutely essential that you emphasize the benefits your client will derive as a result of purchasing your services. Pay less attention to everything else.
- Cold calls. Yes, I know, it sounds like a pain and very few people like it, but don’t ignore it. Practice cool down techniques. Know the first names of the people you want to talk to so it seems to the gatekeepers, of which there will be many, that you know them. Understand that the person you think makes decisions may not be. You can be above or below them or even with them! Make your goal a call to make an appointment. Be brief, be clear, and do it early in the morning; sometimes the person you want to talk to will be in front of the secretary and may politely answer the phone.
- Your website. It is true that most of your business will come from a face-to-face relationship. Some people think that means you don’t really need a website. think again! Your website is your presence on the web. A place for everyone who doesn’t know someone who can solve their problem in person to look online. This is a place where you can store all the internet articles you are going to write so that people can see your experience at a glance. It is a place where you provide back-end products and services, related business products, etc. in addition to your consulting service. Your site has the potential to send your income through the roof. As well as having your contact details in there, you need to have lots of great copy (yes, ‘sales copy’) and, for God’s sake, a subscription section so you can collect all the email addresses of people who might be interested in staying. You do.