Start a Consulting Business
If you are planning to start your own consulting business, you should know the first step is to create your consulting offers. These should include your contact information and marketing materials, such as flyers and brochures. You can also hire employees to help you out in your consulting business. While this is a big financial commitment, it will free up your time and allow you to focus on your clients. The most important step in the process is to ensure that you have enough funding to cover all of your costs.
As you build your business, you should also set up your business bank account. You should invest in an assistant or accountant. You should also order business cards and download a free marketing tool called The Complete Consultant’s Success Kit, which contains 8 templates for planning and research. Once you have all of these, you’ll need to market your services and gain clients. The first step in this process is to make sure that you have a good plan.
Once you have created your business bank account, hire employees for specific operations, such as marketing, and get yourself an assistant. You can also start your business by buying business cards and ordering your own websites. To get your name out there, download the “Complete Consultant’s Success Kit” and use the templates to promote your consulting services. Remember that your new consulting business will be much more successful if you target the right market and make sure that they are interested in your offerings.
After creating your consulting business bank account, invest in an assistant or accountant. You should also order business cards. You can download The Complete Consultant’s Success Kit, which includes 8 free templates for research and planning. Once you have your consulting plan in place, you’ll need to start marketing your services. Since consulting services aren’t sold in stores, you’ll have to do your research and promote them to potential clients.
Before you start marketing your consulting business, identify your ideal client. Then, you should focus on generating as much income as possible from your consulting services. You can create a blog, create a website, and even write articles. Then, you can focus on your niche and work on your marketing strategy. As a consultant, you can also help other people in their businesses. Your goal is to be the go-to person for them.
If you plan to sell your consulting services, you should be an expert in sales. If you don’t have any experience in sales, you should learn how to sell your consulting services. A great salesperson will be able to sell their services with ease and generate as much income as possible. Once you’ve established your clientele, you can then begin marketing your business. While selling your consulting service may be different than selling a product, you must make your consulting service stand out from your competitors.
How to start a consultancy business in just Few simple steps
The work process is becoming more complicated and our economy becomes increasingly global, the requirement for skilled consulting firms has never more urgent. According to IBISWorld revenues from the consulting industry will surpass $261 billion by 2020.
“It’s fashionable to boast that your business is an independent consultancy” claims Christy Hopkins, the founder of 4 Point Consulting in Chicago. “I offer human resources consulting for a variety of small companies across the nation and provide a range of services that are different based on the customer. The same could be accomplished in differently depending on the client’s culture and requirements differ.”
When you’ve identified a market for the type of work you provide, you should consider the next steps to establish yourself as a prominent voice in the industry.
Step 1: Evaluate your strengths and skills
Consultants are often hired to address problems businesses aren’t able to resolve themselves. If they didn’t then, why would they want to pay someone who has no knowledge of their business, to visit with a plan of action they should do? When you start a consulting company it’s essential to be knowledgeable in the area you are working in to be able to provide the best value to your customers.
There are numerous kinds of consulting you could think about for your business. For instance, if you have a good understanding of computers, you could start a business as consultant in IT or computers.
There are plenty of opportunities for PR experts and accountants, digital marketing as well as those with an interest in business strategies.
Review your strengths to determine where you could contribute to the world. Also, take an honest assessment of your weaknesses and any missing abilities you might have, so you can improve the areas. Be aware that, based on your field of expertise you might require special certificates or licenses to become consultant. If, for instance, you’re a fundraiser, it’s helpful to get an accreditation by the National Society of Fund Raising Executives.
Step 2: Determine the needs of your market
After you’ve found your niche consider what kind of issues, questions, and issues companies in your area of expertise are facing. It’s not enough just to have strong skills and an extensive knowledge about your area of expertise. If your clients don’t have issues that your consulting company can address and solve, you’ll be in the water.
The best method to figure out what your target market desires and requirements is to inquire. Begin by conducting an online search of blogs that are in your field. What do thought leaders discussing? What is the source of what seems to be lots of confusion? Are there heated debates in the forums or in the comment sections about a particular subject?
You can also identify the areas of weakness in your industry through your network. If, for instance, you’re looking to launch an online marketing company and you are looking for a partner, who do you think of who owns their own company and is in close contact with digital marketers or is a marketer? Most likely, you’ve met many people. Discuss the obstacles they face when achieving their short and long-term goals. Find out the ways you and your company can aid them.
Step 3: Take an organically-produced marketing train
When you are an independent contractor it’s on you to increase your client base and ensure that your business is growing at a the same speed. This can be done through marketing. However, as with everything else the most effective form of marketing method is organic.
Hopkins launched her business using an unassuming posting to Upwork the site for freelancers which, a few years ago was not as known and according to Hopkins the more lucrative contracts. Hopkins states that her first client is still with her and she has seen her business grow almost entirely without advertising.
“I’ve been extremely fortunate that my business has grown organically. I’m not sure if this is common, but my own experience has been that I try my best to be as efficient as I can. I’m honest, trustworthy, I’m not overcharging I’m willing to work within budgets and that has resulted in lots of organic referrals” she says.
Businesses benefit from two distinct advantages of organic marketing. The first advantage is that business owners generally be friends and provide referrals to you. It is common for like to be the same, so if have a good relationship with someone it is likely that you will work with their colleagues.
Another benefit of organic marketing is the cost, which isn’t one. “I’m biased about how effective it is for businesses, since it’s completely free,” Hopkins says with a smile.
Step 4: Buy the tools of trade
Hopkins created her business using technology-based tools that allowed her to create and maintain relationships with potential employees, customers and her assistant.
“I employ three different kinds of recruitment software: web-based software that lets you post jobs,” she says. There’s MightyRecruiter that offers a system that feeds into Indeed, Monster, LinkedIn and any other websites for jobs you could imagine, which can save time and puts all applicants in one place. ZipRecruiter is great for jobs with low-level requirements. LinkedIn offers a two-tiered recruitment service that allows you to pitch applicants or referrals.
MightyRecruiter costs $300 per month, and ZipRecruiter costs $1,000 per year. LinkedIn’s RecruiterLite costs $150 while the Corporate costs $700. In all, Hopkins spends about $500 per month for these tools to recruit that allow her to connect to anyone searching for anything from food-related jobs and data science.
Hopkins also recommends video conference software for around $200 per year for creating a stronger connection with clients.
“They are able to connect with me and feel like they know me” she declares. “They recognize that I’m 5’2″ Big personality blue eyes, speak with my hands and they know all that , even though I don’t have office space.”
Beyond these tools for consultants the new consultants must also invest in things that most new small-scale business owners create: websites ($2,000 for a fantastic accessible site, and around $200 hosting) Also, purchase business cards, create an LLC (prices differ from state the state) and open an account for a corporate checking account as well as a credit card for business and employ an accountant to look over the books and file tax returns (around $700 per year for a small-sized business).
Step 5: Staff your office wisely
If you require (or need) an employee to assist you will depend on how much work you’re required to perform. A week of seven days and working 12-hour hours isn’t sustainable, no matter how relaxed you may be but it’s certainly possible if you’re successful in growing your business.
Hopkins isn’t convinced that there’s an positives of doing more responsibility than she can manage at the moment. She did , however, hire an assistant on demand, who is based in the United States and does the difficult task that comes with consulting temporary basis.
“I am able to work with the clientto create the job description and spectogether and he’ll be able to locate the resumes, the people, LinkedIn profile, and that’s an difficult uphill climb and I’m able to transfer those hours on his behalf,” the woman says. “He has his own company also and we have B2B relationships. In some months, he records 50 hours with me and other times he doesn’t.”
The two of them communicate via Skype as she’s from the United States and is an American who lives in Budapest. She doesn’t typically hire someone from outside of the U.S. since “there’s a abundance of talent in the country,” but the two of them get along immediately via Skype. It is possible that she will employ someone from an internship or 2 from her previous graduate school to assist in the sourcing process.
Step 6: Practice your elevator pitch
There’s no point in having a dazzling skill set along with a solid marketing strategy, and the latest tools if you’re not able to close the deal sales and close them. The process of convincing potential clients to select your consulting service begins by delivering your elevator speech.
It should comprise an easy and succinct introduction to your intended audience’s needs and the solutions you provide and how you’re distinct from your competitors. While you might be enthusiastic about the products you provide and the industry problems you observe you can keep your pitch to a maximum of three paragraphs max.
The most comprehensive way to look to your elevator speech is that it’s your proposition of value. When you’ve presented the concise summary of the value you provide, and someone who is interested wants to know more then you are able to share your story and explain the consulting services you offer more deeply.
Step 7: Write client proposals
In most cases, the last step to bringing in the new client is to write an offer to the client. It usually happens just before the client signs on, thus closing the sale. Thus writing proposals is a crucial element of securing clients to sign up for your consulting.
The client proposal is your opportunity to demonstrate how you can help your client and resolve the issue. It’s therefore important to understand the purpose of the project and the reason you’re offering your consulting services, and the date you’ll finish the project. It’s also essential to make sure you understand every aspect that will be included in the project, such as deadlines, budgets and how you’ll evaluate the results. Be clear, persuasive and then close the deal with your client.
Step 8: Set your pricing
In your proposal, it is essential to add a cost. If you’re just beginning your career in consulting, it might be challenging to figure out what to charge for your services. It’s good to know that Hopkins provides an simple formula that you can follow.
“When I first began working as a moonlighter as a consultant, I took the HR manager’s salary and converted it into one hourly fee. As a consultant, this is undercharging. Today, I’m charging double the hourly rate and it’s been a steady increase,” she says.
If you’re looking to move beyond the hourly conversion rate because as an independent contractor you’re taking on more risk and therefore should be charged more than an in-house option, Hopkins recommends showing your clients what value you can bring to their business.
“For my existing clients that I provided… I wrote each of them a cost/benefit analysis to inform them of the amount of savings they made versus using an established recruiter or other independently-owned consultant” the consultant says. “From the beginning, I explained to that my rates were going up by 25%, that was the hourly fee for this year and each one of them said , ‘done well, good.’ I explained the math. I’m now… I’ve presented clients at the current price and nobody has ever told me that I’m not worth it. I’m probably undercharging. However, I prefer working with small-sized businesses or startups. If I’d like to work with them, I’ll achieve it. If they’ve got a strong goal and vision, and If they’re ethical and treat new employees with respect I’d like to assist the new hires because I am aware that there are many recruiters and consultants who won’t.”
9. Stay focused and show results
When your consulting business is in good shape, make certain to be organised and produce results in order to receive repeat clients as well as referrals. It is crucial to stay organized in order to make sure you do not lose important information, fail to meet deadlines, or fail to make sure that clients are paid on time. Begin by determining ways to automatize certain procedures. Maybe you could be able to pay electronically instead of by check , or you can switch towards an online bookkeeping software like QuickBooks. Software like Infusionsoft will help you manage your clients. If nothing else works then you might you might consider employing an assistant virtual.
The process of delivering results is more difficult to provide tips on, but is essential to the viability of your business. Make sure you stay current with the latest trends in your industry and keep in touch with your clients to make sure that you’re delivering the results they expect and will aid their business in achieving their goals. If you are able to help your clients meet their objectives, then your consulting company will be set to be successful.
Consultancy niches to think about
You have skills that can be applied to multiple industries. How do you choose an specific area of expertise? If you’re just beginning out it’s possible to focus on an area that is in constant demand. In contrast you might be able to find a promising industry, and establish yourself to be an expert within the field. Here are some ideas for niches for consulting you might think about specializing in:
Being an individual accountant, you are a form of consultant. Accounting professionals aid companies manage their finances and financial requirements. It’s helpful to be an CPA when you’re considering a career as a consulting accountant or a consultant, however anyone who has a background in bookkeeping can be a candidate for this area of consulting.
As a brand consultant you’ll collaborate with companies to establish and refine their branding voice and image. As a brand advisor, you’ll learn about the company’s clients, and develop a brand strategy that helps the company be a success with its market. To become a brand advisor it is necessary to have experience in marketing.
Another area of necessity for many companies are web development. As web design consultants you’ll collaborate with companies to design a site that’s on-brand and conforms according to their specifications. An education in computer engineering will be beneficial for this job.
Like Hopkins, you can become an HR consultant–assisting businesses with their staffing and employee management responsibilities, and advising them on best practices for keeping their workforce happy and engaged. The job can range from creating job descriptions to assisting in onboarding.
With more and more companies decide to go green in order to preserve the environmental environment, consulting about how to reduce carbon emissions could be an extremely lucrative career with any competitors. As an eco-friendly consultant you can assist businesses complete a range of tasks that reduce carbon emissions for example, developing more eco-friendly offices as well as manufacturing procedures.
Consultants for organization provide advice to business and individuals on how they can minimize the amount of paperwork, clutter and distractions to function more effectively. The area is one that has received more attention as technology has introduced numerous distractions as well as blurred boundaries between home and work.