Consultants refer to professionals engaged in providing expert advice in particular fields such as law, human resources, accountancy, marketing, management, environment, technology, entertainment, medicine, finance, economics, communication, public affairs, engineering, graphic design, waste management, etc. As it is, consultants are independent contractors and not the employees of a hiring organization. They have extensive knowledge as well as experience in the field/s in which they deal. As a consultant, an individual has the option of either working for a consultancy service, or be self-employed. If you want to have your own consultancy business, then you might be interested to know, as to how to start a consulting business.
Step one: review one’s expertise and credentials
Before starting up a consultancy company, it would be better for a person to review his or her expertise as well as credentials in the industry or subject matter in which he or she wishes to offer services. One must also make a very honest appraisal of his or her reputation within his or her business network along with the industry which he or she works in.
Step Two: Assemble and gather all essentials.
Business essentials like phone, business cards, press kit, transportation and client management software must be put together. A phone for attending and contacting your customers, business cards reflecting all necessary business details, a press kit for advertisement, transportation for accessibility, client management software to keep track of client bills, and of course a quiet place for work is all a must for your firm.
Step Three: Join Trade Organization
You need to join Trade Organizations as well as Community Clubs. Remember we are not taking of any luxury here. This is required to compete with your competitors, a lot of proposals are discussed here.
Step Four: referral list
Next is to be ready with your referral list. People hesitate to work with someone who has no experience. Your previous experience should come handy now. You must mention your job experience or any past work experience as a reference. This will help build more faith in people who come to you.
Step Five: Ask for more references.
If you have served your client well and are sure to have won their confidence, then you might as well ask for more references. This will help you expand further, and you will get more prospects in hand. Be sure to do this as this is one of the best ways to expand and become known. From one client even if you get one more reference, this will add to your database and hence help your business further.
Step Six: Check and start answering ads.
If you excel in something, there are organizations that often need you and are many times listed in the directory or advertising sections of the journals. You must make an effort to call a few and introduce yourself. You need to enquire if they have any concerns in your area of expertise. Don’t be too surprised that may need you too. I am sure we all have experienced this where in we get a call from someone we have been looking for a business purpose.
Step Seven: Being competitive is the key
Don’t give up on your reading and research. Things keep changing, and new ideas are there every time. Keep a check on your prices against others in your area, and very important do not let your clients down under any circumstance. Do not over promise and under deliver. Bad publicity and any one client lost will just shake your business before you even start.
Likewise, when you decide to start your business consulting strategy adventure, make sure that you let your social and business acquaintances know about the new venture. Remember, when you are new in business, you can not afford to give business promotion a miss. Do not neglect your acquaintances. Because, although you might not get a lot of business through them, they can sure refer you to others.
You can also advertise your business, through industry magazines or newspapers. It would also be a good idea to write as well as submit articles in these publications for demonstrating your knowledge regarding the specific field. Also, you can make people aware of your consulting business.
Best wishes from us for your new consulting firm. We wish sky is the limit for you.