The 7 Easy Steps to Start Your Own Consulting Business
Offering consulting services is hot. The best part is that you can start today. To start with your own consulting business, you must be widely knowledgeable about the ins and outs of it. Here are the seven easy steps on how to run your profitable consulting business.
1) The typical way to start any business is to be knowledgeable about it. Start your first day by buying books, cds, videos and other learning material about your target business. You can also seek advice from other consultants who are successful in their fields. Do not be ashamed or fearful of asking for help. Realize that all business startups have gone through this process.
2) Develop harmonious working relationship with your clients. Building good relationships with your clients is the mantra of all businesses since relationships can go beyond the initial sale and can also forge repeat buys. Clarify client’s expectations versus what you can do. Specify your expertise and the benefits they can get from having you as their consultant. More often than not, clients especially those big organizations have high expectations of the consultants. By being realistic of your capabilities, the good relationship can be developed from day one.
3) Make a good proposal with a clear statement of your strategies and objectives. Since you are the consultant, you are expected to solve a portion of the organization’s problems. Clearly state on your proposal the services you will provide and the price you will be asking. Strongly emphasize the advantages that your client will enjoy once they deal with you. You can only do this by presenting the benefits they can reap after getting your services.
4) Create a marketing plan to grab your client’s attention. Your marketing plan should be brief. Here is a way you can devise a seven sentence marketing plan. The first sentence explains the purpose of your project. The second sentence explains the ways on how to achieve the purpose and the benefits that the clients can get. The third sentence describes the target market. The fourth sentence describes the niche. The fifth sentence is about the “secret sauce” you will utilize to get it done. The sixth sentence is about your business identity; and the seventh is all about the budget.
5) Present a refined, professional image. Being in the image business, your clients will perceive you as an ultimate maker of sales. One sure way to draw new clients is to be categorized as an expert in the consulting industry. Project yourself as an expert having marketable skills produced from a combination of education and knowledge you gained from years of experience. Since your skills are rare, many companies will be willing to pay your premium. But they also need to see you as in demand, successful and one of the top quality consultants of all time. Make sure that you have all the necessary materials such as sample videos and business cards. Convey an image of an expert who have all the knowledge clients can benefit from.
6) Offer a free introductory session when needed. Often times, consultants are conscious of the bills and are hesitant to give their services. Being a consultant does not always mean charging per hour for your precious service. If you are just starting with your business, you must first build client’s awareness about your services, so a free short consultation will not hurt you. Ensure that your client will be interested in your services by conducting free information seminars once in a while. This can give you exposure and referrals.
7) Be keen with results. The clearest path to gaining new clients is a referral from those who saw your first successful project. Keep a network of employers and other persons that you know. Always keep in mind that in the consulting business, results are the viable tool to acquire clients. To be successful, you must deliver and offer undisputed value to your clients and all other members of your network.
These seven steps are just some of the many ways that you can follow when starting a new consulting business.