Consulting Accelerator by Sam Ovens- How to Become a Consultant?
Have you ever considered becoming a consultant? It’s actually a profitable job, considering the number of businesses looking for professional advice.
However, being a consultant requires choosing a field of expertise as well as having the indispensable skills for the job. These qualities are worth nothing, without choosing the right target audience and setting realistic goals.
Take a look at some useful tips for setting up your own consulting firm.
Determine your area of expertise
In order to be a consultant, you need to be an expert in a certain field, which means being equipped with the necessary knowledge and experience. A client would expect you to locate the root of the problem and provide him/her with the most efficient solution. You may choose marketing, IT, writing, accounting or any of the other fields, as long as you’re knowledgeable about it.
However, besides expertise, you would need other skills to distinguish you from your competitors. List every special skill that would help you to be better in your job. For instance, being a good communicator is definitely beneficial when working with clients. Also, objectivity and creativity are highly appreciated among consultants, as you need to be honest about the current situation of the client, but at the same time creative to come up with a solution.
Moreover, make sure you think carefully about your personality traits, as not everyone is capable of running their own business. Starting a consulting business means busy schedule with flexible working hours. You’d also need to give up the idea of having a fixed salary, as the income will certainly vary. This type of a job is definitely not suitable for people who aren’t organized, responsible and unwilling to take risks.
After detailed examination of your expertise and personality, you’re supposed to choose an area. However, if you aren’t entirely certain in your knowledge and skills in the chosen field, then it’s better to take up a training course and brush up, before having your first clients. In fact, click here to see the program of this type of courses, in case you decide to become a trainee.
Obtain the required licenses and certificates
Apart from obtaining a business license, make sure you check whether you need any other license or certification to be a legitimate advisor. Not all areas require this type of documents, but the ones related to accounting and real estate definitely do. You’re supposed to acquire all necessary documents before opening the business if you don’t want to get into legal issues right from the start.
Furthermore, certification is also not required in all fields of consulting, but it’s preferable to have one, as a proof of having the right knowledge and experience. In fact, you’re expected to take an exam based on your expertise and earn the certification if you pass it.
Conduct a market research
Since you won’t be the only advisor in your local area, make sure you do a market research to check the work of your competitors. There’s no point in targeting the same audience as your competitors, but finding a way to be different than them. Thus, if most of the experts offer their services to corporations, place your focus on small business. It’s the only way to hope for success.
Write a business plan
Naturally, a business plan is essential for setting up a consulting firm. This plan is supposed to include your business goal as well as the findings of your market research. These serve to show your target audience and the reasons for using your services. Go to this link: https://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Business-Plan-for-a-Small-Business, to learn some tips for writing the perfect business plan.
Additionally, you’d have to include your marketing strategy and the amount of budget, necessary to set up the firm and maintain its costs. This information is especially important when looking for an investor to finance your business.
Calculate the fees
Your consulting fees will depend on the overall company expenses, including your salary. You can choose between charging hourly and project fees, whichever you find more convenient.
However, although you’re new in business, there’s no reason for charging extremely low rates. In fact, clients are likely to believe that your services are of low quality.
Choose a location
When starting a consulting company, the wisest thing would be setting up a home office to avoid paying rent. You can easily turn your guest room into an office, but make sure the other family members don’t interfere with your work. As soon as you gain a bigger number of clients, consider renting a real office, as you’ll be able to afford the rent.
Having the required knowledge and choosing the right target audience is essential for becoming a consultant.