There are many reasons to start a consulting business. Some want more control over their passive income, and flexibility in their schedule. Similarly, some people want to give themselves the opportunity to be their own boss. A successful consulting business can give you a dream lifestyle and financial freedom.
If you’ve got the expertise in the field, you can start offering freelancing services. You can even work a part-time job at a very good rate. Most people are going to need help at one point or another in their business. By providing them with exactly what they need, you’ll find it that much easier to get clients.
The trick is getting the message out to small business owners that you exist and are available for hire. After you have done that, the real work begins. There are plenty of avenues available for contacting potential clients. The most common of them are social media and online forums.
Step 1 – Get Your Mindset Right
Do you want to start a consulting business? Then you need to get your mindset right. That’s the first step.
You must believe in yourself and your work, that there is something valuable that people will pay for. Once you believe that, then you can take the next steps and go out and do it.
At first glance, starting a consulting business may seem like an overwhelming process. There are so many steps and so many details to consider that it can seem impossible. But the reality is that starting a consulting business isn’t that difficult. In fact, you can start your business with a simple business plan change.
Remember, you aren’t an expert.
By changing your mindset, you won’t feel the need to be a subject matter expert in everything. You’ll realize that you can focus on what you’re good at and outsource the rest. This will help start consulting business much easier and faster than those who do all the work.
Step 2 – Define Your Value
The most common mistake while starting a consulting business is not offering value.
How do you provide value to people? Simply, by solving their problems. Also, how do you solve their problems? By understanding the problems they have.
That seems pretty obvious, right? So why do so many people fail to define the problem before they start trying to build a solution?
The value you provide doesn’t have to be unique, but it does have to be valuable. On the other hand, there are lots of other consulting firms solving this problem for the same audience. Your product or service should be unique and valuable enough for you to build a business around.
Businesses only work when someone is willing to pay money for your solution. When starting a business, you need to find value in your product rather than end result.
Step 3 – Outsource The Rest
Unlike some other self-employed ventures, consulting doesn’t need a ton of up-front capital. You don’t need to buy an expensive camera or stock up on office supplies. All you need is a computer or laptop and an Internet connection. Once you have handled the marketing and sales, it’s time to focus on the actual work.
A lot of people want to start a consulting business, but they don’t know how to bring in clients. There are a few ways to go about outsourcing your work:
1. Ask Your Clients For Referrals
Your best bet is to ask your best clients for referrals. This can be as simple as asking them if they know anyone else who might need your type of services. Be sure you ask early on, before delivering any major projects and billing them.
2. Attend Networking Events
Another strategy is to attend business networking events. These can be the chamber of commerce mixers, trade shows, conferences, and so on. You can introduce yourself to other business owners there. You can also meet people online through LinkedIn or other social media networks. This can also work by posting on message boards that cater to related businesses.
You can also pay for advertising space in targeted local businesses or mailing lists. Other option is to offer to write a case study for your connections and business partners. Later, send them an email invite to the study along with a link where they can download it as a free PDF file. You can also create business cards for offline advertisement.
Some other beginner tips that will help you get started:
1) Decide what exactly you want outsourced:
2) Create a list of all outsourcing sites:
3) Search for the best candidates and contact them:
4) Select the one that fits your budget and needs for the long term:
5) Give clear instructions on what exactly do they have to do:
6) Set up a payment schedule so that the project happens on time:
7) Set up a recurring payment so they can continue working on your project without paying every time.
Offer Part Time Jobs According To Your Expertise
So you’re ready to start a consulting business and looking for a way to get started. You have some skills and experience but you don’t know if people will be willing to pay for your services.
If you’ve got expertise in something, you can start offering services even as a part-time job. If you are good at it and can do the work, then you can see the cash flow in. For example, you want to help out at home with tech support. Sites like Craigslist are a great place to offer your services. Or you can become a subcontractor through larger companies like TaskRabbit or Handy.
You should do the research and know the opportunity in a particular field you have an interest in. A lot of independent consultants decide to become coaches or trainers. Their work is to help people with their passion and give them expert advice.
If this sounds appealing, don’t worry that you’re not an expert yet. You have the chance to start small and build up your business while working in an office space. Plus, if you find that it’s not for you, at least you didn’t spend a ton of time and money building a business from scratch!
How To Start A Consulting Business (Without Expertise)
I wanted to start consulting business without any real expertise and experience. I started asking the people about problems they had, and how they solved those problems.
All I needed was the knowledge of the solution and what the problem was. Once I knew that I could find a way to offer help with that problem.
For example, let XYZ company need a better way to track their engineering projects. I can talk to them about their current situation and then figure out a way to improve their technology.
I started a business doing this and it grew from there. It has been great because I get to pick my own schedule because of the nature of consulting work.
After growing the business, I started to hire freelancers and train them to help grow my business.
5 Reasons You Should Start A Consulting Business Now
Being able to charge for your expertise is a valuable skill, and it’s one of the best ways to make money. Like, there are also other ways to make your first dollar online. But, it is not for everyone. Here are five reasons you should start a consulting business now:
1. You Don’t Need An Expert.
You might not be the world’s foremost expert in your field, but that doesn’t matter. Most businesses have room for improvement, and they are willing to pay an outsider to help them get there. If you know more than what they have now, they will pay you to tell them what they need to do to succeed.
2. You Have Time On Your Hands.
If you are not making money with your knowledge, you have time for making money by learning more about it. In other words, you do not need any employment. All you need is a new source of income for your existing knowledge and skillset.
3. You Want Control Over What You Do With Your Life.
A traditional job takes up most of your time (and often requires extra work on weekends or evenings). A consulting business gives you the opportunity to work whenever you to make good money.
1. Your knowledge is valuable.
2. You’ll learn new things by consulting.
3. It’s a great excuse to get out of the office and talk to people.
4. You can use it as a stepping stone to other opportunities and ventures.
5. As a consultant, you get paid for your expertise, which is a valuable skill to have under your belt.
Keep Your Clients Happy
It is a challenge to find work, but the process is simple. First, you need to create a value proposition: what makes you different? What can you do that other can’t?
Set up your website and social media accounts. Then get referrals. Once you have some clients, keep them happy.
If clients are happy with your work, you can get unlimited referrals by word of mouth technique. Word of mouth is the best way to gain new clients and grow your business.
You will be successful in being the type of consultant that keeps your clients satisfied.
Get Your Business Off The Ground
The first step to starting a business is deciding what kind of business you’re going to start. So many people get caught up in the idea of starting a business and forget about the business itself.
A lot of people say that an idea is worth nothing and that it’s all about execution, but that’s a little shortsighted. A good idea is more important than money in a bank as once you have a good idea, you have the opportunity to make a lot of money.
Ideas are easy – execution is hard. If you have a great idea and no way to execute it, then your idea isn’t worth anything. But, if you have a great idea and a way to actually get it done, then your idea has the potential to be worth millions. How do you get these types of ideas though?
Set Long Term Goals
You want to start a consulting business. That’s great because starting a consulting business is the easiest business to start. Anyone can do it and you don’t need any special skills, training, or human resources at the beginning. You can start today and in two weeks you will have more money in your pocket than you had yesterday.
Treat it like a real business. Get a business license and incorporate.
Get a consulting business accountant to help you pay taxes at year-end. You should also get consulting business insurance for yourself and your clients.
If you’re considering consulting as a way to earn extra money, here are some tips to get you on the right track. The key point is to get started as soon as possible.
Treat it like a business. Treat your consulting business as the real deal from day one. This means finding a niche and building that into expertise that people will pay you for.
Take care of your clients, provide them with the best service possible to charge them. Do not treat it like a hobby or something that you do in your spare time. This will only set you up for disappointment and failure. It’s tough to be successful in any business if you’re only treating it as a hobby.
Find your niche. Experts are in high demand these days. If there is something that you can do better, chances are someone will pay for your expertise.
For example, the guy who helped to solve his small business IT woes. He learned about IT systems and then offered his services to other small businesses. He now have a great big list of clients.
Work your contacts list. Treat consulting like a business.
Even if you haven’t had a job in years, you have picked up some skills that other people want or need. If you are not sure whether you can be a good consultant, take time to write down your work-related skills. For example, brainstorm for at least 10 minutes and list as many of these words and phrases as possible:
- Communication skills
- Sales ability
- Organizational skills
- Teamwork ability
- Negotiation skills
- Problem-solving ability
- Leadership abilities
- Attention to detail
- Follow-through and follow-up ability
- Writing skills
- Presentation skills
- Stress tolerance
- Ability to multitask
- Public speaking ability
- Thinking on your feet
- Ability to handle rejection
- Desire for self-employment
- Ability to work long hours
- Willingness to travel
- Willingness to work odd hours
- Ability to sell yourself and your ideas
These phrases will help you decide whether you can be a good consultant or not.
At the end of the day, a consulting business is all about growing your own brand. That’s how you get clients, and how they see you as an authority figure in your field. By offering them something worth going to for help, you get to cordon off the competition. This can be a very effective strategy for anyone who doesn’t have much of an existing reputation to work with.
As any business owner can tell you, successful marketing does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of effort, time, and capital before you can reach your full potential. With some hard work, you can turn it into something bigger and better down the road.