In the consulting business, the product is you. Strengthen your personal brand and be sure to attend a pain point that people are willing to pay for.
Consulting is one of the lines that requires less investment to start. However, it is not exempt from all the challenges that most face: the business plan, the legal constitution, the search for markets, the first sales, the partners …
To successfully undertake this line of business, take into account these 7 keys:
1. Focus on the needs of your customers
When choosing the specific area in which you will offer consulting, it is easy to fall into the trap of choosing the one you like the most. Yes, this criterion is important, but so is the fact that there is a real market need.
Business sales will be directly proportional to your effectiveness in communicating. Your message must express, without a doubt, what is the need – or pain point – that you solve. The clearer the idea, the less time it will take to get you on track to income.
2. Make your business plan
Once you have raised the need you serve, ask yourself where you want to take your business . How can you get there, earn income, and build a long-term relationship with clients? Think about the way in which you will obtain results in the short term, because the clock starts ticking from the moment you decide to undertake.
These points will be reflected in your business plan, which must contain at least:
- Description of your company
- Market study
- Competitor analysis
- Sales and marketing strategies
3. Strengthen your personal brand
In addition to a solid portfolio and a resume that supports your experience, in these times it is also necessary to show the approval of others towards your work. It is essential that you consider at least these strategies:
- Publications. Write articles on platforms such as LinkedIn, to strengthen your professional profile.
- Presence on the web. Open a website where you display your portfolio and post testimonials from former bosses, co-workers, and others you’ve worked with.
- Positioning. If you are just starting your career and do not have enough experience, a good idea is to do your first jobs for free or for a nominal fee. In this way you will get the first testimonials in your favor.
4. Seek advice
Get the advice of other consultants or entrepreneurs in your sector. If you don’t know someone, find a mentor or take courses that allow you to clarify doubts or keep up to date.
5. Never stop marketing
A common problem among small business owners is neglecting marketing while working on a project. The bottom line is that after the project is complete, there is often no next customer. And downtime can last days or weeks.
A good habit is to execute marketing strategies on a daily basis. Also, at the end of projects it is useful to ask for references and recommendations.
6. Stay focused
Many consultants fall into the trap of addressing issues that are not really in their areas of expertise. Sometimes the problem is that they are working with clients who are not in their market. The more specific the niche you are targeting, the better your service will be.
7. Look for productivity
The fact that a consultancy does not produce something physical does not mean that it is technology-free . Adopt the applications you need to automate your tasks, manage your clients’ projects and manage your own time.
And don’t be afraid to hire a fresh pair of eyes, or ask for a favor, when you feel like your productivity has reached its limit. Getting stuck with a customer sometimes prevents us from seeing a problem objectively.
As you can see, in none of these points is the selection of an office found. This would be one of the least relevant aspects when starting. If you have an outgoing personality and need social contact, consider renting a co-working space. But never neglect the most important thing: the intersection between what you want and what people need.