At this point, early in 2021 when the Coronavirus pandemic is still smashing through the world like a wrecking ball, you might be thinking that now is not the best time to start a consulting business.
However, I’d suggest that it could be precisely the right time. There’s still so much turmoil in the industries that people are continually seeking assistance in all areas of their businesses.
Everyone I know who is running a consulting business has seen an increase in demand over the past few months, despite the pandemic. So it would appear that right now, people need help from consulting partners more than ever before.
If you’re keen to get a new consulting business underway then, here are a few things to think about.
How to Get Started
There are three main things that you need to start a consulting business:
What sort of skills and expertise do you have, what experience do you have, what’s your passion?
You can’t start a consultancy without all of that. If you’ve got a background, say, in accounting, and you want to start a marketing consulting business, you’ve got to have the experience, the qualifications, the knowledge, the passion for that particular niche that you’re going to be providing services in.
I would suggest that you do not try to put yourself into something that you are not comfortable with. I’ve tried that. I have two consulting businesses at the moment. I’ve probably started five others over the last 20 years or so and they were appalling failures. Fail fast and often! That’s a lesson I learned from Gary Vaynerchuk.
My Passion is Business Consulting
I started a training business, I started a recruitment business. I had sufficient aptitude to do those, but my core consulting business, that’s what I am qualified in; that’s my passion; that’s what I have experience in.
I run a consulting business but I utilise consultants as well. Currently, we have a marketing coach helping out my team.
How many marketing coaches are there out there? The coach that we’re using is really good. Why did we select her? Because she understands our business, she understands our market.
So think about your target market, why they’re going to pick you? What’s going to be different about your consulting business? What is it that you have that you can bring to the market?
2. Your Market
Think carefully about your target market. Get really specific. Who are they, where do they hang out, what do they need?
Also, look at your competition. Don’t worry if there is a lot of competition. That shows there is a demand for those sorts of services. Your job is to differentiate your business and set yourself apart from the competitors so that you stand out when people are searching for help.
3. How are you going to Market Your Services?
Where does your target market hang out? How are you going to reach them? How are you going to position yourself so that you are visible to that market? How are you going to develop sales?
I say this over and over. If you’re not good at sales, you will not make it as a consultant. Sales is not the sort of grubby pastime that a lot of people think it is.
It is a very honourable thing to be doing, helping people, making them aware of your products and services. It’s about building relationships, communicating, and listening. You need to develop those skills.
If you’re not successful at sales, you’re going to struggle to start up a consulting business.
Delivery of Services
You have to think about how you’re going to deliver your services. You need to know how to make them attractive, appealing, and different from others in the market place.
So, two basic questions for you to think about:
- Is now a good time to start a consulting business? (I’d say probably better than ever).
- What do you need to start up? Well it comes down to what you personally have to offer, what your market needs, and how you are going to meet those needs.
Seven Essential Steps
For more essential tips and ideas, you can download a free copy of my “7 Essential Steps to Starting Your Own Consulting Business”. It’s an extensive guide for those planning to start out on their own.
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This is very informative and it gives courage to us the new entrants into the business consulting field. But I still have a question though. Does not having a website in the early stages of the consulting business tend to put one at a disadvantage?
It can. People expect you to have a website if you are a ‘real’ business. But websites are very easy and cheap to have built.