When I started out my own consulting business in 1997, I had been consulting for 3 years but had never run my own consulting business.
Youth (well at least being a bit younger) and enthusiasm made up for it and through sheer hard work and incredibly long hours for many years, I grew a group of very successful International consulting businesses.
Could that journey have been easier? Absolutely Yes!
Over the last 5 years or so I’ve been very lucky to learn from some of the best business coaches around. And their guidance, advice and training has enabled me to start even more businesses as well as improve my existing businesses. It wasn’t cheap. I probably spent $50,000 – $100,000 a year on coaching and training programs for me and some of my senior team. But it was well worth it. And I still stay close to 3 key mentors who keep me on track and up to date with the latest trends and techniques. (Maybe one day I’ll find a forum to share this detailed knowledge)
When you are starting out, you can’t afford to spend that kind of money I know. That’s not really the point here. The point, or points are these:
- When you are starting your own consulting business, you may know the ‘technical’ aspects of the consulting really well. But there will be a mass of things you don’t know. Things you don’t even realise you don’t know! Things that could accelerate your success by years…
- So make sure you build a network around you. Of successful business people, coaches and mentors. Seek their advice. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
The hardest thing in any business start up is not the technical stuff. The ‘doing’ or the ‘making’. It’s attracting and retaining customers. Focus on that first and foremost!