Many people consider a consulting firm the ultimate business to start. Not only is it flexible, but the earnings potential is unlimited, and you can create one while you have a full-time job. With cell phones and video conferencing widely available, it has never been easier to start one.
First, you must consider if you are qualified. This requires an objective look at not only your experience but also talents. Asking someone in the same industry might be a good idea.
Do you have the necessary experience to handle the tough jobs? Do you have the managerial skills to handle dealing with subordinates (if required)? Do you have the right sales ability to close sales?
Some professions require a special certification. For example, an accounting job might require a CPA. Others might not, but have some licensing body that you should consider.
Do you like to network? Unfortunately for many, this is often required for the job. When you’re not working, you’re drumming up business for your firm.
Lastly, are you organized enough? You’ll definitely need to-do lists and a pocket calendar if you plan on having your own consulting firm.
Next, you will need to identify the roles you and your firm will have. It could be any number of the following:
Teach. Educate clients’ employees on how to do their job. Often this has to do with the bigger picture. Many people fail to see that when they have their nose down in the day-to-day of cubicle life.
- Catalyst. When change is coming, often it’s easier for someone new to implement it.
- Supplemental staff. When volume increases, sometimes it’s easier to hire consultants than train someone new. This is especially true when this boom in business is expected to be temporary.
- Identify the issue. Sometimes it’s easier for a 3rd party to be more objective when dealing with a problem.
- Expertise. Probably the most common, with the increasing complexity of business (particularly technology, marketing, and PR), it makes sense to outsource.
Who will be your potential clients? Will they be small firms, nonprofits, or major corporations? After that, decide on how you will market to them. This could be everything from advertising, to networking, to cold calling.
Some jobs are ongoing, such as marketing and public relations. But if it’s something short-term, you might want to take on contractors. This will allow you to staff your projects better, keep your overhead low, add some flexibility.
Many people want to start their own business. A consulting firm can be a great idea, and if you follow these pointers you’re off to a great start.