7 steps to start a consulting business in side
You have stayed in your field long enough to be called ‘the expert’.
You have given it a deep thought. And you are longing for something more than the perks at work.
If you have the passion and drive for excellence, then now is the right time to start a consulting business on the side.
Think about the flexibility, scalability, working on your own terms and networking as some of the benefits that come with consulting. It is definitely a worthy proposition.
Here are 7 steps to kick-start the side business –
Step 1. Identify your core strengths
Are you updated with the latest industry trends? Are you organized and like working in teams? Does networking and problem-solving come naturally to you? If you answered yes, you are ready to dive into consulting. Remember, your strengths can bring the most value to your business.
Powerful ideas to start your side hustle in 2020. Read Shaunta Grimes’s blog
Step 2. Expertise + your niche
Having a speciality will differentiate you from the others. Identify what your particular gift is and market that to your specific audience. Carve out your own niche that will be of value to your clients.
Step 3. Is there a target market?
You have a brilliant idea – GREAT! But is there a market for your idea? Your expertise must be capable of being monetized. Find your target audience and if you can prove to them that your consultancy will help them either make money or save money, you have a valuable and desirable service.
Step 4. Why would an organization hire you?
Organizations hire consultants so that they can bridge the gap between where they are and where they desire to be. Sometimes they are too close to a problem to identify it. As a consultant, if you can objectively help them overcome their challenges, there will always be a demand for your services.
Step 5. Structure your plans
It is advisable to put together a business plan and a marketing plan before approaching your first clients. Have an attractive website, clean social media presence and business cards ready. Put down your contract, deliverables and timelines everything in a boilerplate proposal so there are no doubts later.
Step 6. Landing your first set of takers
Reach out to referrals from past clients and employers or do a cold sales pitch to test the waters. Then, craft a winning proposal and ensure you and your client are the right fit for each other. Under promise and over perform is the key to success.
Step 7. Keep finding new clients
Word of mouth is a very powerful tool to attract new clients. Positive references from a client will help you grow and widen your customer base. Networking is also an effective way of pitching to new clients. Participation in conferences, blogging, and webinars display your thought leadership in the field which brings in new and repeat clientele.
When you follow this guide to start a successful consulting business you will land your clients one after the other and gain momentum very soon. Consulting is all about the results you deliver so ensure that your foundation is built on the undisputed value you offer to your clients.