What Do You Need To Start A Consulting Business

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Starting any business is challenging, but starting a business where your goal is to help others run effectively is doubly difficult.

What Do You Need To Start A Consulting Business

What Do You Need To Start A Consulting Business

If your field is HR (including company workforce management, sourcing, selection, hiring and compliance assurance), the position would be a good place to start when deciding how to start a consulting business (workflow management), technology (preparation and implementation of new software solutions) or other consulting services that help business growth and development.

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In these categories, the client wants guidance, but doesn’t want to bring on the consultant full-time. This is where you come in. If you have knowledge and experience to offer and like the idea of ​​being your own boss, you may be about to start your own consulting business.

As business processes become more complex and our economy becomes more global, the need for good consultants has never been greater. According to IBISWorld, consulting industry revenue will exceed $261 billion by 2020.

“Now people are told you’re an independent consultant,” says Christy Hopkins, founder of 4Point Consulting in Chicago. “I do HR consulting for several small businesses around the country and I offer different services depending on the client. The same job can be done in different ways if the culture and needs are different.”

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Once you’ve identified a niche for the type of consulting you do, consider the following steps to establish yourself as a leading voice in the industry.

Companies often hire consultants to solve problems they cannot solve themselves. Otherwise, why would they pay someone who knows nothing about their company to come and tell you what to do? When starting a consulting business, it is important to have deep knowledge in a specific area to bring value to your clients.

There are many types of consulting to consider for your business. For example, if you know a lot about computers, you can set up shop as an IT or computer consultant.

What Do You Need To Start A Consulting Business

There are also plenty of opportunities for PR experts, accountants, digital marketers and people with a mind for business strategy.

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Assess your strengths to see if they can help you. It’s important to take a good look at your weaknesses or missing skills so you can work to fill those gaps. Also note that depending on your area of ​​expertise, you may need specific certifications or licenses before becoming a consultant. For example, if you are a fundraising consultant, it helps to be certified by a national fundraising executive.

Once you know your niche, consider what questions, problems, and issues companies have in your chosen area of ​​expertise. It is not enough to have strong skills and a lot of knowledge in your field. Businesses will find themselves treading water if they don’t have a problem that your board can solve.

The best way to find out what your market wants and needs is to ask. Start by searching online for blogs in your niche. What do thought leaders write? Where does it seem like there is a lot of confusion? Is there a heated discussion about a particular topic in a forum or comment section?

You can find pain points in your market by tapping your network. For example, if you want to start a digital marketing consultancy, who can you think of who owns their own business, works closely with digital marketers, or is a digital marketer? You know a lot of people. Ask them about the challenges they face in achieving their short-term and long-term goals. Then find out how you and your business can help.

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As an independent consultant, it will be up to you to grow your client base and ensure that the business runs at a steady pace. This is best done through marketing, but as always, the best marketing is organic marketing.

Hopkins began his career with a simple posting on Upwork, a freelancing site a few years ago that was less popular and, according to Hopkins, had more lucrative contracts. Hopkins says her first clients are still with her and she needs no introduction.

“I’m very lucky to build my business regularly. I don’t know if it’s normal, but my personal experience is that I do the best I can. I’m very honest, I’m ethical. , I don’t. I’m too expensive, I’m willing to work on a budget, and that results in a lot of organic referrals.” he says

What Do You Need To Start A Consulting Business

Business owners have two distinct advantages with organic marketing. First, business owners can get to know each other and give you referrals. As with love, if you work well with someone, you will work well with their friends.

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The second aspect of organic marketing is cost, no. “I have details about how much it works for the business, because it’s free,” Hopkins says with a laugh.

Hopkins has built his business on technology tools that allow him to build and maintain relationships with his customers, potential employees and supporters.

“It uses three types of recruiting software to help you post jobs: Web-based software,” he says. There’s MightyRecruiter, a system that integrates True, Monster, LinkedIn, and every job site you can think of to save time and focus applicants in one place. There is a good recruiter zip for low level jobs. LinkedIn has a two-tier recruiting service for providing applicants or referrals.

MightyRecruiter is $300 per month, while ZipRecruiter is $1,000 per year. LinkedIn RecruiterLite is $150 and Corporate is $700. In total, Hopkins pays about $500 a month for these recruiting tools, which give him access to people looking for everything from food jobs to data scientists.

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Hopkins offers video conferencing software for about $200 a year to better communicate with clients.

“Those who know me click and feel,” he says. “They know I’m 5’2″, big figure, blue eyes, talking with my hands, and they get it all even if I don’t. office space”.

Beyond these consultant-specific tools, new consultants should invest in the same things that almost all small business owners do: creating a website ($2,000 for a large, walkable site and about $200 for hosting) ), set up business cards, set up an LLC (state-to-state cost (varies by state), open a checking account and business credit card, and hire an accountant to audit books and returns of taxes (about $700 per year for a small business).

What Do You Need To Start A Consulting Business

Finding (or finding) an employer to help you depends on how much work you do. Working seven days a week and 12-hour days isn’t sustainable, no matter how Zen you are, and it’s certainly possible if you’re successful in growing your business.

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Hopkins sees no benefit in doing more than you can handle at the moment. He hired an assistant who lived abroad and worked part-time at a dirty consulting firm.

“I can work with a client, put together a specific [job description], and they can find resumes, people, LinkedIn profiles, which is an uphill battle, and I can spend those hours,” he says. “He also has his own business, and we have a B2B relationship, some months he logs 50 hours for me, other months he does nothing.

He Skypes with his assistant, an American living in Budapest. He wouldn’t hire anyone from outside the U.S. “because there’s so much talent,” but the two hit it off immediately over Skype. Otherwise, he might hire an intern or two at his old school.

Having an amazing skill set, a solid marketing plan, and the latest tools means nothing if you can’t make and close sales. Convincing potential clients to choose your consulting business starts with your elevator pitch.

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Your elevator pitch should be a short and sweet description of your audience’s problem, the solutions you offer, and how you differentiate yourself from the competition. Even if you’re passionate about the services you offer and the industry issues you see, that’s important.

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