In the consulting business, the product is you. Strengthen your brand and make sure you attend a pain point that people are willing to pay for.
Consulting is one of the lines that require less investment to start. However, it is not exempt from all the challenges faced by most: the business plan, the legal constitution, the search for markets, the first sales, the partners.
This type of business also poses its challenges, since the product offered in this case is none other than yourself.
To successfully undertake this line of business, take into account these seven keys:
1. Focus on the requirements of your clients
When choosing the specific area in which you will offer consulting, it is easy to fall into the trap of choosing the one you like the most. Yes, this criterion is important, but so is the fact that there is a real market need.
Business sales will be directly proportional to your effectiveness in communicating. Your message must express, without a doubt, what is the need – or pain point – that you solve. The clearer the idea, the less time it will take to get you back on track to income.
2. Make your business plan
Once you have raised the need you serve, ask yourself where you want to take your business. How can you get there, earn income, and build a long-term relationship with clients? Think about how you will get results in the short term because the clock starts ticking from the moment you decide to start.
These points will be reflected in your business plan, which must contain at least:
- Description of your company
- Market study
- Competitor analysis
- Sales and marketing strategies
3. Strengthen your brand
In addition to a solid portfolio and a resume that supports your experience, it is also necessary to show the approval of others towards your work in these times. It would be best if you considered at least these strategies:
- Publications. Write articles on platforms such as LinkedIn to strengthen your professional profile.
- Presence on the web. Open a website where you display your portfolio and post testimonials from former bosses, co-workers, and others you have worked with.
- Positioning. If you are starting your career and don’t have enough experience, the good idea is to do your first job for free or nominal. In this way, you will get the first testimonials in your favor.
4. Seek help
Get the advice of other consultants or entrepreneurs in your sector. If you don’t know someone, find a mentor, or take courses that will allow you to clarify doubts or keep up to date.
Seek the help of a mentor or catch up on courses in your area.
5. Never stop marketing
A common problem among small business owners is neglecting marketing while working on a project. The bottom line is that after the project is done, there is often no next customer. And downtime can last for days or weeks.
A good habit is to execute marketing strategies daily. Also, at the end of projects, it is useful to ask for references and recommendations.
6. Stay focused
Many consultants fall into the trap of addressing issues that are not really in their areas of expertise. Sometimes the problem is that they are working with clients who are not in their market. The more specific the niche you are targeting, the better your service will be.
7. Look for productivity
The fact that a consultancy does not produce something physical does not mean that it is technology-free. Adopt the applications you need to automate your tasks, manage your clients’ projects, and manage your own time.
And don’t be afraid to hire a fresh pair of eyes, or ask for a favor, when you feel like your productivity has reached its limit. Getting stuck with a customer sometimes prevents us from seeing a problem objectively.
As you can see, none of these points is the selection of an office found. This would be one of the least relevant aspects when starting. If you have an outgoing personality, and need social contact, consider renting a co-working space. But never neglect the most important thing: the intersection between what you want and what people need.