You want to start your consulting business and you are wondering where to start? Here is a list of recommendations that will allow you to be up and running quickly and stay focused on the essentials. Get business.
launching its consulting business
Many consultants start their consulting business by spending tremendous energy on establishing their structure and structuring their offer. If this approach seems logical, it often leads to the postponement of income generation for several months.
Here are some examples :
- Find the name of your company, its logo, its legal structure …
- Identify the domiciliation, create business cards, get equipment in computer equipment …
- Develop an offer and a complete methodology …
- Set up a professional website …
Which leads, after 3 to 6 months, having invested between 2000 $ and 10 000 $, to have an offer that has not previously been validated by the market, and especially, to have created recurrent costs (accounting, bank, insurance, rent …) that add significant pressure. This pressure can then push you to accept missions and conditions of realization which are the opposite of what you wanted when you decided to engage in the way of the council.
Of course, in the medium term, you will have to make this type of investment, but would it not be better to think differently? Here’s how :
- Get started in a professional activity that matches your personal goals,
- Identified real growth drivers that will facilitate the generation of new income,
- Have factual elements allowing to count on the adhesion of the market to your offer,
- Limit your financial exposure and start generating profits.
I propose a simple 4-step approach that can help you achieve these goals.
Continue reading: How to get professional credit for your business?
1 – SET THE FRAMEWORK FOR YOUR CONSULTING BUSINESS
It is important at first to explain the reasons and objectives for which you want to launch an independent consulting business. Objectives of independence, the flexibility of schedules, personal development, social action, etc. Take the time to list about fifty items (minimum) corresponding to what you do not want (or more), what you would like and how it would translate into everyday life.
Take into account the factors that seem essential to make this professional challenge a real passion and that can trigger a powerful motivation engine.
Gather your thoughts around 5 axes (more or less) that will represent the reasons why you wake up every morning with the desire to fight and live your day. Reasons that will allow you to overcome the difficulties and difficult times common to all companies. Reasons not limited to you, but larger than you.
In short, your daily source of inspiration.
This will have a triple advantage:
- Ability to cope effectively with periods of demotivation,
- Give a real personal dimension to your consulting business,
- Inspire others (including your clients) by demonstrating a unique strength of conviction.
This is an essential step that few consultants formalize in a serious way, yet it is the source of your image and your communication. For my part, I do not hesitate to leave alone two or three days in places that have a very personal resonance and to lay these fundamental bases.
2 – DETERMINE YOUR SOURCE OF DEVELOPMENT
There are two axes here to explore. The first is based on your skills: whether technical, relational or organizational. You must have a clear vision of what your strengths and weaknesses are.
A simple way is to sit down with people you trust in your personal and professional environment and ask them that question. Try to understand their point of view the reasons and facts that make them perceive in you such strength or weakness.
The second axis is understanding the market you want to target. There is no secret here, you have to take your pilgrim’s staff and confront the segment you want to go to. It is not a question of presenting your potential services, but of understanding the problems, needs, and frustrations that your prospects may experience. Of course, focus on the problem that your services will cover.
During this phase, it will be important to understand in which specific places or events your prospects meet, the clubs they belong to, which magazines or reference websites they consult, which particular periods you can contact them (for example: for specialized consultants in the financial field, want to contact its prospects at the end of the month would be lost, they are all closed), etc.
Spend enough time on this activity and keep track of the discussions you’ve had by noting the specific language of the people you meet (vocabulary and key phrases).
You can now relate to your skills. And establish what could be a quality service that resonates with the needs and problems of your prospects.
Additional specific skills may be required to cover the entire service. You must then ask yourself the question of acquiring these skills by learning or by the partnership.
3 – DEVELOP THE SIMPLEST PACKAGE POSSIBLE
In this third step, you will build a simple presentation explaining:
- The need (s) and the problem (s) you answer: do not hesitate to dig a few studies and get key statistics.
- The answers you can give in terms of results.
- Tools, methods, concepts that show how you could help your prospects.
I mean by presentation simple slides very visual (diagram) and little loaded in the text. One message per slide, reusing the vocabulary and key phrases identified in step 2.
The goal here is to be able to test the reaction of your customers when they discover your approach. To which they react positively and where they are a little more cautious. I use a presentation on a tablet that I regularly share with prospects, confirming the understanding of the problem or frustration they are experiencing and offering the opportunity to confront them with new perspectives.
Regularly adjust this presentation according to the reactions and do not hesitate to create several versions of slides according to the audience that you are confronted.
The best places where you can test your package and meet prospects are professional events on specific topics and places such as sports clubs or associations of which you are a member or future member. The information collected during Phase 2 will help you to identify these places accurately.
4 – PICK UP YOUR FIRST MISSION
This last phase is not the most complicated. When you have a discussion with a prospect who shows some interest in your approach. Simply invite them to a more in-depth discussion of these issues to explain how you can help them. The ” interview matrix ” and the 100 questions from the consultant will be of great help to you.
For this step, keep in mind that:
- The key is to bring value to your customer and not sell a mission. Your client must perceive this approach in the relationship you establish with him.
- Amount of the benefit is not your main concern here. But the purpose is to get a recommendation and a list of other people to contact.
- The simple fact of making a proposal, to invoice, to perceive clearly how you can help your customers is an essential additional motivator at the beginning of the activity.
These 4 steps can be realized in less than two months, they will allow you:
- Establish a broader offer based on a real customer problem,
- Limit running costs to their simplest expression. For this first mission, you can use wage porting.
- Obtain useful recommendations for your future development,
- Confirm or not your desire to continue in this activity,
- Pave the way for other missions.
Your turn now…
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