Small Consulting Projects and Clients: Are They Really Worthwhile?

Video Blog Summary:

The question today is should you ever take on a small project?

Does it make sense? Is it worthwhile? Is it a good strategy?

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Well, let’s explore this together.

In the vast majority of cases, I would suggest against taking on smaller projects. Why? Because when you work on larger projects you have the ability to create greater value for your clients.

Create Greater Value

And as you’re creating greater value and working with larger clients on larger projects it also allows you to earn greater compensation.

You can make a lot more money by working with larger clients on larger projects than you can with smaller clients on smaller projects.

There are certain situations where taking on smaller projects really does make sense and can be a very effective strategy.

Going back to what I shared in the previous video around value versus volume, if you’re working with significantly smaller clients on smaller projects you’re really creating a volume-based business because you have to work with a lot more clients in order to earn the same income that you could achieve with working with significantly fewer clients at higher fee levels.

There are certain situations where taking on smaller projects really does make sense and can be a very effective strategy.

When You’re Getting Started

The first is if you’re just getting started as a consultant. You have expertise but maybe you haven’t put that expertise out into the marketplace yet, and so by working and taking on smaller projects it allows you to start getting results for clients that you can turn into testimonials, create case studies around.

You can then take that consulting expertise and that experience that you’ve now developed as a consultant into the marketplace and start to use that to land more clients and to build up your track record and experience as a consultant.

Rapid Growth Potential

The second situation where it makes sense is to take on a small project with a potentially small company but that has the ability or really the growth potential to rapidly increase in size.

What I mean by that and a great example of that would be a startup company. Let’s say they’re pre IPO or they’re not yet a public company but they have great technology or a great product, and you really see huge potential. Maybe they’re the next Twitter, the next Google, the next Facebook, whatever they’re going to be.

You know that working with them even on a small project, even if they can’t yet pay you the big fees because their revenues aren’t yet growing rapidly but you know and you can see and believe that their revenues can really grow and scale up very, very quickly so it’s worthwhile for you to engage with them.

You’re not thinking only short term. You’re thinking longer term and you see the potential for you to work with this company now even at a smaller scale and level, but knowing that it’s going to become a much larger company very quickly.

That also will translate into you being able to work on larger projects for that larger company and then earning higher fees because that company will scale up.

Passion should play a role in the decision that you make in terms of the strategies and approaches that you choose. If you’re really passionate about working with smaller clients or taking on smaller projects, that’s great. Enjoy that.

Many times, when you’re getting into a company like that at the ground floor who really has the potential to grow very quickly – you can arrange equity deals, you can get shares – so that provides a lot of potential.

There are some dangers around that and I’ll explore that in a future video if you’re interested, so let me know. Certainly, working with a startup company where you see that potential is another situation that makes sense.

Looking Up

The third situation is taking on a smaller project but at a larger company. This is a great way to get your foot in the door.

You see the potential to work with that larger company but maybe you see it as being difficult to land a much larger project.

Especially the first time because it’s your initial engagement with them, and so starting off with a smaller project can be a great way to build that relationship.

The goal is to prove and to show your expertise, to demonstrate value to that client.

Doing that can then very quickly turn into you working on larger and larger projects for that large client.

Don’t Forget Your Passion

The fourth situation – and this one’s really important, it’s one that many people don’t discuss enough – but it’s passion.

Maybe you just enjoy working with smaller clients or smaller projects. That’s what your passion’s about. Maybe for you income generation and revenue growth isn’t your number one focus, or maybe it isn’t even your big focus and that’s totally okay. There is no right or wrong around that.

Passion should play a role in the decision that you make in terms of the strategies and approaches that you choose. If you’re really passionate about working with smaller clients or taking on smaller projects, that’s great. Enjoy that.

Create the most value that you can with that environment and in that situation, but also know that the type of project that you choose really does influence the type of business that you have.

Revenue and Large Consulting Projects

If you’re thinking about revenue generation and if you really want to grow your income, then doing it only through smaller projects and with smaller clients is much more difficult than creating opportunities and using the right structures and the right fees and strategies where you can work with larger clients on larger projects.

That will get you to higher revenue and income levels much faster.

Want More Clients?

If you’d like to learn how to consistently attract more ideal clients speak with Michael. Each week Michael selects a few consultants to speak with about the opportunity to join his Marketing for Consultants Coaching Program. These calls are for consultants who are action-takers and committed to success. If you’re looking for coaching and help to grow your business request your call with Michael today.