Managing a Consulting Project

So you’re embarking on a new consulting project. While securing a new client is great, the project itself can prove to be disastrous if you don’t take a few precautionary measures, particularly if you have just recently started a consulting business.

Quite often, working relationships fall apart as the result of miscommunication, or worse, total lack of communication. In order to keep the lines from getting crossed between you and the client, it is crucial to get everything in writing before the project officially begins.

Taking Control of the Project
Of course, project details should be at the forefront of early discussions. Most of the time, you will be the one responsible for identifying the scope of the project, and rightfully so. Your expertise and skills are perfect matches for the job, which is exactly why you chose to pursue a career in business consulting. It is necessary for you to grab hold of the reins and ask the right questions to uncover the details related to each project this – will help you to establish an agenda that keeps both parties in the know. Continue Reading

Is Life as a Business Consultant Right For You?

Let’s face the facts. No doubt, very few of us spent our childhoods dreaming of becoming a business consultant. However, if you are already involved in the world of business or find yourself intrigued by the latest developments in the field, you may be on your way to a new career. Size doesn’t matter when it comes to this industry; as consultants provide a variety of services to new entrepreneurs, small business owners, and fortune 500 companies.

What does a Business Consultant do?
They offer a long list of services that range from marketing techniques to technological advances. Basically, by joining this lucrative field, you would become responsible for the future of another business. While that may seem a bit harsh, that’s the mentality needed to be successful in this game.

Sure, we all want to reap the benefits of our own successes but before you jump in feet-first, you have to realize what the business consulting industry is all about. There’s no room for an inflated ego here; success is determined business by helping owners and managers achieve their goals. Ah, it’s a selfless life. Continue Reading

Advertising for Consultants: Giving Your Message Meaning

It doesn’t matter if you specialize in marketing, SEO consulting, or IT, you should only advertise with purpose and a strategic plan. Generally, one-dimensional advertising is ineffective and lacks foresight by the cost-conscious consultant. One-dimensional advertising is like one roll at the crap table. Basically the advertiser is throwing a message out and hoping is takes off.

Advertising that works should be multi-dimensional and must engage your viewer in such a way that they are compelled to respond to your consultancy’s offer. Once the prospect responds, you should already have prepared a professional response and follow-up plan dedicated to providing excellent service and developing leads for your consulting practice. This is a nice way of saying that you should not advertise unless you are prepared to follow-through! Your follow-up needs the same attention as your initial advertising message. If you need help putting this kind of advertising plan together – hire a consultant that is experienced in this area.

Any advertising consultant with a proven track-record knows that strategically coordinated advertising campaigns boost prospect’s awareness of your practice. Like all aspects of your marketing plan, the goal remains increasing the leads for your consulting firm. Continue Reading

Putting Consulting Proposals Together

Your firm has received a request for a consulting proposal (RFP). A solid proposal will give you a good shot at getting the new project. You need to do a thorough job because if you don’t your “hungry” competitors will. Especially when you’re just staring out in the business of consulting there will be lots of pressure to pull a proper proposal together and submit it before the competition gets their act together.

Many consultants are under the false impression that the first proposal received is the first proposal considered. If you have ever watched figure skating competitions, you know that it is an extreme disadvantage to be the first skater to be judged because that skater’s performance becomes the standard to beat. This is often the case for the first received proposal. You do not want to be the standard to beat when it comes to proposal submission. Continue Reading

Advertising Methods for Business Consultants

Whether you’re just starting a consulting firm, or looking for more ways to market an existing business, there are probably numerous advertising possibilities you’ve overlooked. Here are a few methods that you might want to look into and consider.

Online Advertising
Considering that most people turn to Google, and not the yellow pages, when looking for goods and services these days, it’s certainly a good idea to consider advertising online.

Google and Yahoo, the two top search engines, both have very reasonable pay per click advertising packages, which can yield great results, as do many smaller search engines.

You could also look for advertising space for sale on popular sites, or on the sites of organizations involved in your niche market.

Another option, depending on your services and target market, is to submit your site to one of the growing numbers of online business directories. Some are free, others charge a nominal fee, but they are becoming a popular marketing choice. Two paid directories that are highly trusted are Business.com and the Yahoo! Directory. Continue Reading

It’s all About Location – Where to Start Your Business

When you are starting a consulting business, choosing a location for your business is one of the major steps. If you are on a budget, as most new businesses are, a home office will be your first choice. Here are some hints and tips to make working from home a little easier.

  • Choose an isolated area. A desk in the kitchen is not going to cut it – distractions abound, and while some people may be able to work in chaos, it’s not conducive to good concentration, so rather avoid it!
  • If you are working from home, look out for facilities in your area that offer boardrooms or meeting rooms to rent per hour. These facilities are invaluable to a home based business owner.
  • Make sure your office is well equipped. Even though you work from home, you still need to be organized. Getting the necessary filing equipment, stationery, computers, printers and a to do board, along with other office essentials, will help. Continue Reading

Taking Care of the Finances

As a new business owner, wanting to start a consultancy you are probably raring to go. Excited to get your new venture off the ground, and not thinking much about financial management.

Stop.

Financial management is one area of business where you simply cannot afford to fly by the seat of your pants. If you don’t stay on top of this, you can end up in very big trouble with tax authorities and other role players, so make sure you have it all wrapped up.

There are a few key people who will be involved in your consulting business’s financial management, and we have outlined these people, and there roles, below. Continue Reading

Take the Leap and Become a Consultant

I agree that launching any new business is a risky and daunting task, but,  there are a few things you can do to make sure your transition from salaried employee to full time business consultant is as easy and painless as possible.

Start Working Part Time
If you are really serious and want to become a consultant, working at a part time job as you get established is one of the best ways to go about it. Of course it takes long hours and dedication, but you do have the opportunity to fund the start yourself, with your salary, and possibly, if it is the same industry, make invaluable contacts!

Even a few hours after work every day, and on weekends, can have you on your way to your own consulting business faster than you think! Continue Reading

The Consultant’s Blueprint to Success

Your consultancy’s business plan is now structured. You have defined your product line, established your value and targeted your clientele. You are rightfully pleased with your progress.

Now is the time to build a blueprint that links your marketing plan to your consulting company’s future. The good news is that you can chart this course right now. After all, you have identified your strengths, recognized your weaknesses and planned a profitable marketing strategy. Now you need a master game plan. Continue Reading

Starting a Consulting Firm and Growing It!

You have probably spent a pretty penny and read exhaustive texts on starting a business consulting firm. Good for you – knowledge is power.

But, what you may not have considered is the business of growing your business, or, equally importantly, what your exit strategy will be.

Growing a Consulting Business
Here comes some not so good news: a consulting business generally takes around two years to become successful.

That means, if you were hoping for overnight success, you have probably been barking up the wrong tree! Continue Reading