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3 Ways to Choose What Consulting Services to Offer First

By Michael Zipursky

It’s time for another Q&A session folks. This time we got a question from Warren T from New Zealand.

Warren sent in several questions but we’ll answer the first one here.

Warren says: “I’m in the stages of setting up my offline consulting business, and (one) main issue have I need help on is (deciding on which) main services I should provide first?”

This is an interesting question. At first it seems obvious…but as I read it over and thought about it I realized it’s a great question.

Potentially you’ll have several consulting services you can offer new clients. Which one do you choose to focus on?

Let me give you a few guidelines:

1. Stand out

Promote a service that helps you stand out in the marketplace. If everyone says they are a ‘management consultant‘ and that they “help companies be more efficient” you don’t want to say the same thing. It can be the same service worded in a different way that is clearer and easier to understand the true benefit of it. Ideally you’d find a service to offer that others aren’t.

2. Your skills

What are you skills. If you’re starting with a new client you want to make sure that you’re confident that you can provide results. This is especially important early on so that the client will be more likely to have you continue working with them.

3. Every situation is different

Maybe you have 3 main skills and services you can offer. Choosing which one to promote and suggest to a client depends on their needs. That’s why you should always learn as much about your prospective customer beforehand and at your first meeting. Figure out where there needs are and then offer up a solution to those needs that you can provide.

Thanks for the question Warren. If you have other suggestions for how to select which consulting service to offer first, please share in the comments below.

Send us your consulting question and we’ll do our best to answer it for you on the blog.

4 thoughts on “3 Ways to Choose What Consulting Services to Offer First

  1. Danny D says:

    This is quite helpful indeed. I've contemplated this myself and I'd like to say thank you for sharing so much.

  2. Ankur Lakhani says:

    Hi, I am based out of Mumbai, India. Currently, my firm's at an infancy stage. Can't afford to have high fixed costs right now for the fear that it would make my pricing uncompetetive. Wanted to get your perspective on the following questions that I am groping with for sometime now: (a) "How important is it to have his/her own or leased office for a consultant?" and (b) "how can I improve my reach w.r.t. new clients?"

    • Ankur – welcome! I'd advise against paying for an office until you have sufficient funds and business coming in. Many consultants prefer working from a home office as it allows them to spend more time working vs. commuting, cuts down on costs and allows them more family time.

      There are other consultants, however, that find it very hard to get work done at a home office – too distracting…and need to get into a 'work only' location to stay more focused. If you find yourself in this second group, that's fine. You can look for low-cost shared offices or coworking setups where many people can pay a low fee to share a large space.

      Keep in mind, for most clients where your office is located is irrelevant in comparison to how well you can deliver the results they are looking for.

      Sorry, but I don't know what you mean by "w.r.t"

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