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!
Patience, coupled with good general business management, and proven consulting business growth strategies, will however, put you on the path to long-term success.
The Four Pillars of a Successful Consulting Business
Almost every consulting business has the following core practices at its heart:
- Processes are results based. All business planning and implementation of methodology have one thing in common: it works towards the ultimate goal or result the client desires.
- Client relationships are productive. Happy clients are repeat clients. They also provide invaluable referrals. Make sure your clients are happy, and your business will flourish.
- Focus on success. By being success oriented, rather than dwelling on setbacks or failures, you enable yourself, and your business to be adaptable, and adaptability, to any small or new business, is key.
- Finding and filling a niche. Trying to compete with 100 other businesses just like yours, except more established, will never be the route to success. Find your niche, and watch your business grow!
By following these simple rules, combined with patience, business savvy, hard work and dedication, you should be able to build your consulting business idea into a reality. Which brings us to the final step.
The Exit Strategy
If you have not yet developed a business plan for funding, you might not know how critical the exit strategy is to potential investors.
And if it is that important to them, it should be just as important to you!
You need to decide early on whether your ultimate goal is to sell the business privately, keep it in the family, or list it. Either way, you need to know practically from day one what your plan is, so that you can avoid future pitfalls.
Choosing the wrong legal form, or building a business where you are the core of the business can cause problems later, as the company is so tied to you, that you struggle to extricate yourself, as the business is unable to function without you.
If you plan to sell the business at any point, you will need to address those issues from early on; otherwise, you will sit with major headaches later on!
Again, it becomes clear that simply being on top of your game is not enough when venturing into the consulting field. You will need to take into account many different issues, and require a high level of business savvy and a healthy appetite for risk.
Do not let that sway you though – if you are determined and dedicated, you will find a way to succeed, and you should always do your utmost to reach your goals and dreams. Just put a little more planning in before taking the leap!