Building your consulting business may depend on hard work, determination, knowledge, and yes, a little bit of luck, but growing your business may require you to develop a stable of supplementary products and services, aside from your core consulting business.
Here are a few ideas for products and services you can add to your professional offering:
Write a Book on Consulting
Sounds obvious doesn’t it? But, bear in mind that writing a book can be a time consuming and thankless task! However, once it’s done, it becomes not only a great publicity tool, but also a revenue stream that requires little or no input from you!
Run a Workshop or Course
Again, this is great for credibility and your professional image. Whether it’s your own in house workshop, or serving as a lecturer for a local college or higher learning institution, teaching others about your field is a great idea!
If the workshops target your existing or prospective clients, make sure they offer practical, useable tips relating to your field, and keep the complex theory for the academics!
Sometimes, during the course of solving either a particular client, or your clients’ in general, problem, you will develop a specific software package or application.
Marketing and selling that application or software package to other clients with the same problem can become a lucrative additional income stream, and should be considered.
Business Tools or Equipment
Again, sometimes a client’s solution will require specific tools or equipment to be purchased, installed and commissioned.
For example, if you own and run an IT consultancy, and a client is concerned about computer security, you may suggest server improvements. As a part of the solution, you agree to source, purchase, install and commission the necessary equipment.
The markup on the equipment itself, or fee that you charge on this service will be an additional revenue, and further revenues could still be earned, if the client requires training of staff in the new systems as well.
Research, Reporting and Benchmarking
At the other extreme, sometimes, your sole involvement with your client’s problem will be to research and report on industry standards and best practices, otherwise known as benchmarking.
Other research and reporting may also form part of your services, for instance, if a client would like to know what the best solution to a particular problem is, and the associated costs and implementation requirements. Researching, and reporting findings to your client would be your involvement at that stage.
Of course, should the client decide to implement the researched solutions, you could be rehired to consult on that process.
Adding to your professional services makes you more marketable, while at the same time increasing your potential revenue. Some of these have the additional benefit of helping to increase your credibility and expert status, such as writing a book or hosting a workshop or course.
Spend a little time thinking about your business consulting practice, and what you can do to add to your services. You might be surprised at just how lucrative supplementary products and services can be!