Why Choose To Become A Business Consultant?
If you are considering becoming a business consultant, what do you need to take into account in this process?
What is a Consultant?
A Consultant is described in the Oxford English dictionary as “A person qualified to give expert professional advice”. Before you panic and, if you are like me when I started my consultancy, think that you do not have expert status, let me show you how to ensure that you do obtain such status.
Qualification in my opinion does not an paper qualifications which, as with my legal qualifications, did not help me to do my job well. I am a solicitor in case you are wondering, but left practise to set up my marketing consultancy in 2003.
So qualification definitely relates to your ability to give advice which will improve someone else’s business. Therefore, if you have worked in an industry, or you develop your niche, as discussed in other sections of this website, you will very soon be qualified to give expert guidance to your clients.
Therefore, you can quickly become a useful, qualified business consultant, but do you want to do this?
Helping Other Businesses/People
This may sound corny or tacky, but I generally am extremely satisfied when I help my clients to achieve more results. When I take some action which immediately leads to an increase in their profits and their turnover, this gives me a great deal of satisfaction and is an essential part of the reason why I run a marketing consultancy.
Sharing my client’s excitement for their business allows me to really enjoy what I do. Many of my clients have become personal friends as well as business clients, and this has been achieved through working together and achieving a common aim: “Growing their business” with them.
If, up until this time, you have worked for other people, you will no doubt have had great satisfaction when you have completed a task well and received praise and feedback from your employer. That praise and feedback will now come from your clients, and most importantly will lead to the payment of your consultancy bills. If you naturally gain satisfaction in this way, then running a consultancy is going to be a very rewarding experience for you.
When running a consultancy, your overheads to establish your business are minimal. You are most likely to run a business from home to start with, as I did initially, only moving into offices when I needed more space. Many business consultants choose to work from home full time or work from their clients business premises. However, if you do decide to work from home you only need a computer and basic software to get started.
Therefore, the overheads in setting up a consultancy are incredibly low. I would advise you to obtain professional indemnity insurance from the start of your business, as this will give your clients belief or reassurance that in the event of your advice costing them any expense, this can be recovered. Apart from this, the overheads for running a consultancy are very low indeed.
Consultancy Versus Agency
If, like me, you aim to provide marketing consultancy services in helping your clients to generate more business, but also to manage development of design projects, such as brochures, websites etc, then you could also class yourself as a marketing agency. I believe that the significant difference is that as a Consultant you will be establishing yourself as an “expert” in your sector. In my opinion, this is far more valuable, and therefore profitable, than simply selling agency/design services.
It will allow you to charge a premium for your service that you could not necessarily do so as an Agency. Also, you will be constantly promoting your name through articles, your website etc. It will establish credibility and profitability. Many times over the years of running my consultancy I have been up against marketing agencies for the design of websites and brochures, and more often than not I have been asked to help the client manage the process and choose the design agency to manage the project.
This has been despite the fact I have been up against the latest “Young and trendy” agency. As someone in my forties, and with a very fashionable wife, I do not think I could ever be classed as young and trendy. However, I have won the business. This is in my opinion, the best reason for choosing to run a Marketing Consultancy over and above running a Marketing Agency, but I am sure there are many people with huge design teams who would tell you differently. It is a matter of personal choice, but one I am very happy that I made on the side of a business marketing consultant.
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