Should You Start Your Own Consulting Business?
Consultants are experts in their respective fields that offer their knowledge and expertise to businesses, organizations, and individuals to help solve a problem. The term consultant covers a wide array of fields from police work to marketing, from industrial waste to rocket building. This variety is one of the reasons why the field of consulting is quite popular.
Another reason may be the fact that it’s not difficult to start a consulting business. You just apply for the required papers, and you can call yourself a consultant. However, the question is not how to open a consulting business, it’s should you?
There are plenty of reasons to start consulting business, but before you start justifying your idea, let’s first have a look at the questions you should be asking.
Do you Have the Skills?
At the base of a consulting business stands the skills required for you to provide reliable and accurate advice and guidance. Now, it’s important to understand that there’s no need for advanced diplomas or proof of excellent results in your field (of course, it helps to have these).
Still, to start a consulting business, you must be knowledgeable of the field you are consulting in. Whether you are helping people develop personal brands or businesses build a better sales process, you should be experienced and capable to provide original insight and actionable guidance. Also, you should understand the scope of responsibility and work you are about to take on your shoulders. Do not try to do everything on your own. If possible, it is a good decision to outsource some processes and focus on the most important tasks on your own.
Do You Have the Confidence?
Sabri Suby, the founder of King Kong, one of the fastest-growing digital marketing agencies in Australia, said in an interview “I sucked incredibly badly at doing that in the beginning” (he’s referring to sales here).
However, he pulled himself together and learned how to improve his technique by doing the job!
This is extremely valuable advice for a consultant! You will never learn how to talk to people and how to deal with a consulting job if you don’t actually do it. So, do you have the confidence to take over your first projects?
Keep in mind that no one will listen to a consultant who is not sure of their own advice. You need to exude confidence and inspire people to feel confident in your ideas as well.
Is this a Viable Business Idea?
Of course, you also need to approach your business idea from a logical point of view, where you list pros and cons and draw a conclusion regarding viability. For instance, a new local consulting business may not work in an area where competition is high. Also, your niche may not produce enough high-quality leads.
So, to make sure your idea is viable, you may want to run a quantitative SWOT analysis to identify its potential. Furthermore, you should analyze the idea from the point of view of a startup and learn if it has what it takes to bloom into a full business. Basically, if your idea has the answer to a problem on the market, it shouldn’t have any viability issues.
Even experienced entrepreneurs say that sometimes it’s more about finding the problem than about being too analytical.
For instance, Grasshopper founder, David Hauser, recognized in an interview that his first business idea wasn’t based on a lot of research. According to him, “it wasn’t well-researched necessarily, beyond the fact that we knew we had a problem, and we thought that we could solve it”.
Can you be a Consultant?
Yes, anyone can offer advice (especially when it’s not solicited), but can you do this for a living?
Being a consultant requires an analytical mind, an attitude oriented towards identifying and solving problems, and people skills. It also requires that you be your own boss, which can be difficult if you’re just starting in the world of entrepreneurship.
Many people want to become an entrepreneur because they don’t like their current job and don’t have any prospects. However, when you have your own business, you face new challenges such as finding customers, organizing the finances, keeping track of expenses, and so on. Moreover, you must find the power to be self-motivated, especially when things don’t go your way.
Furthermore, as a consultant, you will have to deal with people face-to-face. Not to mention that it is your job to identify and pinpoint mistakes in their strategies, workflow, and even personal style. The way you communicate these flaws and the solutions you propose will be crucial in establishing a solid relationship with each customer.
So, even if you have the necessary skills and experience in the field, and your business idea is viable, you may not succeed as a consultant without people skills!
If the questions above don’t scare or puzzle you, then you are one step closer to starting your own consulting business.
Of course, there are other things to consider, such as identifying the right niche for your skills and convincing people to hire you, but it’s recommended to take it each step at a time. Also, be prepared for failure and learn how to use it as a teaching method. This is a trait that distinguishes powerful entrepreneurs from the wannabes.
Finally, keep in mind that owning a consulting business is not your final step as an entrepreneur. Being in close contact with businesses and organizations in your niche of expertise is a fantastic learning opportunity! You get to see and experience your customers’ mistakes, and you have the chance to suggest improvement methods and solutions!
At the end of the day, your knowledge of the niche grows with each new contract, thus offering you the chance to start a new business, where you already know all the nooks and crannies.