Consulting is a popular and lucrative career path to pursue. Ninety percent of consultants reported satisfaction with being a business owner and the consulting market in the U.S. valued at over $60 billion. However, there are key facts you should consider before launching your consulting career.
To become a successful consultant, it’s important to first define your role by identifying the existing gaps in a company’s workforce. Once those gaps are outlined, aspiring consultants should develop a deep niche, expertise and insight into those areas. Additionally, exploring top industry tools to familiarize yourself with different processes will give you an even greater competitive edge. To test your capabilities, start out with one-off projects while developing a community that can provide mentorship and support during your journey. Focus on specializing in one or two specific niches. Healthcare, education and Saas (Software as a service) are great industries to look into.
Once you identify your niche and define your role, building a portfolio will help prospective clients understand your capabilities. Expanding your network, positioning yourself as a thought leader through writing analysis pieces are additional ways to bring in new business. You can also leverage analytics by showing potential clients that your skills and expertise will provide an excellent ROI. While focusing on the services you provide clients is important, it’s also equally important to implement strong business administration processes. Researching project management tools, developing standardized emails, and creating strong communications channels will help.
Finally, it’s time to jump start your consulting business by reaching out to potential clients and convincing them to hire you. Improve your presentation, proposal writing and pitching skills. Clarify the value your clients will receive if they hire you. Make sure you are results oriented and able to execute your ideas.