You may aspire to open your own independent consulting firm, but do you have the tools to make it successful? It’s not as simple as hanging a shingle.
If you’re considering becoming an independent consultant, follow these three tips to create a smooth transition and a steady foundation for your business.
1) Be Specific – Your business should be focused on a niche area within your industry. Attempting to cover too many topics will only result in not covering any of them well.
Ever heard of “Jack of all trades, master of none?”
Keeping your business specific shows your clients that you are the most informed person to consult on their needs, rather than someone who’s just vying for the biggest client list.
2) Get Consults – Setting up a consulting practice is no small feat, and there’s no shame in asking for help when you need it. In fact, when it comes to financial or legal matters, seeking out professional help can keep you from falling into trouble down the road. You can hire a financial advisor or legal counsel, or just seek out another consulting firm that specializes in whatever part of your business you need help with.
3) Make a Team – Chances are that the early stages of your business will be just you. This means you are responsible for every part of your business, from accruing clients to making the coffee.
If you don’t have the capital to hire fulltime staff, consider delegating some of the everyday administrative work to freelancers, or investing in software that will make tracking your work much faster. This presents more costs upfront, but in the long run gives you more time to build your client base and create a feasible long term plan for your business.
4) Build your base– David Krysh, Greenville-based consultant and owner of The Alternative Board Upstate SC, warns against relying on a single client. “Developing a business with a larger number of clients reduces the dependency of income from only one client,” Krysh says. From there, Krysh recommends creating some form of monthly retainer, which smooths out the typical spikiness of income in consulting. With a lower monthly commitment from a greater number of clients, you’ll be able to build a stable consulting business with long-term growth potential.
Solutions for Your Business
You’ve built your business from the ground up. As your community bank, our goal is to offer the financing options to put your business on the track to success. Talk to a Countybank Relationship Manager today at 864-335-2400.