Post a new topic
    2 Replies Latest reply on Oct 16, 2008 1:46 PM by Lighthouse24

    Creating a Consulting Practice

    LUCKIEST Guide
      Consulting is expected to grow more than twice as fast as all other occupations.

      Five Steps to making the Transition to Consulting,

      Know what you are getting into (Market and sell your area of expertise)
      Set up your business (Write a Business Plan, Talk to SCORE)
      Befriend your competitors (Consultants should refer one another to clients)
      Name your price (Determine a fair rate)
      Spread the word (let everybody know about your new line of work)

      Good luck, LUCKIEST
        • Re: Creating a Consulting Practice
          LUCKIEST Guide
          SCORE "Counselors to America's Small Business" is a nonprofit association dedicated
          to educating entrepreneurs and the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide
          • Re: Creating a Consulting Practice
            Lighthouse24 Ranger
            Yes, Luckiest, a weak economy and job losses always lead to more people starting up their own consulting practices. Everyone has heard that about half of all small business start-ups fail within the first five years, right? Well, about 98 percent of new consulting practices fail within 5 years. It's a tough business (and I speak from 20+ years of experience).

            One reason is because there is a lot of stuff embedded in that simple step you mentioned: "sell your area of expertise." First, a potential client has to believe that he/she has a problem that he/she can't solve unless he/she gets outside help from someone like you. Second, the potential client has to have the money available to pay someone like you to help solve it. Third, the potential client has to know you exist. Fourth, the potential client has to be convinced that you are more capable than any of your competitors of helping him/her solve the problem. Fifth, you actually have to know how to solve the problem (which often means that this client's once-in-a-lifetime issue is one that you've been through several dozen times already). Sixth, you have to get the client to take the action they need to take in order to solve the problem (I have a client with whom it took about 6 hours to find a solution to their latest crisis, and then another 6 days to convince the two managers who got them in that predicament to take the action necessary to get them out of it -- lots of organizational "politics" to deal with). Seventh, while you're busy dealing with THAT client's problem, you also have to be actively selling your expertise to the NEXT client. Eighth, while you're busy doing both of those things, you also have to keep reading and learning to stay on top of whatever is evolving in your field of practice (to keep your expertise from becoming obsolete).

            Every day is different and somewhat unpredictable. You don't get many breaks (and if you do, you're not generating any revenue). I like that situation and seem to handle it well, but not everyone does. As unexciting as a "normal" job may be, it offers a degree of security and stability that some individuals and families need.