A business consultancy provides a service to its clients in a specific area. Business consultants are expected to have extensive knowledge of the area in which they operate so that they can bring their clients’ businesses up to a high level in that field. Examples of these niches are marketing, payroll, accounting, SEO, website design, IT, and performance management. Once you have identified where your skills lie, you can embark on setting up your business consultancy with these five tips.
Choosing your market segment goes hand-in-hand with building a profile of your ideal client. Determine what expertise, experience, and interests you have. Be certain of your ability to deliver results. Consider the market potential to grow your business to the size you want.
Client criteria must be specific. For example, do you only want to deal with companies that have 100 – 1000 employees? Should they be in retail, online sales, or customer care? With a clear picture of your best-fit client in mind, you can target your marketing efforts appropriately. Don’t make the mistake of wanting to reach far and wide as this will prevent you from deepening your value to your clients.
Create a value proposition for your ideal client. Remember to speak to the client, not yourself. The recommended formula for this is stating who will be helped to solve what problem to achieve what result and ending with why they should choose you. For example, “We help small business owners improve employee productivity to increase their bottom line. Our combined team has over 25 years of experience in this area.”. Make sure to differentiate between the solution and the outcome. You may offer a software tool to measure productivity but if the result is only a 20% improvement, the client will not be happy.
You need to get your value proposition out there to attract clients. Design a professional website. Pay attention to SEO. Include your message under your email signature and place it prominently on your website. Used LinkedIn and social media.
Bear in mind that between providing a service to existing clients you are still spending half your time acquiring new ones and your pricing must reflect this. Clients prefer a fixed price to an hourly or daily rate. Nevertheless, you can double your hourly wage when you worked full-time and multiply it by the number of hours a project will take you. Times the sum by a factor of 1.5 as many things can delay a project, including from the client’s side.
Errors and Omissions Insurance
Make sure that you are covered by Errors and Omissions Insurance (E&O). When running a consulting business, there are times when these professionals are accused of not fulfilling a written agreement, an expensive mistake, or professional negligence. Even if a judge rules in your favor, there will still be upfront costs to pay. When you get E&O insurance you will not have to worry about this.
With this simplified guide, you can get your consulting business up and running in no time at all.