According to the Wall Street Journal, US businesses spent $58.7 billion on consulting in 2016, and the spending is increasing greatly every year. This is a great time to get into the consulting business if you want to get successful fast. But setting up a consulting business isn’t easy; business owners require the right strategies and assets in terms of human resources and networks to succeed at consulting. This article focuses on five brilliant tips that you can use to build a successful consulting business.
Identify a Potential Target Market
When building a consultancy business, you are likely to face tough competition and challenges in establishing your value. To overcome these hurdles and generate revenue, you need to have access to a high-potential target market. In other words, you need to know exactly where you can attract your business. Ask yourself the following questions to identify this market.
- Who is your ideal client and what challenges is he/she facing?
- What are the goals your ideal clients are chasing? How can you assist in achieving them?
- Who exactly can benefit from your skills or offerings?
- Which industries can you lend your expertise to?
- How exactly can you reach your target market?
Determine Your Unique Value
A successful consultancy business hinges on your being able to establish a clear, convincing value. That’s why you should spend a sufficient amount of time crafting the email or phone call script on which you will share this value with clients. The first time you speak to a potential client, what will you say? Some of the most successful consultants use smart decks of slides or case studies to woo new clients. When starting off, having these assets is unrealistic, but you should have a plan to create these assets starting from the beginning. Try to quantify your value, without making false promises. Make your value proposition very clear, so clients are convinced of what you have to offer and want to take a bet on you.
Ensure Efficient Delivery of Your Unique Value
Promises are easy to make, but hard to deliver. This is especially true when you are starting a business. There will be many hurdles and kinks in execution that you may not have predicted in advance. For a consultancy, delivery is all. Your reputation in the market depends on how you manage your first few clients. Further, many consultants are known to make big promises and not deliver on them. That’s why it’s critical for you to focus on customer experience. Here’s how you can do that.
- Plan how you will deliver value. What tangible products will your clients receive? What audits, reports, suggestions will be part of the package?
- What are your clients’ expectations and how will your products compare to those expectations?
Ask the Right Questions
Before taking on a client, it’s important for you to know how exactly they can be helped. This can be determined by asking the right questions. Questions remain at the heart of a consultant’s services even after a client is signed because it’s questions that will tell you what you can offer each client. In the consultancy business, each client is unique. You can have general products that serve many clients, but it’s important for you to tailor each product to perfectly suit the client. Ask your client the following questions before you sign them or begin providing solutions:
- What’s your business model? What are your goals? What are your challenges?
- What challenges do you need fixing? What will fixing those challenges be worth? What have you tried so far to fix those challenges?
Get Insured to Safeguard Your Business
Why does a consultancy business need to be insured? Well, if you are a consultant and sole proprietor of your business, you are completely responsible for the business both financially and legally. And there are many situations in which you can get caught in financial and legal hassles. For instance, you could be held responsible for the consequences of the advice that you provide to certain businesses. You could also face liability issues for bodily damage or injury caused as a result of your advice based on negligence. That’s why you should consider investing in liability insurance for consultants. Here are the types of consultancy insurances and information on what each one entails:
- Professional Liability Insurance – This insurance protects your business against the negative consequences of your services, actions or recommendations.
- General Liability – This insurance protects you against costs of injury, defamation, libel, and slander.
- Business Owner’s Policy – This is a convenient way for consultants to get the combined benefits of both the above insurances.
The consultancy business can be super-profitable if you figure out the right formula. This post gives the tips you need to get started.