So You Want to be a Consultant?
You’re a great problem solver, you love helping businesses improve their performance, you like variety in your work, the high hourly rate charged by the larger consulting firms looks pretty appealing, and you like the idea of being your own boss. But do you have what it takes to be a consultant?
Successful consultants have distinct qualities:
It’s Not For Everyone
Consulting has its drawbacks. It usually involves a lot of travel to your clients. It’s not just about the assignment. Consulting can best be described as a three-legged stool. The first and easiest leg is doing the consulting assignment itself. The other two legs are the business development leg and the administration and collections leg. Without all three legs the consulting stool just doesn’t work. And many consultants aren’t good at or don’t enjoy all three aspects of the job. Consulting is a very competitive business. Everyone claims to be a good problem solver. You need a unique value proposition and the ability to very quickly demonstrate that value. Another frustration articulated by new consultants is that they rarely get to execute their outstanding recommendations. It’s harder than it looks. Typically, consultants need to work an extra 30% to 50% beyond actual billable hours. If you want to bill 40 hours, you are typically working 60 hours - traveling plus maintaining your expertise and marketability. All this while in airports, hotels and on planes.
Ready To Press On?
If the disadvantages don’t bother you and you feel you have the right profile, here are a few tips to increase your probability of success.
If the stars appear to be aligned, prepare a one page consulting capabilities statement with your vision, a few related selected accomplishments (pulled from prior consulting or regular employment) and a brief biography at the bottom of the page.
Get your first customer, preferably a retainer. If necessary, do a little free consulting to build your portfolio. But be careful. You will soon discover that “free” is a four-letter word in the consulting business: set clear expectations and avoid project creep. Do a great job, ask for referrals and in your free time, create your web site with plenty of space for the testimonials you will receive.
Good luck and happy hunting.
John C. Decker is an Executive Vice President with TMI Executive Resources.
Republished courtesy of RetirementJobs.com
Originally posted at: www.experisjobs.us
You’re a great problem solver, you love helping businesses improve their performance, you like variety in your work, the high salary looks pretty appealing, and you like the idea of being your own boss. But do you have what it takes to be a consultant?