The Basics of Business Consulting: Starting Small While Thinking Big

By J.B. Maverick

2 min read

Opportunities for freelance consultants are steadily growing. There is a strong demand for freelancers in nearly every industry, especially for business consultant freelancers. However, jump-starting your consulting business takes time and know-how. Freelancers often dedicate years toward developing their ability to find and build a clientele base before they bringing in regular profits. Being a freelance business consultant requires a highly skilled individual who can remain patient while getting established in the business.

Qualifications

The first step to building a freelance business consulting career is to determine whether you are qualified. If you did not go to school for business or get a degree in business, finance or consulting, potential clients will be less likely to trust your counsel. If you have previous work experience in the business world or have previously worked as or for a consulting firm, you are better prepared to start your own consulting business.

Make sure that you have the knowledge needed to address the clients you are assisting. Consider being a specialist consultant, consulting only for certain types of business. This makes it easier to develop a well-rounded knowledge and understanding of the clients you will be consulting for.

You must also determine if you need certifications or special licencing to begin your consulting business. This depends on where you live and the statutes or laws that govern the area where you will be operating your consulting business. As a business freelance consultant, you may need a special licence or permit to operate, or a certificate that permits you to provide counsel to specific clients. If you specialize in working with one type of business client, determine if you are required to have any special certification.

Getting Started Small

The easiest way to get your consulting business started without a lot of expense is through networking. Start with individuals you already know – friends and family – and work outward from there, connecting with friends and acquaintances of your family and friends. Even if the people you know have no use for business consulting services, they may know someone who does.

In the beginning, it is okay to have a small client list. As you provide excellent advice and deliver on promises and agreements made with clients, your business will be shared by word of mouth. You can also ask existing clients to refer other possible clients to you.

Thinking Big – Setting Goals

As you develop your initial customer base, set some goals for growing your business. Setting short-term and long-term goals will help you stay on track in moving your business ahead. Short-term goals might include getting a certain number of clients or advertising your business through social media. Long-term goals might include the purchase of an office building or hiring a team of employees. The important thing is that you continually plan ahead and take the necessary steps to steadily grow your business.

References & Resources

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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