Setting up a business comes with a variety of complex preparations and strategic thought. Your own experience, knowledge and specialisms can be a foundation to a successful consultancy business. A successful consultant is invaluable to a company as they help a business to tackle challenges they are not able to face on their own. It is not an easy route to take, but with well-thought-out planning, setting up a consultancy business can be financially and professionally rewarding.
What is a consultant?
Put simply, a consultant gives professional or expert advice. A consultancy business works with clients on strategy, planning and problem solving. This can include a variety of tasks such as interviewing employees, presenting recommendations, offering ongoing support or modelling outcomes.
What skills do you need to be a consultant?
As a consultant is an expert in their field who provides expert advice to companies and individuals, a consultant typically works with a business or individual on a short-term or part-time basis to address specific issues. When considering if setting up a consultancy business is right for you, here are some skills that a consultant should have:
- Strong interpersonal skills
Clients are going to expect big results. Therefore, it is important that you are prepared to deliver.
Find your consulting niche
As a consultant, you should know your product, market and skills. It is possible to offer advice on an expansive range of issues faced by clients, such as reaching the next stage of growth, downsizing or going more digital.
There are many consultancy businesses out there, so in order to succeed you will have to:
- Pinpoint which industries you know well
- Consider what the market needs
- Utilise your current skills
Clients will look for consultants that have specialisms. If you can find a niche, discover the issues that can surround it and then create solutions to fix them, then you will be on a track for success.
How to start your consultancy business
Being a consultant requires having solid industry experience under your belt and a good skill set in order to effectively communicate your knowledge. Reassurance that you can provide valuable advice for your potential clients is essential.
We would advise utilising a business plan – a business plan is an important step that shouldn’t be left out when setting up a consultancy business. A plan will help you to visualise what you want to achieve as a business and how to do this. Think of your plan as an instruction manual on how to run your business; it is imperative to success.
Register your business
Deciding how best to operate as a consultant is a significant step as it involves choosing the best route in terms of company finances and taxes. Namely, whether you decide to register as a limited company or a sole trader. Furthermore, you will need to make sure your business is insured. Having the right business insurance from the outset means your business is in good stead.
Find your first client!
Existing networks are a great place to start, meet with business and get talking. Alternatively, join new networks and search online directories. You should also create a great website, optimise for search engines it with the right keywords and start promoting and advertising.
It is also important to note that there is plenty of scope to grow. If you can create a valuable and unique service, then there is no reason that you can’t expand in the future, and it’s a good idea to consider how you will do this when writing your business plan.
Tips for business success
- Know your product, market and skills
- Make use of your network.
- Create an online presence as a consulting business.
- Start small to demonstrate your skills.
- Consult CBM group for a comprehensive business plan.
If you want to set up a consultancy business and would like help with putting together your business plan, get in touch! Contact us online using the form on the right or call 01604 420 420.