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How Do I Start a Consultancy?

By pokey221 ·
I'm unemployed (laid off) and thinking of starting my own consulting business. Any words of advice or caution?

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How Do I Start a Consultancy?

by timwalsh In reply to How Do I Start a Consulta ...

Probably the biggest caution is don't expect this to solve your unemployment problem any time in the near future. Your also going to have to shell out some bucks to begin with without any income coming in. You will need a business license, advertising (even if it's just in the phonebook), business cards (ties in with advertising), etc.

You need to realistically look at your skill
set(s) and your strengths and weaknesses.

You need to look at what work opportunities realistically existfor your area of expertise in your geographic area. If you live and want to work in an area where consultants are a dime a dozen, what makes you stand out from the crowd?

Many of these questions are part of putting together a business plan. A business plan will include such things as: what are your skills, what type of work do you want to pursue, what is the target audience in your area (who are your potential customers) for this type of work, how do you intend to reach these prospective customers, what is your strategy to make you stand out from the crowd, what are your short-term/long-term business goals, etc. Without a solid, comprehensive business plan to FOLLOW, you may just end up spinning your wheels with less money in your pocket than when you started.

One key piece of advice to remember whatever you do: A consultant (especially starting out) will live or die by his reputation.

Hope this gives you a few things to start thinking about.

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How Do I Start a Consultancy?

by pokey221 In reply to How Do I Start a Consulta ...

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How Do I Start a Consultancy?

by Shanghai Sam In reply to How Do I Start a Consulta ...

It's been 2 mths since the original post, but as someone who has earned a living for 20 years as a consultant, this is a hot topic for me.

Everytime the job market takes a dip, herds of unemployed decide to hang out their shingle and call themselves "consultants". It's gotten to the point where "consultant" is nearly synonymous with ?I?m between real jobs". People look at the freedom of the consultant with envy ? we don?t have to get dressed to work, we can work at home, we don?t have to answer to anyone, we can play hooky whenever we like. . .On the surface, it looks great.

But can you handle the flip side? 6 mths without work. Not knowing when your next paycheck comes in. Going to a movie because you can?t stand looking at the same 4 walls anymore. Answering to unreasonable clients. And travel is a lot less glamorous during a 4-hour delay in Atlanta airport due to thunderstorms.

Consulting is a business, and if you?re serious about being a consultant, then run your business like a business. Set up a real office space, even if it?s in your home. It can?t double as a guest room. Make sure you have at least a year?s worth of expenses saved. Remember that some expenses will go down (like gas for the car), but others may go up (the a/c runs 24/7 now). You?ll have to stock your office. I recommend not buying anything until needed -- cashflow is everything to a new business.

Create both a business plan and a marketing plan. You?ll have to make a million decisions ? company name, format (to corp or not to corp?), logo, website, domain name, business cards, services offered, contract terms, rates, target markets, how best to reach contacts, etc.

Consulting is rewarding, for those of us who love it, but if what you really want is security, opportunity and a steady paycheck, keep looking.

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How Do I Start a Consultancy?

by pokey221 In reply to How Do I Start a Consulta ...

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