Consulting business have been striving for more than 20 years. More and more specialists come along for the ride these days, partly thanks to the digital development that gives access to information. For experienced independent consultants and consulting firms it’s a chance to become more successful with the help of technology, while for the newbies it’s a chance to get into the business.
Why Going into Consulting Is a Good Idea
It’s a profitable area that always needs new people. The more businesses emerge, the more advisors are needed in the field. Talking numbers, in 2016, the value of the US consulting industry grew 7.1%, reaching $58.72 billion, which shows just how fast this area grows.
Besides, it’s a diverse market, as companies may need an advisor for anything from staff management to cybersecurity. So, if you think your current specialty won’t draw interest, think again. For example, who thought gardening is a good niche to start a consulting business in? Nowadays it’s one of the most profitable consulting areas, along with advertising, career counseling, and IT.
What It Takes to Start in Consulting
Simply speaking, anyone can become a successful consultant. For that, you need to be an expert in a particular field willing to share your knowledge. Here are some basic things to do if you’re going to start a consulting business:
- Make sure your knowledge is up-to-date.
Get some modern literature on your specialty to make sure you’re aware of the latest news, strategies, and methods in your field. For example, if you’re aiming at small business consulting, would be a good idea to read the articles on small business and entrepreneurship gathered by a professional blogger Daniela Bucatele.
- Check whether you need special certification.
Consultants in certain niches may require a certificate or a license, so make sure you know whether you need one before opening your office. For example, fund-raising consultants don’t need any special documents, but the National Society of Fund Raising Executives can certify them upon request.
- Estimate the cost of starting your business.
It’s difficult to start any business without money at all, so make sure you do the math. This information will help you set financial goals prior to and during your first steps as an advisor.
- Start building/improve your network.
Your network is just as important as your knowledge when it comes to starting a consulting business. If you already have one, check it and improve if necessary. However, if you don’t have one, make it one of your top priorities. This will help you get recognition and your first clients.
Consulting is no longer just a job, as hundreds of experts create their own consulting companies or work as self-employed advisors. It opens new possibilities, both career- and money-wise. You don’t require special education (although it will increase your value), only the knowledge of your field and experience that you can prove. However, before you start, think about whether this is the right option for you. Aside from considerable expertise, a successful advisor must be good at time management, communications, and stress resistance.