You have probably wondered how to become a consultant and what a consultant does. If you plan to become a consultant, you should have a better idea of the business and how to set it up. Next, we will try to define the role of a consultant in the best way. Use affordable tools for startup. Here, we’ll discuss how to become an independent consultant and what character must he/she should have.
The task that has a consultant is to provide advice to a person or organization on different issues of a specific niche. Now we have more or less an idea of what it is let’s dig a little deeper into the subject.
How to become an independent consultant?
Become an independent consultant is not a hard process. You need some qualifications and qualities we have discussed below. Let’s discover:
Step 1: Identify the niche in which you have experience and knowledge
That’s right; you must identify well in which niche you have experience and knowledge. For example, we may have an interest in a niche such as computers. But that does not mean that we can be an independent computer consultant because we do not have the knowledge and experience required. Now, if you know about computers, both hardware, and software, you can work for a period to gain experience and then if you plan to set up a computer consulting business.
Step 2: Acquire licenses and certifications
Some consulting companies do not need to have training or certifications. However, if you plan to work as an accounting advisor, you need to obtain certifications professionally from an accounting institution.
Also, you must consider the requirements of the licenses to be able to start the consulting business. Both state and local guidelines may require a particular license to work as an independent consultant.
Step 3: You must decide what are the short and long-term objectives
If we excel in a niche that has good prospects, such as a business consultancy, professional consulting or a computer consultancy. You can create an optimistic image of the customers that can be expected, due to a large number of potential customers.
Keep in mind, that each company requires a time to grow, become known and established. If we lack the time and effort to start, we can end up failing.
Step 4: Choose your target market
A good market must be chosen because if the target market is up to people who do not have money, it will not do much to put effort into a project that will not go anywhere. The first thing that must be done is to be clear if you are going to advise people or companies.
Step 5: Investigate the target market
Many people and organizations require consultants for many factors. For example, a tax advisor can offer help to a millionaire to plan their taxes. A computer consultant can help the employees of a large company to learn the basics of the software. A human resources consultancy can help large companies to implement policy changes.
Once the target market is determined, it is required to discover the different ways in which you can help. This can help us to market the consulting business. Therefore, it must be said why our clients need us.
Step 7: Create a network
If nobody knows our services and if we do not know anyone in that field, it is very probable that bankruptcy will be found quickly. That is why it is important to build a network as soon as possible. A base of contacts will guarantee us to have different sources to find a job.
A social network or a professional network can help us to market and publicize the business. References are also an excellent way to find work in the niche.
Step 8: Fix the rates
When you first start, you may not receive the fees you want. The charges should increase as we become known as an advisor. For this, experience and credentials must be taken into account, as well as market conditions, target groups and the number of competitors. Also, you must decide how to invoice customers. Hourly billings can be a convenient method, but the problem is that many customers think that they charge a lot for the hour. Therefore, it is best to use a billing method that is based on the projects in total.
Step 9: Organize advertising and marketing
Many people may not be aware that they need our services. Therefore, we must organize marketing, to let potential customers know that they require our services. At present, there are many ways to promote a business. The first thing to do is to allocate a budget for advertising and then if, look for the means by which to advertise.
Step 10: Determine if subcontracting is required
To manage the tasks of the business more easily, you can outsource staff to delegate some tasks of the business. If you subcontract staff to cover the services, you must ensure that they have the experience and the corresponding credential to be able to work.
Characteristics of an independent consultant
Many times own knowledge not enough to move our project forward, and therefore it becomes necessary the presence of a franchise consultant capable of giving us help. The options are many; it is a matter of assessing who will commit to our needs 100%.
Our job will be to choose who can advise us correctly to make the right decisions regarding the businesses in which we are involved. Below we give you a series of guidelines to which every franchise consultant must respond.
1. Specialized knowledge
It is recommended that the knowledge I can provide you with is certified and that you are an up-to-date person on the latest trends, methodologies, and strategies to apply to the business in which you are or will be involved.
Your consultant must have experience in the development, management, administration and operation of franchise chains at the local and international level. Many years of experience are required to form a franchise consultant.
3. Success stories
Obtain a list of references that the same consultant must provide and discuss with a representative sample. Find out if those who have offered their services have been satisfied and if the consultancy has been useful. If there are more cases of failure than success, then think twice before going with it.
4. Established methodology
Every franchise consultant must have a proper, proven and effective work method that demonstrates that good results will be obtained. If you do not follow a methodology and only throw ideas into the air and how they come, then it means that no professionalism covers the capabilities of this person.
5. Trust generator
The way in which you attend, listen and seek solutions is relevant because if you do not feel confident, the collaboration will be impossible. From the first contact with the franchise consultant you can identify this point, good communication from the beginning becomes a guideline that will indicate a positive or negative work relationship.
Remember that you attend so they can help you, not to harm you and end up worse than you started. If you feel that the franchise consultant you are attending does not yet fully own or has the characteristics mentioned above, you are fully entitled to continue evaluating options until you find the right person.
The importance of choosing an independent consultant is essential since they are the true guides along the way. Do not forget: with your experience; they will give you the necessary bases to develop a successful model.