How to Become a Professional Consultant
The dictionary defines a Consultant as “an expert in a particular field who works as an Advisor either to a company or to another individual.” This seems vague but Consultants can work in a variety of specialist areas including; Management, Marketing and IT. In 2015 the industry had a market value of £6 billion in the UK alone. It is an expanding field that more and more professionals seek to transition into. But how can you become a Professional Consultant? Do you need specific qualifications? These steps will guide you along the journey to becoming a self-employed professional Consultant.
Find Your Niche
Identify where you have built most of your skills and experience throughout your career. For instance, if you’ve spent time working in IT you could transition into a consultancy role easily. But if you’ve only worked as a copywriter you may struggle to convince potential clients of your necessary skills in the IT industry.
Acquire Certifications and Licences
Depending on the business area you are hoping to consult in – there may be specialist certifications you need. You may want to join the Institute of Consulting or you may want specialist accounting certificates or you may want to take a course in strategies of consulting. These can all help you win more clients and heighten your professional appeal.
Choose Your Target Market and Research It
Every consulting niche has different markets – the first choice is simply between individuals and companies. But you will also think about the type of consulting you want to focus on. Researching these markets will also demonstrate the amount of work you can expect. And it will give you ideas on how to encourage these markets to take on you and your services.
Determine Your Goals
Set long and short term goals to focus the growth of your consulting business. Be realistic with these aims don’t expect to be the Consultant to a major blue chip corporation in a month. But also be ambitious and push yourself towards growth and expanding a regular client base. This will provide a good foundation for your business going forward.
Build A Home Office
You will need somewhere to work from and it is very expensive to hire an office just for you. It is also impractical to hot-desk in different locations because it limits your ability to be contacted. A home office can save you a lot of money and gives you a regular office to work from.
This is the primary way you will be able to build a large client base. You need to let people know who you are and the skills you have. Attend industry events and talk to as many people as possible. Services like LinkedIn are also useful when it comes to building a digital network.
Set Your Prices
Keep your credentials and experience in mind whenever you are doing this. Set prices in reference to this and the demand for your type of services. Also when starting out bill on a project basis as opposed to hourly. It will make your fee appear more reasonable and may help you get more clients.
Brighton School of Business and Management offers a range of professional courses that will help you become the best consultant you can possibly be.
For further information about our courses, please see our website: brightonsbm.com