Become a Business Consultant

Every day, small businesses and companies grapple with all sorts of problems. Business owners and executives sometimes have no clue as to how to handle these challenges which make their jobs more difficult, or cost the businesses to lose money.

These people need help.

And if you’re the type of person who can help these companies come up with solutions to their problems, you can have a successful career as a business consultant.

I’ve enjoyed the life of a business consultant for the last 8 years, and I can tell you that businesses of all sizes, and in all industries respect business consultants, and rely on them a great deal to help their businesses succeed.

What exact types of problems do business consultants help clients solve?

Any type of business problem:

  • Reputation Management
  • Increasing sales
  • Improving productivity and performance
  • Improving communication
  • Team building
  • Improving operational efficiency
  • Financial Audits
  • Risk Assessment
  • Insurance
  • And the list goes on and on

I know consultants who specialize in working with businesses in particular industries like manufacturing, health care, or waste management. There are other consultants who work with clients in a variety of industries, but concentrate on specific business functions, such as marketing, human resources, or information technology. and then there are those who specialize in certain industries and functions.

In my own case, I currently work as a high performance coach and marketing consultant focusing on Africa. With many western companies expanding to Africa, I get to help them reduce turnover and maximize performance through the implementation of high performance leadership and marketing principles.

There are many consultants who go on to work for large consulting firms; but there is huge opportunity for those who want to have their own business or work as freelance consultants.

If you have a decent amount of knowledge in your area of expertise, you can become a consultant helping businesses solve their problems, and earning a decent living for yourself.

And you can do all of this without any large start-up costs. In fact, you probably already have all that you need – a computer and phone – and much of your business is likely to come through low-cost marketing such as networking. This is what I do.

You can also start on a part-time basis, while keeping your current job as your primary source of income. Then as the demand for your services grows, you can commit to consulting fulltime if you so desire.

While many consultants do have Master’s degree, it is not a prerequisite. As a matter of fact, you don’t even need a degree to become a consultant. There are many independent consultants who don’t have degrees.

But they have education. And there’s a difference.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 28% of consultants do not have a degree of any kind. When I first started consulting, I did not even have a bachelor’s degree.

Those who succeed in this field of independent consulting are the ones who are constantly learning and improving themselves so they are able to serve their clients better.

The bottom line here is, if you have the ability to solve a business problem, and are confident enough to sell your services to senior management, you will get projects.

If you want to know if consulting is the career for you, here are some questions you need to be asking yourself:

  • Do people frequently ask for your advice?
  • Do you enjoy finding solutions to problems?
  • Are you a critical thinker?
  • Do you know a variety of problem-solving techniques?
  • Do you enjoy doing research?
  • Do you have a good vocabulary?
  • Do you avoid using jargon or technical terms that others may not understand?
  • Do people consider you to be a good listener?
  • Do you understand non-verbal communication such as body language?
  • Do you have excellent written communication skills?
  • Are you comfortable speaking in front of a group?
  • Do you have project management experience?
  • Can you see the big picture and break it down into manageable components?
  • Are you well-organized?
  • Do you meet deadlines?
  • Do you have experience leading teams?
  • Are you ethical in all your business practices?

Small Business Consulting

Small Business Consulting – A Very Crucial Element in Business

Small business consulting companies offer a wide variety of services. These services can be utilized before a company begins to operate. In order for a business to be successful, there are many things that should be done from the start.

The small business consulting, research, planning and training can be done in any area of the business. A consultant is considered an expert in the area they specialize in. The services and advice they offer are based on experience and knowledge. It is important for a company to work with a consultant that knows what they are doing.

Customer service is probably one of the most important areas of a business. If a company doesn’t have customers, then the business ceases to exist. One of the small business consulting services that can be offered focuses on the customer. A consultant can offer customer service training and customer loyalty training. Some people may think there isn’t a difference between the two, but the truth is, there is a huge difference. Customer service helps get a business off the ground, and customer loyalty helps keep it that way. To put it bluntly, a customer will pay their payment, but a loyal customer will make their payment on time.

Another important small business consulting service is branding. A consultant can help with the branding of a company, which will create public awareness of the business and their product. When branding is done properly, it can provide consistency in advertising and marketing. Branding can also help a company’s product standout against their competition.

Every business needs an excellent leader. Developing good leadership can be obtained with the use of small business consulting. The consultant can provide leadership training, management team development and employee training. All of these things go hand in hand when it comes to having great efficiency. When a company is run by a person with great leadership, this can allow the company to stay ahead of the competition.

Even after small business consulting services have been used and results are obtained, they can still be used as a method of prevention. For example, a company used small business consulting for employee training and leadership development. By continuing to use these services, the company can increase their chances of profitability and growth.

Procurement is another area that can be handled with small business consulting. A company needs to make sure that they are getting the product they asked for at the right price and in the time they need it. Procurement is practically handled on a daily basis. A consultant can help with things such as developing a procurement strategy, cost reduction, and value purchasing. By assessing procurement, a company be assured that they can provide their customers with the product they offer, at a fair price and have it there when they want it.

Small business consulting involves problem solving. Consultants are often referred to as problem solvers. When a company has a problem that arises, it needs to be handled as efficiently and as quickly as possible. Many problems may go unnoticed because the person in charge has a lack of time. A small problem can turn into a huge one very quickly. It is wise for a company to have someone on hand that can address problems as they occur to keep this from happening. If a company has someone to help with potential problems before they even open, this could help them in the future. A business needs to start out with as few problems as possible. A consultant can help with the problematic areas of the company, giving the manager or owner the time they need to focus on other areas of the business.

Small business consulting services can be used either short-term or long-term. It really depends on the nature of the business and how many issues exist. Either way, having a consultant as a right hand man can be very beneficial for any business. Many business fail because due to lack of knowledge and experience. These are two key components that a consultant has. Small business consulting can help a company rise to the top. It can ensure that the company has all of their ducks in a row, so to speak. If a person owns a company that is having issues or if a person is looking to open their business, it would be a wise investment to seek assistance from a small business consultant. By having a consultant on their side, it is sort of like having their own little insurance policy. A consultant can ensure the company that they will do everything to reach the goals the company has set. The company’s mission then becomes that of the consultant.

Small Business Consulting Opportunities

Small Business Consulting Opportunities Are Endless

In reality, anyone can become a consultant. Small business consulting opportunities today are endless. If you have an area that you are extremely knowledgeable in and you have the drive and passion for excellence, you could become a consultant.

Many of the small business consulting opportunities do not require any special training. For example, if you are really good with computers, the software they use and network security, you could become an IT business consultant. Perhaps you are very creative and knowledgeable when it comes to marketing. You know how to take a product and make it sell. You could become a marketing consultant.

There are a few things you should keep in mind when browsing the small business consulting opportunities available. The first thing to consider is the qualifications that are needed. Is the area you are considering something you could call yourself an expert in? Are you familiar with the current information that is needed? For instance, when it comes to becoming an IT consultant, you would need to be knowledgeable with all of the current computer information. Technology is constantly changing and you have to know all of the up-to-date information. Another thing you need to check on is if there are any special certifications or licenses that are needed. While some companies may not require you to have a degree in a certain area, they may require you to be certified. Organization is another key factor when researching the small business consulting opportunities. You need to make sure that you are able to handle time management and be prepared when you enter into a situation.

Small business consulting opportunities are readily available to those people who are critical thinkers. A consultant is known as a problem solver and in order to solve issues effectively and efficiently, a person has to be able to demonstrate problem solving. A consultant works side by side with the business, therefore communication is important. A successful consultant must have excellent communication skills. They also need to have leadership skills. A consultant has to lead a company to success, and in order to do this, they have to lead. When a consultant comes into a company, the people there are relying on them to take their company to the top. The consultant has to take the lead and run with it, take control of the situation.

With so many small business consulting opportunities in many different areas, pricing is very important. A consultant needs to know how to set an hourly rate if their services are used by the hour. If a company uses them on a day to day basis, then the consultant needs to know how the prices for daily rates. Some companies will need a consultant to help with projects. If this is the case, a consultant needs to know how to bill their client by the project. When a company uses a consultant on a monthly basis, then the consultant would charge a monthly retainer. A small business consultant usually makes a substantial amount of money and pricing is the key element into turning those small business consulting opportunities into a success. Many consultants will require their client to pay a deposit beforehand. There will be occasions where the consultant will pay for expenses out of their own pocket. It is important for them to know how to get reimbursement from the company they are working with.

There are many areas of business, making the small business consulting opportunities endless. A great consultant has to have knowledge, passion, and understanding. There are thousands of people who have knowledge that they didn’t even know existed. Once they tap into that knowledge, educate themselves even further and put that knowledge to use by helping others, they are considered a consultant. A business consultant is the most sought after because there are companies developing all over the world.

One of the best small business consulting opportunities is being your own boss. You can set your own hours and pay, which makes you the boss. Of course you have to work certain hours, especially when helping a company with a project, but you basically are in control of that also. You just have to determine when the project needs to be done and how many hours it will take you to complete it. In reality, you have the most control over your work schedule when you become a consultant. You set the prices you are to be paid, and if you are an expert in a certain area, it is up to you to make sure your prices are set to what your time is worth. You are in complete control!