Are you considering starting your personal consulting business? I have been there. Actually, I left a excellent job as a vice chairman in a market analysis firm to exit on my very own as a planning and market analysis consultant, and, after some rocky months initially, I made that work.
Turning into a consultant was how I made a living for 12 years between leaving Creative Strategies International and creating the product business for Palo Alto Software.
1. Take it seriously
Do it right. Stay aware of the old adage about a consultant being someone who’s between jobs. Avoid making that impression. Have a website and business cards. Establish a social media presence as a consulting business. Don’t let your clients or potential clients doubt you.
2. By no means apologize for being on your personal
Should you work out of the home, or a small workplace, don’t fake. Take conferences in your clients’ offices.
My favourite client, who was responsible for a serious portion of my consulting income for 12 years, once told me that “I just like the single shingle consultant, because I do not desire to pay for overhead, and I would like to cope with the one that does the work, not the one that sells.”
He was a powerful manager in a giant enterprise, and had budget to get brand-name consulting, however preferred the experience over the overhead.
3. If in any respect potential, begin with a consulting contract from the employer you’re leaving
Most successful consultants began out with one big reliable client, which is most typically the last employer. If that’s not understanding, you’ll be able to vastly scale back your risk by finding the one big client you want to survive.
4. Plan for late payments
I needed a bank line of credit to survive when big corporations paid late. And I could not problem my clients, because that they had signed the invoices and passed them on to the accounts payable perform within the client corporations.
You are going into a business-to-business world, which means that you simply flip invoices to your client and the client company takes weeks or months to pay.
Don’t problem your clients for prompt payment. Do discover who’s in command of payables, and keep yourself informed on payment schedule.
5. Beneath promise and over deliver
Repeat business is the important thing to success. It takes four times the resources to find a new client than to keep existing clients. Even when it is 3 a.m. and also you’re hating the job, stick to it to deliver your best work within the morning.
6. Start small to show your skill
For new clients, attempt to find a fast small job to show your skill without requiring the client to commit to a long run expensive job.
It is the equivalent of having a cup of coffee together before you take the weekend in Hawaii. It is also easier to sell an engagement when it starts with simply a first step, which means less of a commitment. And it provides you time to sell yourself.
7. Get your schedule and deliverables well outlined, written down, agreed upon, and signed
Expect scope creep—clients asking for more after they’ve agreed on deliverables and worth—and cope with it delicately, suggesting the additional work wants additional fees. This is among the hardest issues you will have, and there are not any straightforward solutions.
8. Write a boilerplate proposal
Do a boilerplate proposal that features pre-written text on your background and qualifications. Give the client the peace of mind of seeing the formality of a proposal with a lot of background.
9. Avoid long legal contracts
You are not going to sue your client in order that they do you no good. Make it straightforward on yourself and your client by offering a easy commitment letter. And if the client wants you to sign a contract, when you have to negotiate key points related to intellectual property and work product, then do—however attempt to avoid it.
10. Don’t drag on with sad, unprofitable, or unproductive clients
If there’s constant pressure and complaining, don’t hearth the client, however do propose three or four times what you’d normally charge if that client asks for a follow-on job. In case your client is disastrously late to pay, you’ve an sad client. Don’t fight with them, you’ll be able to’t win. Explore what the actual drawback is. Write off the debt. Go on to the subsequent engagement.