Excerpted from the article:
“Some key takeaways include:
1. What’s the most important thing to consider when launching a consulting business (or any business)?Have passion for what you do, and be willing to take action on that passion.Don’t only work hard; work smart as well.Pace your growth. Fall in love with your idea, not with the hope of success.2. How do you develop yourself professionally and stand out online?Have proof of skills, build credibility, engage targeted areas. Make sure you are consistent and have a solid presence on key sites.Use curation to build your credibility. Share what you’re reading along with your insights to demonstrate your engagement.3. Now that we’ve figured out how to develop ourselves and find our passions, what are some of the best ways to find new clients?Establish yourself as an expert, build an online community, and volunteer to speak for free.Ask for referrals.Research your niche, identify those that would best benefit from your services and reach out to them.A good on-topic content strategy will naturally bring prospects and leads to your site. Be clear on what you are about.4. With socia media and digital marketing being a new concept, how can you lead prospects into deciding to go forward w/ this investment?Help them identify the gap – where are they now vs. where they could be with your services.Share case studies and previous clients’ outcomes.5. What kind of business model do you recommend to create consistent cash flow?Offer products and/or services that can be billed monthly.Take action and hit the ground running locally.Define your slow season and focus on developing new relationships during that time.Be careful with your expenses. Define what’s truly of value to you.6. What tips would you give to professionals looking to start their own firm?Don’t try to be perfect. Once it’s 70% – 80% ready, take action on it; you’ll figure it out!Ask questions and listen to your clients. Define what exactly they want and how you can provide it.Plan on one year of working crazy; constant marketing; find allies; start with one or two clients”
Good tips for those planning to take the plunge.
I’d like to add a few more points here:
1.Ensure you have a clearly defined plan about what you want to achieve, where do you fit in the market and the resources you’l need to get there.
2. Always have a plan B in place, don’t just assume things but base your calculations on solid data and analysis.
3. Be prepared to face unforseen challenges every now and then. In a new business, things hardly run smoothly or as planned so you’ll always have enough on your worry plate.
4. If there’s one thing that’s most imporant for entrepreneurs to consider, it’s defining thier value proposition.
Ask yourself these questions:
What is it that makes my business unique?
What competitive advantage do I hold over others? (Competitive advantage doesn’t simply mean what you are good at, but means what you do better than your competition. Remember, it’s difficult to derive value out of something that everyone can do.)
5. Pace your growth in a way that’s managable. Growth can overwhelm a business if the right resources are not in place.
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