Tired of Doing the Same Boring Thing, 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?

The need for business consultants continues to grow especially as economies become though globally. There’s no better time to position yourself as an expert consultant in your field.

How Can Business Consulting Help Struggling Companies?

Business consulting has come a long way. From small companies to major ones, these firms are looking at ways on how they can prop up their business through outside help. The competition is tough and this is the reason these businesses are looking for ways to get ahead of the competition. With the wish to get ahead, consultant services are getting popular as they help offer insights to business owners and managers. So don’t be surprised to find different sites and companies offering this kind of service.

Right now, companies and organizations can turn to providers of business consulting for a number of reasons. For example, a business may need some boost in terms of advertisement and popularity. This is true for many fledging businesses where their business management practices are no longer in tune with the demands of the market. When the business is no longer considered as a serious contender on the industry, then business consulting can be considered.

In business, it’s all about getting noticed thus this kind of service can help. And advertising is something that can prop up the business, and firms providing consulting can help. There are some ways on how advertising can transform a so-so business into a best business. The simplest approach to advertising and spreading the word is the handing out of fliers, or going big by designing television commercials. Advertising should come in at the first launch of the business.

If the business owner is still a newbie in the business and doesn’t know what to do and where to start, a business consulting firm can help shape up the marketing plan for the company. The consulting firm can help customizing the advertising message of the business. The firm is staffed with professionals that knows the business of the advertising and can suggest ways on how to place the business. The consultant also knows every outlet that can be used to spread the word about the business.

A business that is slowly losing traction and customer support in the market can also count on a consulting firm. Businesses that are having trouble attracting new customers can also tap into the services of this firm. The consulting firm can talk with the present customers of the company and learn how the company can improve. The consulting firm can also research why the business is not getting new customers and clients.

Perhaps customers are not doing business with the company because it does not carry a certain product or service that they are looking for. If this is the case, the consultant can make the proper recommendations and work with the owner to find out if it would be a good move to market and carry the product or service that the customers are looking for. The firm can also use different tools to come up with the recommendations for the business. A popular tool used is a survey, and this can be used to test how a product is being received by the client base. For example, the firm can commission a survey to test how the customers will respond to the new product offered. The survey will focus on the acceptability, profitability and customer satisfaction. Whatever the results may be, the consultants will report these to the business owners so that the proper tweaking of business management practices can be made.

This is the good thing about the services of a business consulting firm- they know what to do and how to do it. Whatever the needs and requirements of the business, they can offer the business solutions required by the business. They are the professionals that are trained in this field, and this is the reason why many businesses depend on consulting firms for advices and directions.

The consulting firm can also help a business owner come up with a reliable and updated business plan in tune with the times. The business consulting company can study the business and the market movements in order to come up with the best business plan for the organization.

Consulting firms can help struggling firms in many ways. Whether the company wants to reclaim a lost market or wants help in crafting a business plan backed by best business and business management strategies, a consulting firm can definitely help.

Dany Cooper

Do You Need A Business Consultant?

All too often, business owners, managers, or supervisors find themselves in a position where growth has slowed, stopped, or reversed. Though these are pressing reasons to consider finding the outside help of a business consultant, they aren’t the only reasons. This article will cover reasons you may need a business consultant, the affordability of a consultant, and what to look for in a consultant and their firm. Companies sometimes look for help when they are having trouble but the best practice is to reach out to a business consultant when your company is stable or in a position of growth.

It is much easier to grow your business if you acquire assistance while your company is stable or growing because you are not trying to recover lost revenue from earlier forecasts. A business consultant is a great resource to improve your company’s sales and growth. They are also an excellent resource when sales have dropped, slowed, or are stagnant. Though business consultants can help in winning or losing situations; the most value or R.O.I. is achieved when a business consultant is hired to move your company to the next stage of business, or improve upon your current sales, marketing, management, web development, and security processes. A good consultant will be able to provide you with a strategic plan for long-term growth while also being able to identify areas that can promote immediate growth. New businesses benefit by having a business plan developed while finding assistance to build a foundation. Loan package preparation is also a benefit of hiring a business consultant, but the most pressing reason to hire a consultant is to plan for long-term success. The aforementioned services will prove to be a great value to the companies with the vision to obtain them. The gain typically overshadows the cost of a business consultant.

Many business owners wonder, ‘Can I afford a business consultant?’ The question that should be asked is ‘Can you not afford to hire a business consultant?’ Business people know that increased marketing efforts, enhanced web development, a good strategic plan, and many other activities will increase their current and long-term revenue. Even knowing that, many of these activities are not aggressively pursued. An additional 20-40 hours a month in focused marketing efforts can bring a company a substantially enhanced amount of revenue dollars. Since the efforts are not made in many cases, the money is essentially lost to the company. Some sound advice to follow is; do not let the initial cost of a business consultant cloud the potential for future gain. The value a business consultant provides long survives the initial payment and contract.

Choosing a good firm to contract with can also be a challenge. The process can be made fairly simple by following the advice below. First, you must speak with the consultant that you are considering conducting business with. A good consultant should be able to understand your needs as you explain them. When dealing with more complex areas of business, a good consultant should be able to explain methods and processes in terms that you are able to understand. The ability to simplify complex processes usually indicates a strong understanding of what they entail. A consulting firm should also have a diverse team of individuals specializing in various segments of business development. Just as many businesses are not able to thrive with one employee, a consulting firm also needs a strong team to provide the best results. The ideal team will at least consist of a business growth expert, a web/graphic designer, a marketing expert, and a financial analyst or expert with good reputations in their industries. Finally, you should always maintain the feel that the consulting firm you decide to contract has your best interest in mind. Following these steps when locating a consultant or consulting firm will increase your chances of receiving a service that continues to benefit your growth for years to come.