So You Want To Be A Business Consultant?
Do you have a passion for sharing knowledge? Is there any particular subject or field that you excel in and which you can use to advise or counsel companies or individuals? If you answered yes to both, then you might want to be a consultant.
In a nutshell, a consultant is an expert who acts as an advisor in a particular field, say, marketing or writing. In my case, since I dabble in digital marketing and social media, I am by trade, a consultant in both fields. Many others are jumping into the business consulting industry and we see an upward trend in numbers each year. The market is wide open and because of the Web, it’s much easier to become a consultant these days.
Sometimes I get asked for advice on how to start such a career or if there is a special formula for success as a consultant. There isn’t. Like any other job, being a consultant requires three things: passion, hard work, and a wealth of knowledge. These are the things that separate great consultants from the mediocre ones.
If you are thinking of joining the market, ask yourself these questions first:
1. What are my strengths? What areas do I excel in?
To be a successful consultant, it’s important for you to discover what areas you excel in. You cannot simply decide to be a marketing consultant because that’s what’s in demand or lucrative. You need to determine what your passions are, what you are most comfortable teaching about and what you’re good at. Are you well-learned on social media strategies? Do you have an innate passion for social media channels? Are you willing to continually learn about it? Then perhaps you’d want to be social media consultant. It’s all about finding your strengths and gifts.
2. What are my qualifications?
As a consultant, you will be facing a lot of competitors. It would be helpful to back up your knowledge with certifications and licenses, if applicable, to be able to target a wider clientele. Make sure you are always one step ahead of the game. Keep tabs on the latest trends in your chosen field. If there are specific workshops you can attend, do so.
3. Can I keep myself organized?
Time is of the essence in consulting especially when you’re serving an industry that is largely Web-based (for instance, IT, social media, and writing). Considering the varied clientele they cater to, consultants must be highly organized, schedule-oriented and have strong planning and management skills. If you are not exactly a stickler for time management and details, then you might want to reconsider.
4. Do I have the capacity and the inkling to network?
Establishing and maintaining a huge network of valuable contacts is essential to succeeding as a consultant. Before you even begin your career as one, you should have already built a list of reliable contacts.
5. Do I already have consulting goals in place?
Like any endeavor, both short-term and long-term objectives need to be developed before you embark on your consultancy journey. Your goals should be in line with the outcomes you want to achieve, and should not, at any point, result in a wastage of time and effort. Your goals should be geared towards being a great – if not, the best – consultant in the field and providing excellent value to your clients, nothing less.
If you have already answered the questions above and are still committed to being a business consultant, waste no time and pursue your dream! There’s no better time to start than today.