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How To Improve Your Consultancy Business
Every Business Needs To Work On
- Financial Goals
- What Customers / Customer Segments to target to achieve those financial goals
- What products/services to offer to those customers/customer segments to fulfill their needs/wants/desires
- What people/processes/resources you need to create and deliver those products and services
How Does This Apply To Your Consulting Business?
It starts from here. You may not think it yet (if you are starting out) but putting a figure in place as your goal will make it easier for you to decide which projects to take on and which services you might like to or want to offer.
Customer / Customer Segments
Depending upon you core competence, you could either offer your consulting services to a particular industry (vertical) or for a particular function (horizontal).
e.g. Industry - Telecom, Hospitality, Retail etc
e.g. function - HR, Customer Service, Purchase etc
You may also want to focus on a particular client or customer. For e.g. you may want to help a particular company you know may want your assistance and one that would be willing to pay for your expertise. e.g. You may decide to help Apple, develop India specific products.
Products / Services
Once you know the financial goal and the customer segment you want to operate in, look for pain points. People pay for knowledge and as a consultant you will be paid to bring to the client opportunities for either of two things - Increase in revenue or cost reduction. Everything you do, can be classified into one of these.
What are the products or services you want to offer?
e.g. Lets say you want to get into HR consulting. Do you want to offer training or recruitment or payroll management or induction or CSR etc?
Typically, consultants rarely offer physical products, though I think it is about time that someone starts doing that too!
People / Processes
So you are almost there on you strategy bit. You seem to know your financial goals, you target clients, your bouquet of services. Now it is time to put together the team that will deliver these services and the processes they will use.
You may need to hire, train or re-skill yourself or your staff to ensure the same.
Ok. Theory was good, do you have some practical tips?
Sure, I do.
- Get yourself a proper website
- set up a linkedin account, and participate. You have to network, network and then network some more. there is a reason why more than 50% of fortune 500 companies are run by Harvard graduates. Yes, it must be the brains, but it is also the networking. see more at 8 Habits of Highly Effective Networkers
- Learn how to sell. Your are first a sales person, then a consultant.
- Start a blog. If you are consultant, share your ideas, your thoughts with everyone. Publish white-papers, make presentations and upload to sharing sites like slideshare.com. Let people interact with you. To know everything about blogging, click here
- Build a knowledge base, learn and teach.