One of the craziest misconceptions I’ve come across is that starting a consultation business is easy. These people couldn’t be more mistaken! Don’t get me wrong, it’s not impossible but it does take a good hold over skills and experience. In order to get yourself out there you must draw out a proper business plan but don’t just hold onto that paper and stand there. Take a plunge into the market and research on your competitors if you want the consultation business to grow and prosper.
As long as you hold onto passion and consistency you can overcome all kinds of hurdles. If you aren’t constant in your business, interactions and updates then you could get left behind in the market. Try to one up your game at all times.
Gather your writing pads or iPads and let’s dive right into these tips!
- Stand out and stand firm
With ever increasing numbers of consultation businesses and countless people looking for expert advice, you need to think how you will stand out. Whether you’re starting your business or looking for ways to grow it, in both cases you have to be unique!
If you’re the new kid on block, why would customers come to you for consultation, instead of the other old businesses? Dig deeper and find a reason why you’re better than the rest out there. It could be because you have more international exposure which gives you broader knowledge in that field. Or maybe you just care and pay more attention to your clients/customers compared to the rest. Try to be that unique chocolate everyone wants to pick out of the box.
So many young people are spending time and energy into fresh startups, but very few concentrate on marking out a set attribute or characteristic of their business. Many companies collapse within the first year because they can’t promote themselves with anything ‘new’ or ‘unique’ to offer. Why would customers conveniently move onto a new brand when there are old and reliable brands in the market?
The truth is that customers aren’t too rigid, and are willing to be flexible to try new things as long as there’s something ‘unique’ in store for them. Think about what really sets you apart; is there an innovative feel to your services? Are you giving that extra bit of attention to your customers in the market?
Learn this from the product market, there is lot of competition in the Live Chat space but how we stand out from the rest was our approach of listing to customer and providing them something that no one else was providing. Today what set ClickDesk a part from rest is our live video chat feature.
- Let them know you’re boss in this field
Prove your authenticity to the market and customers. How do you do that? The chances are that you’re well qualified with sufficient experience, so don’t sell yourself short.
Put your entire achievements list out there, whether it’s a published book or e-book. If you haven’t written a book as yet, maybe it’s time you look into e-books and exhibit your special skills and knowledge. There are other ways too, for instance you could get published in well-renown journals or be part of a team/community that complements your business field.
Just remember there are many old businesses that have been playing the field longer than you. In order to convince customers of your authenticity and presence in the market, you must let your brand show off its achievements and qualities. Was your business recently featured in a paperback entrepreneurial magazine? If yes, don’t forget to tweet about it, this lets your customers/clients know what you’re up to and gives an air of confidence to the business.
Why should you bother with any of these things? People want to feel that they’re getting their money’s worth, and what better way to do that than get published! These things catch the customer’s eye and they subconsciously put their faith into your experience and advice.
- Network, and more network
Oh c’mon you know this one! If you’ve hung around marketing blogs long enough, you probably know what’s coming next. You might have heard this many times before, but it can’t be stressed enough.
Remember to make connections, whether it’s over coffee or at a business convention. Don’t let any opportunity pass by. Exchange those business cards and get to know each other. However, make sure you don’t latch onto people who won’t be beneficial to your consulting business.
Running a business is time-consuming in its purest form. It will initially eat up your holidays and weekend plans, but if well managed then it could pay for your holidays and resorts in the long-run. So be careful and rigid about who takes up your time and who you give your time to. This is an important part of networking and sadly many new entrepreneurs get carried away wasting time with the wrong people. This leads to zero profit or benefit and reduces the amount of time you could spend in profitable interactions.
Focus on people that can optimize your business or give you ‘free’ consultation on how to improve. Quite the irony. You will bump into people who have a better idea of this business because of their experience and polished skills, don’t feel shy to pick their brains. This approach will help put the name of your startup out there, because everybody loves an enthusiastic and interactive entrepreneur.
- Out and About
Get out there and be social. If you’re an introvert, then I’d suggest you find a representative or else get therapy and step outside.
Overcome any kind of social anxiety and be ready to attend lots of conventions, dinners and meetups. These are golden moments where you can advertise your business and possibly gain a few customers/clients too.
Be shameless about promoting your business, especially if you’re new to the market.
- Aim Right in the Market Fight
It’s a jungle out there! Businesses are pouncing at one another to dominate. In a market like this, you need to know how to target your customers/clients/audience.
Startups will probably have a freshly planned strategy of who they’re aiming for, if you’re one of them then stay focused. Don’t stray from your target audience and stay alert about other competitors or any fluctuations in your predictions.
Research, statistics and chitter chatter will help you keep tabs on your target market. Are your services relevant to a particular niche of companies too? If so, and there are new companies emerging, then reach out to them too. Stay on top of your game and know who really needs you. This will help maintain and grow your business at a steady pace.