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3 Things You Need to Start a Consulting Business

 

A consulting business is an exciting opportunity for work-at-home moms who love to share advice and help others solve complex problems. If you have the expertise and willingness to work with individuals, business owners and families that could use a little guidance, then you should launch a consulting business. You will need a few things to get started.

1. Consulting Business Niche

Becoming a consultant is competitive, because many other consultants want to work with the same prospective clients that you do. If you spread yourself too thin, by trying to market yourself in many areas at once, you won't be effective at winning over the competition. The problem is, you're too creative. It's a benefit to your clients that you know so much about many things, but it's a disadvantage to you as a business owner. Restrain yourself by picking a niche and building a reputation in that one area. When you land clients, you can broaden your areas of consulting with them as the need arises.

2. Marketing Plan

You can have all the knowledge in the world, and the ability to bill clients hundreds of dollars per hour, but you won't go far if people don't know that you exist. Business marketing should be your top priority. It will help you generate the leads you need to sell your skills and generate revenue. Little or poor marketing has the opposite effect. You will generate little revenue, and you will end up failing at business. Write out how you plan to market your consulting business using various methods, such as:

  • Social media marketing (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn)
  • Blogging (writing guest posts for others, writing your own blog or hiring freelancers to write posts for your blog)
  • Print advertising (newspaper and magazine classifieds targeting your niche)
  • Trade organizations (joining and participating in the organization or events as a speaker)
  • Workshop leader (in your local community and region, or online using webinars)
  • Business cards and brochures
  • Email marketing campaign (newsletters and articles)
  • Podcasts 

Keep your marketing plan short and concise, and find time to market yourself daily until you get so busy that all of your billable hours are filled up consulting clients. Don't stop marketing then, but you don't have to do it daily. Weekly is sufficient, or hire a marketing consultant to take over your daily marketing tasks.

3. Database Management Solution

Managing client information can be a challenge when you're working at home. You have to balance work and family life, which means that you're often writing important information on sticky notes and miscellaneous pieces of paper quickly, so that you can respond to "emergencies" in your home. It's easy to misplace vital information, but you don't have to with a database management solution. Consider purchasing ACT! by Sage. It's a customer relationship management and contact software designed to help you keep track of everyone you come in to contact with, and it schedules time and tasks for you to follow up with each of them.

There are people waiting for you to help them find solutions that they cannot come up with on their own. Get what you need to launch your consulting business, so that you can help others succeed in the areas where they are weak.

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