Becoming a Consultant


Telecommuting or working as a freelancer aren't your only options for working from home. Becoming a consultant, with your own consulting business or as a consultant for a small business or large company, is another option. Employers are hiring more consultants as a way to save money on paying full-time employees, which means you'll have more opportunities to enjoy the freedom of working from home.

Education and Training

Each industry has its own requirements for licenses, educational background and standards for what makes someone an expert. For example, if you're an attorney, you can work as a consultant, but you'll need to have a law degree and in some cases, you'll need to be admitted to a state bar. However, if you're a wedding consultant, you don't need a college degree or a special license (but a great deal of experience).

Training will bolster your resume and establish credibility with potential employers. Check with reputable trade associations in your industry and see what online training and certification programs they offer. Earning certain certificates may be what you need to rise above the competition when you apply for work, or make a sales pitch for your business.

Apply for "Jobs"

You're officially a consultant when you're paid for consulting. The best way to get your foot in the door is to apply for consulting "jobs" that you can do from home. Gigs would be a better term, because you wouldn't work as a full-time employee, but more like a freelancer. Employers post projects and hire consultants to complete those projects. In many cases, the employer may form a long-term relationship with you, and offer you all of their future projects. You'll also be able to work for multiple employers at once.

Market Online

One of the best ways to become a consultant is to market online. Let the world know that you exist, what you expertise is, your abilities and experience. Start with building a website, so that employers and small businesses can learn more about you and get to know you. Expand to social media marketing, and consider writing blog posts as a guest blogger on websites that have the readers you want to consult with.

Market Offline

Don't neglect marketing "offline" as well. You should order business cards, and print brochures that explains your consulting practice. Letterhead and matching envelopes with your individual or business name printed on it is also good to have on hand to send to prospective employers and business owners.

Write a Business Plan

Starting your consulting practice without a business plan is bad consulting advice. You wouldn't advice a client to do anything without setting goals or a vision statement. Practice what you preach with your own plan for success. There are business plan writers to help, or buy business planning software. You can also review sample business plans for a consulting business by doing a simple Google search.

Be encouraged that many work-at-home moms have made a living as a consultant. Consider launching an online consulting business in addition to working on projects posted by employers.

Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.

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