You've operated your consulting business for months or years, on a part-time and full-time basis. It's to the point where you need help in order to meet the needs of all of your current customers, or you've reached a plateau in your monthly revenue earnings. You're not able to take on new projects, because you don't have the resources or other consultants to get the job done. These are the signs that you're ready to expand your consulting business, and here's how to go about it:
1. Expand without Leaving Home
It's important to state that you can expand without working outside your home. Work-at-home moms manage virtual teams, and you can too for your consulting business. You may need to add technology and additional resources to work as a team virtually, but the investment is not high. Some items to consider purchasing are:
- Web meeting software (subscribe to)
- Project management software
- Ability to share documents online
- Conference calling (free and paid conference call companies offer services, check online)
- Time tracker and billing software with multiple user capabilities
Start with the minimum you need to get one team member started, and then make additional purchases as your team grows.
2. Hire Consultants
There are other consultants just like you working from home, as independent contractors. They may have their own consulting business or work solely as freelancers and consultant on jobs. The best contractors are those who own their consulting business, because they require little to no supervision. They'll also be know how to get additional business from the clients you assign to them, or they may drum up more business for you on their own. The risk is choosing someone who's dishonest and has an eye to steal your customers. Check references carefully for each person you bring on board, and do background checks the way you would when hiring an employee. Don't turn your business over to anyone new, but spread out projects until you get to know them and test their work ethics and capabilities.
3. Expand Online Marketing Strategies
If you haven't been marketing online all this time, then you need to start today. Perhaps you're exclusively marketing online or it's a significant part of your marketing plan. Expand your online marketing strategies, by measuring the results of your marketing activities and putting more money and time into what has worked well. For example, if you've been using a free email program to send out newsletters, consider upgrading to a paid email marketing software with more capabilities. The upgrade may encourage customers to share your emails, or it may simply automate the process for you and give you more time to market in other ways. Try new ways of marketing as well, such as:
- Social media marketing
- Video marketing
You'll have to get out of your comfort zone, but you'll grow your consulting business because of it.
4. Hire Sales Consultants
Hire a sales consultant or two to work on landing projects with larger companies. Pay them a commission for each sale. It's a great way to expand your consulting business, especially if selling doesn't come easy to you. Look for a business owner who's already experienced in finding additional work for consultants.
Expanding your consulting business takes time, but make the move as soon as your business show signs that it needs to grow.
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.