If you really work at what you do, one day it will be fair to call you an expert. If you think you’ve got there, then well done! So, what’s next? You turn a profit from that knowledge and experience of course! Becoming an independent consultant is a lucrative and rewarding career move, but only for those who have what it takes to be successful. Here are some traits shared by all successful consultants.
First of all, a keen attention to detail. If you want to build up any trust among your clients, then you have to be able to deliver completely flawless results. This will show everyone that your references are solid, and that you’re thorough with your work. Any calculations and forecasts, of course, should all be double and triple checked. However, your attention to detail shouldn’t stop there. Make sure you’re combing through every piece of your work for grooming and spelling mistakes. You may think this sounds like a minor detail, but take my advice here. The smallest slip-up can completely destroy your reputation as a consultant. Once this happens, it’s incredibly hard to salvage.
Another great trait is the ability to network, and recognize the value of different resources. For any independent entrepreneur, this is all part of the package. You should make sure your consultancy has a strong social media presence, especially on LinkedIn. You can use this platform to make valuable industry connections, and understand a little more about the way consultancy works. If you’re a complete newbie, then you’ll probably get a nasty shock just looking at all the competition!
Exploring the tools and resources which could make your job easier is another important thing you should be doing. Accessibility to the internet has made this easier than ever. For example, Orcaflex is a new tool being sold to marine engineering consultants. This is just one of the helpful resources your firm could be exploiting.
Finally, a gimmick. Okay, “gimmick” probably isn’t the right word. However, you should still work on fostering something that sets your firm apart from all the other consultancies. When you first start out, profit margins are going to be low regardless. This means you’ll be able to afford drifting from industry to industry, client to client. Having a range of skills is great, but early on you should be looking to hone your consultancy in on a niche. All the best consultants have one, isolated thing which they’re known to excel in. This might be specialized knowledge, communication skills, or financial modelling. If you flaunt this particular value, you’ll soon become the “go-to” firm in no time at all. It isn’t urgent, but take the time to look at your available skills and resources. Good consultants stick to the program, whereas great ones become one in a million!
Consultancy, despite what you may have been told, isn’t an easy money system. However, with enough knowledge and meticulous planning, your firm could take off faster than you’d believe. Start off by checking yourself for these three traits.