Start Your Own Successful Business Consulting Service
It is not necessary for you to have owned or operated a successful business to become a successful business consultant. Nor is it imperative that you have been in management or have held a titled position. You will, however, need the ability to sell yourself, and an up-to-date understanding of the area in which you intend to assist others.
The first step is to make a honest evaluation of your own training and experience. You might be an ambitious tax consultant who was never recognized for your abilities. You might be especially good in such areas as system design, marketing, scheduling, expediting or productivity. There are hundreds of consultants across the country specializing in Direct Mail and Mail Order operators. Most of these people enjoyed some measure of success in those fields, and then discovered the easier way–advising others on how to operate successfully. There are consultants for people who want success with a garage sale, party planning merchandising, or even multi-level operations. The important thing is to choose an area in which you’ve had some experience; an area that you have spent sometime learning about; and of course, an area of work that you enjoy.
Almost everyone is afraid of the responsibility involved. They claim they don’t have the experience or the knowledge. Such was the case of a young lady we know who was seeking work as a personal clerk. She had worked five years as assistant to the personal manager of a large manufacturing plant, yet when we advised her to become a consultant to people looking for work or to start her own resume writing service, she pleaded lack of knowledge, experience and ability. Just about everyone has had special training in a certain line of work, and they’ve gone on to absorb special studies or education along the same lines, and most people have worked all their lives along or very close to a specific line of endeavor. So, why souldn’t a woman who has worked 20 years as a waitress represent herself as a consultant to the training program for waitresses within a restaurant organization? A shipping and receiving clerk would be a natural for setting up efficient operations and for solving problems for businesses just beginning or expanding production output.
The point is, most people don’t realize how much expertise they really have, or the probable marketability of their training, knowledge and experience. The important thing is to look over your educational strengths, combine that with any special training or on-the-job experience, and then offer your expertise to help others with their problems along the lines you know best.
You don’t need a big, fancy executive type office in order to get started, especially if you start your consulting business on a part-time basis. A spare bedroom, a section of the basement, or even a corner of the dining room, will do very nicely. If you handle your own bookkeeping/filing, you will need a ledger of some kind, and a file cabinet or two. You will need a good typewriter if you plan to do your own correspondence. An alternative is to do all letters, etc. in longhand hire someone to put them in final form for you. Check the local high school or college. They may be happy to post your ad for a young lady looking for part-time work.
Instead of going to the expense of paying for a business phone, use your residence phone and train all members of the family to answer it in a business-like manner during normal working hours. Save copies of all the sales letters you send out, and of course, all job proposals you submit. Set up your file system with your final plan in mind, and you’ll save a lot of time as well as frustration. Get the kind of file folders that hang from the sides of the file cabinet’s drawers, allowing you to position the file folder title anywhere across the top of the folder. Then as you add clients to your file, you can keep them in alphabetical order without a jumbled-looking file drawer in which you have to search for each title. It’s also a good idea to keep your active accounts in one drawer, your”hoped-for” accounts in another, and master copies of all letters, proposals, business contact information and records in still another drawer. You’ll also need business cards. Your nearest quick print shop can usually order these and help you in selecting wording and design.