The best thing about being a consultant is to indirectly impact the lives of so many people through a client, you know wants to scale and reach millions of people, adding value to their daily lives. As a consultant, you not only provide customers with some form of value, but consumers too. Hence, it’s a profession you can really look forward to. In the UK, consultancy can be paved at every step of the value chain.
You can cater to small businesses looking to bring structure to their operations, or mid-tier firms looking for specialised services. Large firms typically prefer to hire people for projects which can be on a retainership or full-fledged consulting work if you already have a well-established network in the industry.
If you are a retired expert with experience in a niche area, you can easily consult firms periodically on their operations.
Therefore, at every stage of the business value delivery process, some form of consultancy is possible. Now consultancy can be of different types, specialized in some form of consultancy or generic consultancy as well.
- IT Consultancy – When you are specialized in providing software solutions for a business’s procedural problems.
- Management Consultancy – When you create value at organizing deals, business paths or strategic consultations.
- Audit Consultancy – Specialized in providing auditing and compliance consultancy.
- Generic Consultancy – It’s a combination of all types of consultancy
So finally, now let’s look at how to go about the consulting process –
- Know Your Specialty – Specialize or Generalize your business acumen in which you can consult. The more specialized knowledge or experience you have the better you can consult. If your proficiency lies in Accounting and auditing you can be an audit consultant, if it lies in creating strategies, you can be a management consultant, if it’s in coding and developing platforms, you can be an IT consultant and vice versa.
- Know the Market – There is no consultancy without clients and therefore it is not only important to source clients, it is important to retain them with good consulting practices and perceived value. To source clients one can network on websites like LinkedIn, Quora or acquire them through word of mouth. Retaining them can only be done through the value provided to them.
- Marketing – There is no business without marketing regarding the fact that you exist, and therefore Marketing is the regent of the day. Unless you proclaim that you’ve serviced ‘x’ number of clients, no one will trust you. Plus, this helps in upselling as well.
- A registration on websites like Institute of Consultancy and Interim Management Association can get you in the limelight of other business looking for consultants.
In the UK, small and medium scale businesses are looking for that right environment, position which they can scale in and therefore consulting such businesses at any point of the value chain can not only be profitable but establish a good name in the market. It requires great experience and business acumen to be a market leader, so why not start early and start now. Now is the time.