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Start Your Own Successful
Business Consulting Service
Edited , Updated and Written by Jay
© 2018, National
A consultant works with the management of a business to improve the profitability
of the business.
Working with the top management, you can rest assured the consultant is a
very highly paid individual. Some consultants charge $100 to $150 per hour.
Others charge $1,500 per day for their services, and still others work on
an annual retainer fee of $12,000 to over $30,000 per year from any number
of large corporations.
Until a few years ago, the title "consultant" was more or less limited to
retired diplomats and top corporate officers. In other words, until recently,
the consultant's position was more honorary than actual. But that has all
changed dramatically in the past few years.
The number of consultants for almost any problem in life has increased by
tenfold or more during the past ten years! And the field of consultants is
continuing to grow. In fact, independent consulting is one of the fastest
growing businesses in the country today!
A consultant is an expert at recognizing problems and shaping solutions to
those problems. The need for problem solvers for business problems
among large and small businesses worlwide has never been greater.
The ever changing moods of the buyer plus the myriad of crisis situations
faced by businessmen almost daily, have created this "seller's market" for
the alert consultant.
Another side of this need for consultants is in the case of the over-enthusiastic
entrepreneur who rushes headlong into a business in which he has little or
no experience. Many such dreamers invest their life savings in questionable
projects without even considering the idea of bringing in a competent business
consultant to analyze and evaluate their plans.
Even experienced people are prone to overrate their own ideas.
The image of the end result, and dedicated enthusiasm toward the attainment
of one's goal are the prime prerequisites for success; however unmerited
enthusiasm and dedication can also be very dangerous as well. Unless it is
based upon solid research, it may cause people to chase headlong after
nonexistent rainbows. And that's where you can fit in as a business consultant.
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
operations. 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
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 computer and
printer if you plan to do your own correspondence. If you need assistance
in this area check the local high school or college. They may be happy to
post your ad for a young person 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 at all times.
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
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.
Whether to rent, lease or buy a copy machine is up to you, but virtually
no business can get by without file copies.
Just how good a typist you are, how well you can write sales letters, and
how busy you want to be, should be the deciding factors . If you type at
all there will always be at least a few letters that you should personally
One you've decided what area of business consulting you want to be in, and
have your office or working space set up, the next thing is to let people
know you're available for work. Definitely use some common sense and applied
knowledge before spending any money on advertising.
Generally speaking, you will pick up some customers regardless of the problem
area you specialize in, by advertising in your own area's most popular newspaper.
However,we wouldn't recommend much more than a small ad in the Sunday editions,
unless you're direct mail, multi-level or garage sale consultant.
Check with your Chamber of Commerce for a list of trade and specialized business
publisher in your area. Either pick up a sample copy of the business journal
at the local newsstand or write to the publisher and ask for a sample. Look
through those catering to the type of business you want to serve.
Check the editorial styles and types of advertising they carry, then select
the one that corresponds with your needs. Basically, unless a publication
reaches the people you are trying to sell to, don't advertise in it regardless
of the style, quality, or advertising rates.
Radio or television advertising would probably be a complete waste of advertising
Whatever method of advertising you choose be sure the message speaks to your
potential customers and convinces them that you can help solve their problems
or improve the profit picture of their business.
The best, age old, low-cost, form of simple advertising is the two-step method.
A small classified ad or display ad grabs the attention of the potential
customer and directs them to contact you for more information. The
ad can direct them to make a phone call or visit your Internet site
Telephone white page directories or even the yellow pages are not nearly
as effective as they used to be.
Always talk to your kind of people, emphasizing the benefits of your services.
It's not good practice to quote or even discuss prices in either you advertising
or on the phone when people respond. Always get name, address and telephone
number, then explain your services in general. Set up an appointment to look
over their operation, analyze their needs, and make a written proposal to
solve their problems.
There may be a number of factors involved in establishing your fees, but
starting out with beginning and small businesses, and until you line up 50
regular clients, your best bet would be $50 per hour.
Count on two to three hours per client per day, and devoting 10 days per
month to work on their needs, you're talking about $1,000 to $1,500 per month
from each client. Multiply that times 50 clients, and you'll be grossing
$5,000 to $7,500 per month. Do understand that there is no guarantee regarding
your income. However, as a one-man operation, and if you are willing
to properly function you should be plenty busy.
Insiders in this business say a person can leave his regular job on Friday,
start a consulting business on Monday, and within six months, have an income
of up to $100,000 per year. Suffice it to say that a beginning business
consultant should earn from $30,000 to $60,000, before taxes and office expenses,
in the first year of business.
Ther's still another very important method of finding new clients, and that
is via Direct Mail solicitation. This is done either by postcard or sales
letter mailings. For a mailing list of local businesses, check the yellow
pages of your telephone directory or the Internet searching for mailing lists.
Alternately, you could compile your own mailing list of prospects most likely
to be interested in your services. Mark the names you want in the area business
directory, and pay someone toinput these names onto a computer for you. The
computer should be able to supply you with peel-and-stick address labels
at a nominal cost. Putting your list on computer from the start will save
you thousands of dollars in money and countless hours of work.
Your postcard solicitation should basically be an elaboration of your printed
advertising. In other words, an ad for a Direct Mail Consultant might be
transferred to a post card along these lines:
ARE YOU HAVING TROUBLE GETTING RESULTS
WITH YOUR DIRECT MAIL BUSINESS???
I can show you how to double, maybe
even triple the response from your mailings!
Expand your market! Increase your profitability
Whatever your needs, I can HELP!
Whatever your problems, I can SOLVE THEM!
Jack Rabbit, Direct Mail Consultant
A direct mail solicitation sales letter simply uses more words than the postcard,
reads smoother, and forces the reader to respond as you direct him. Your
sales letter can be any length needed to tell your story and achieve the
Two key rules for advertising:
#1: Keep it Simple
#2: Follow the "AIDA" formula:
A = Get their Attention
I = Create Interest
D = Build Desire
A = Ask them to take Action NOW!
Always appeal to the needs and wants of the person who's going to be reading
the sales copy. They want to know two major things:
• What's in it for me?
• Prove it to me!
When the customer responds to your advertising your job is NOT to try sell
them on the telephone. Your job IS to sell them on seeing you in person at
All that's left is meeting with the prospect, listening to his problems,
learning about his operation and hearing what he wants to accomplish. Then
write out a proposal to solve his problems and satisfy his wants. This means
selling yourself and your abilities to the prospect assuring him you
know what you're talking about, and that you can make him more successful.
There you have it. A plan that can lead you to success as a Business
Consultant. Remember, though, no amount of research, reading, listening or
investment can make you successful until you do something. Action on your
part is the absolute ingredients that must be added, and that's up to you.
Your future is in your own hands.
National Business Reports • PO Box 99 • Spring
Branch, TX 78070
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