Many professionals are becoming more and more interested in starting their own consulting business. It has the perks of a great career path with a lucrative upside. However, what people don’t initially realize is that consulting is not as easy as it appears to be. In fact, it is a lot harder than you might think. Now, this is by no means to discourage you from starting a consulting business if that is what you are passionate about. There are some cautions to be aware that can save you a lot of headaches down the line and move you closer to that dream. So, with that said, here are some of the things you should know before starting a consulting business.
You Will Face Cranky People
You’re going to have to deal with cranky people. It is just part of the nature of the job. Consulting is a face-to-face business where you are meeting with people, shaking hands, and have conversations with them. Not many people can handle unpleasant relationships, and if that is the case for you, then you may want to reconsider going into consulting. You are going to deal with people who aren’t the nicest when they speak to you, but part of the job is figuring out who is worth working with and who is not. You will find that at some points, you are going to have to deal with some relationships that aren’t most pleasant to handle.
Knowledge Is Your Deliverable
At the end of the day, as a consultant, you were hired for one reason, and that is your knowledge. It is the one thing, individuals and companies expect from their consultant. They want your expertise in the particle niche for which you were hired, and for this reason, you must assert this knowledge and present yourself as the expert. Your clients are hiring you because when it comes to certain projects, you know something that they do not. So, don’t hesitate to tell it like is and deliver the knowledge that they paid for. Some people may agree, and some people may disagree, but you would be doing them a disservice if you didn’t deliver your knowledge to its fullest capacity.
You Might Not Be Charging Enough
One of the common mistakes that new consultants make is not charging enough for their service. Whether it is guilt or inexperience, this is a common blunder that most people make. While there is no magic formula for setting your fee, there is a general rule, and that is to charge more than you think you should. You have to remember that just as your clients are getting a return on their investment, so should you. Also, the higher your rate, the better you and your service look. A consultant whose fees are $100 per hour will be viewed as far less valuable than one who charges $5,000 per hour. You are selling yourself and your knowledge, so you want to make sure that clients know it is worth the investment.