This idea started out as research for my own personal growth when I was considering what type of services I wanted to offer clients.
I have always loved helping people. So it was a no-brainer for me to provide career consultations. I hesitated at first because I thought I needed a degree but when I researched about becoming a career and home-based business consultant I was wrong, to a certain extent.
I want to share what I found out about becoming a consultant in case you’ve been wondering about this too.
Let’s start at the beginning.
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What is a Consultant?
A consultant is an individual who assists clients achieve their professional goals by providing recommendations, coaching, and development strategies. The number one rule of thumb to becoming a consultant is you’ve got to know your stuff, be the guru in your field if you will.
Who Needs A Consultant?
Lots of people do. You can start a consulting business for marketing, home or office organization, career or business counseling and the list goes on.
Education and Certification
Like I mentioned earlier, I thought in order to be a consultant one had to have a degree under his or her belt. But that’s not necessarily so.
The level of education depends on the field in which you will consult. For example, if you want to be a public relations consultant you would need a degree in communications.
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For industries such as writing services, career and business counseling, your level of expertise and reputation as a subject matter expert should be enough to get a home-based consultation business going.
The same goes for certifications. Being a certified consultant looks great on a portfolio in some consulting profession, it showcases your level of expertise. If you’re interested in becoming a certified consultant, here is a list of sites to check out.
As always, be sure you do your homework before enrolling in any courses. Make sure they will give you what you need for your certification and if it’s worth the amount of the course.
Not that I’ve covered education and certification let’s go over the kind of skills a consultant should have.
How you communicate will have an impact on whether clients will trust you enough to use your services. Avoid using slang words. Be professional, yes you want to be an approachable person but you also want to avoid speaking with clients as if they’re an old childhood friend.
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When a potential client approaches you with a possible project, listening to your clients is important to define what their needs are. Pay attention to what the client is telling you to get a clear idea of what he or she needs.
Great At Asking Discovery Questions
For example, if you’re talking to someone about a job lead, find out what they’re experienced and skills by asking open-ended questions that will give you enough information to tailor a job that will match what you discovered.
Knowledge of basic computer skills and troubleshooting methods is important. Most of the research will likely be done online and knowing your way around the internet is a must.
Once you’ve decided on what type of consulting business you want to do it’s time to get it out there. Create a website and social media pages to promote your business. Spread the word by telling your friends and family about your new business venture. For more ways to promote your business read Promote Your Business On Free Online Directories.
Important tip: Be sure to check your state laws for license and certification requirements.
Create a questionnaire for clients that include what their goals are, what experience they have and a plan of action to help.
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Tips For Establishing Your Credibility
With all the competition there is you want to stand above the rest. Here are some tips for establishing your credibility as a consultant.
- Be available to those who reach out to you for advice.
- Follow up with them to see how that information helped and if they still need your assistance.
- Give references to your personal resources that have helped you, share your wealth of knowledge.
- Create video tutorials and share them on social media platforms like YouTube or your own personal blog or website.
- Ask Clients to write testimonials of your work and keep a portfolio or post them on your blog or website.
I hope this post about starting a home-based consulting business was helpful and maybe even sparked an idea or two.
If you have an idea for a home-based business but need to talk it through, I’m here to help. Simply contact me and we’ll set up an appointment so we can talk.
Article Written by Cori Ramos | notnowmomsbusy